By Jessica Rector
Are you destined for greatness? Absolutely. So what’s holding you back? You’re familiar with where you are now. It’s comfortable, yet you aren’t really where you’re supposed to be. You’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re not reaching the people who need you most.
I’m a HUGE proponent of stepping outside your comfort zone. I’ve been fortunate to do some fun and exciting things when I’ve done it. I’ve studied abroad in Norway and volunteered in Africa. I’ve gone parasailing, skydiving, dog sledding and shark diving. None of those compared to what I did this past week.
I went to a conference for four days and three nights, and I left my baby (about 11 months old) at home. Yes, that was harder than going to a third world country and jumping out of a plane. Why? His voice is the first sound I hear every morning, and as a single mom I’m the only one who puts him to sleep at night. I’ve been to about five or six conferences this year, but each time, my son came with me. This time he didn’t.
I was attending a mindset retreat. When I made the decision to leave him at home in the care of my sister and mom, I didn’t know if it would help or hurt me…would I be missing him so much that I wouldn’t be focused or would I still be able to concentrate more since I wouldn’t be distracted?
I always loved the Garth Brooks song, “Standing Outside the Fire.” To me, it’s about stepping outside your comfort zone. You are merely surviving if you aren’t standing outside the fire. If you choose to remain inside where it’s comfie, you will never truly experience what life has to offer.
Although I was scared, this was an opportunity, so I leapt. He had a fever ranging from 102.9 to 104.9 in the two days prior to my leaving, so I was even more nervous departing when he didn’t feel good. The morning I left, his temperature was just over 100, but I knew he was in great hands.
On the plane, I fell asleep. A baby sitting across the aisle and back a row cried several times. I kept waking up thinking for a brief moment it was my son. I am definitely a mama…calling every couple of hours to check on him–how’s his temperature, what’s he eating, how is he sleeping? As I went to sleep the first night, I was okay. It was incredibly strange waking up the next morning and not hearing him first thing, but I was eager for the conference, what it would hold, and meeting new people.
That day went by quickly. However, every time I called for him, he was sleeping. Emotionally I felt okay, because his temperature was going down. The following day was rough. I woke up in a great mood, but when the conference host mentioned the homework from the previous day, it hit me. I thought about how having a baby prepared me for the assignment, and I broke down thinking about my son.
Then the water works came and came and came. They just wouldn’t stop. Just the mere thought of him produced enough water to hydrate 1,000 people in a desert. Lucky for me, the conference supplied tissue. During the first break, I called my mom who put him “on the phone.” So just “talking” to him (as much as you can really talk to an 11-month-old) made me feel so much better. I was missing him miserably…not being able to hold, kiss, hug, or even touch him was getting to me. I missed the sound of his voice, his laughter, and his smile. After our phone conversation, I felt so much better.
The last day came and went fast, and I couldn’t get home quickly enough to see him. I opened the door, and he turned to see me running toward him. It took a minute for it to register who I was. Then he gave me a HUGE smile. I picked him up, kissing and hugging him. I just wanted to hold and cuddle with him. He let me for a short while. Then in typical fashion, he got restless and wanted down.
As I watched him make his way across the room, my heart filled up. I had my boy in my sights and able to love on him. My heart ached the third day, and I was an emotional wreck. I also knew stepping outside my comfort zone was needed…no matter how hard it is. That’s when I need to do it the most. It builds strength, and continually challenging myself allows me to grow.
You never really know what you can achieve unless you get out of your comfort zone. It’s hard. Our comfort zones are comfie, routine, and habitual. But the only way to true GREATNESS can only happen when you step outside your comfort zone. Don’t hesitate.
You might be scared. Take a small step. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. When you were a child, riding a bike seemed so difficult. You probably started with training wheels. You had to get your balance and increase your self-confidence. The first time without training wheels, you were probably wobbly. You may have even fallen. Once you rode over and over, it became second nature to you. You could have done it at any time without fear.
Take a small step–put on your training wheels if needed. Just do it. Then it will be something you continually want to do, because you’ll experience GREATNESS! So, the harder it is, the more it’s saying you NEED to do it! So take a leap and jump outside your comfort zone. It may be the best decision you’ll ever make.
As a single mom and founder of The Single Mom Movement, Jessica Rector knows how single moms are overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed. With targeted private coaching, programs, and a school, she connects single moms to happiness, fulfillment, and empowerment by using her proven strategies. Clients praise Jessica for them experiencing massive results after one session.