Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

One of the most important lessons I have learned since my husband's injury is that I learn and grow so much by stepping out of my comfort zone. Prior to injury, this is not something I realized. Now, it sounds ridiculous to me, but I know that it's not. This is a difficult thing for many people, if not most people. Therefore, if it was possible to stay in my zone, I did. Period. End of story.

In the last three years, I have stepped out of this comfort zone so many times, I am beginning to think I am out of it more than I am in. Just thinking about all of these times, my heart begins racing! It causes huge anxiety in me, but I know that it makes me grow! I cherish the times I've done this and how much I have learned along the way.

The first time I can remember this being a significant deal was at the very beginning of Allen's injury. I had never travelled anywhere on my own. Getting on a plane, by myself was a huge deal for me. We tried everything to get my sister a flight to go with me but it just didn't work out. So, add on top of this the stress and anxiety about flying to Walter Reed to see my husband was a huge step! My sister and I talked about this just last weekend. I was so terrified to go alone and not to know what I would be walking into. However, looking back, we can see how much that one time changed me. I know that God has a plan for every step I take and this is just more proof!

That was just the first of many, steps out of the ole comfort zone I've taken in the last three years. I am so happy that I have had to do this time and time again. I'm also so thankful that I am able to see that this has made me personally grow so much. Now, I am happy to say that I often find myself taking these giant steps out of my zone, willingly! That doesn't mean it is always easy or doesn't cause significant anxiety in me. But, I am able to see the benefit instead of being so stuck in my ways that I can't see beyond that. I am able to take those steps that help myself but also others!

Pubic speaking is a huge step out of my comfort zone. However, I have had several opportunities in this arena that have been hugely rewarding. Allen and I were on the Oprah show, I served on the media panel for the AW2 Symposium last summer, and most recently I have been asked to be a keynote speaker at an Erase the Stigma Conference this summer in St. Louis, Missouri. While I easily could have said no and avoided the anxiety and fear it is causing, I said YES!! Although I am anxious, I know that I have an important story to tell and that I can do it!

Stepping out of my comfort zone has been hugely rewarding and I am looking forward to whatever God has in store for my life. I can now say with confidence, BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!

Even Now......Gina

1 comment:

  1. Good for you, Gina! I can understand, to a degree, the challenges of being pushed out of the comfort zone. Even now I am experiencing a bit of anxiety recalling moments where I felt 'exposed' but I am very much stronger because of it. Kudos to you to taking it even further by doing public speaking :D Let us know how the conference goes!