“If you really want to know yourself, start writing a book”
When I joined Toastmasters International, I became aware of my passion for writing. I delivered ten great inspirational speeches. But like most people I had the fear of public speaking and my aim for being a member was to overcome that fear. I realised that the only way I can conquer it was standing up in front of an audience and deliver my ice breaker, a speech about myself. I needed to get up and begin talking before an audience. It was uncomfortable at first, but the more I wrote and spoke the more it became easier to get used to. My reason for joining was that everything I wanted to do in my life involved speaking in some form.
Then it came to my attention that most of us want to do great things with our lives, but we don’t want to take the necessary steps. We are too comfortable where we are and satisfied with whatever life throws at us. We cannot even answer a simple question about who we are and what we want to do. Living our lives based on other people's opinions about us. We enjoy having it easy in life and we are fine with complementing other people's achievements and neglecting our own dreams, all because we have concluded that life is not fair and achievement relies upon how fortunate you are as a man or woman and whether you have support from your families or not. Well, your comfort-zone is not your destiny. I've been there, got the T-shirt and grew out of it. Here's my story.
In the year 2009 I had an argument with my father. It was about the past. He was never there for us, and I grew up as an angry child, a very angry child. It’s a pity, because even to this day, there are still no anger management classes in schools. One of the smartest students in primary school, and yet spent most of my time getting into fights and in trouble with my school teachers. My anger was my comfort zone and fighting gave me liberty from that comfort zone, at least that’s what I thought. When we had the argument; he ended up calling my mother names. I responded back and said, “If my mother was that, then what are you?” And he responded by disowning and kicking me out from his place, the place he often called our home. I stayed and never moved out. He started being all nice and acting like a good loving parent. But I was still angry at him, especially for what he said to me. At one stage he even asked me to hop into his car so we can go do some shopping together. I dreaded that, but he couldn’t tell because over the years he was never there for us, I developed a skill in bottling things inside while on the outside display a pretentious smile. All of this happened in September, 2009 and I can remember the day clearly. It was on a Saturday afternoon.
with doubt, a step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.” One day on a weekend, my father had to work, and he left on Saturday in the morning. He did not know that I had already found a room to rent and had my new keys. My little brother was the only one who knew my plan and didn’t tell anyone because I asked him not to tell a single soul about it. I left my father’s place, walked out with my bag full of clothes, and went into an empty room with a heart full of hope.When everyone at home thought the bad blood between me and my father was over. I did some thinking of my own. Overwhelmed by my fears and doubts, afraid of what would happen if I moved out. A little voice whispered in my ears and said “Mthokozisi, the man kicked you out of his place and said you are no longer his son, so why are you still around?” The voice continued to whisper, “Move, move, get out, go find your own place.” I started feeling as though I was the prodigal son from the bible. And that's when I remembered words I once read in a poem, they spoke to me and said, “If you are in a comfort zone, afraid to venture, remember that all winners were at one time filled
I had just been accepted into a learnership program and my allowance at that time was R1, 800.00. I had nothing. All I knew was that I had to spend that money very wisely, and so I did and was only left with R200.00. And I still had to buy my monthly train ticket, which was R99.00 back then and I was left with R101.00. I had no food. Life forced me out of my comfort zone.
I found myself on the other side of the bridge and had to take a leap of faith and make the jump. I remember walking into my empty room. Leaning against the door, wondering how am I going to make this work? I remember friends leaving me and going to bed on an empty stomach. There were days I felt like giving up. Sometimes I cried and wished I was never born. But I loved reading books, and came across a quote by Lou Piniella which read “You have to learn how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
All of a sudden I was glad my father kicked me out of his place and disowned me. First I had to learn to depend on myself and then I had to forgive, so I first forgave myself, realized why I was where I was and let go of what was holding me back, and I forgave him.
A comfort zone is defined as, a place or position in which a person feels secure, comfortable or in control
There are many reasons why people stay in comfort-zones, and they differ with every person, depending on where they are in their lives. In the following chapters we will explore some of those reasons. Then I will attempt to give you a few tips on how you can overcome them and venture out of your comfort zones, because your comfort zone could be the death of you. If you stay in it for too long, you will become bored and lazy. You will be a dead man walking and losing your ability to create meaning in your life. You can achieve anything you want and you can learn any skill you lack. Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to persue them.” You also need to develop the courage to step up and step out. Nothing is stopping you. Other people have done it before, and that should be proof enough to you that it is all possible. I hope you enjoy reading this book and be inspired to rise above your cicurmstances.
The book is valable from Amazon.com, Kobobook.com, Barnes And Noble, Apple iBooks and published by Bookrix. Also available as a PDF from Lulu.com