Reader’s col­umn: Putting growth be­fore com­fort

HAV­ING RE­CENTLY OB­TAINED HER BCOM AC­COUNT­ING DE­GREE, SPHUME DLAMINI’S IN A SEA­SON OF LIFE THAT RE­QUIRES HER TO HAVE COURAGE AND BE AGILE IN DEAL­ING WITH CHANGE

Destiny - - Contents -

Ayear ago, I turned 22 and some­thing in me shifted. I re­mem­ber the morn­ing clearly. I was in Cape Town, in a ho­tel that cost me an arm and a leg, but of­fered the best view. I woke up feel­ing a lit­tle sad about this par­tic­u­lar birth­day. I was con­fused and frus­trated with my life. I sat up in bed, pulled out my jour­nal and started writ­ing a love let­ter to God. I do this an­nu­ally as a mea­sure of what I’ve achieved dur­ing the year He’s given me. I wrote my list and said my prayers. I then de­cided to re-read my list from the year be­fore – and that was when it hit me. I re­alised that in the pre­vi­ous two years, I hadn’t done any­thing new. I hadn’t pushed my­self. I hadn’t tried do­ing any­thing out of my com­fort zone. I’d been so com­fort­able with my life at the age of 20 that I’d sim­ply re­peated the same year.

I had to ad­mit that my yes­ter­day looked like my to­day and my to­day looked like my to­mor­row.

I then wrote a list of all my fears, from geckos to heights and closed spa­ces. From the small and petty to the life-threat­en­ing, I wrote down any­thing that made me feel un­com­fort­able – and I named the next 12 months “the year of de­fy­ing com­fort”.

I know there are things we can’t change about our sit­u­a­tions and must learn to ac­cept, but I refuse to live the same year re­peat­edly and call that my life. I made a de­ci­sion that ev­ery year from then on, I’d be a bet­ter ver­sion of my­self. I’d take more risks, step out of my com­fort zone and em­brace my fears. I in­ten­tion­ally started do­ing things I was afraid of, de­lib­er­ately mak­ing my­self un­com­fort­able.

It hasn’t been easy and there are many days when I’m tempted to break that prom­ise to my­self and go back to my av­er­age and com­fort­able life – but I get so much joy out of tick­ing chal­leng­ing things off my list that I know I’ll never stop.

My 23rd birth­day is ap­proach­ing and I know that who I was last year this time isn’t the same per­son I am to­day. De­fy­ing com­fort hasn’t been easy. Ex­pos­ing my­self to my fears has given me sleep­less nights. I’ve cried and I’ve failed – but I’ve also had some great suc­cesses. I’ve had days when I’ve been proud of my­self, and other days when I’ve wanted to creep into a hole and stay there for­ever – but not once have I been dis­ap­pointed in my­self for not try­ing.

I’ve done things I thought I couldn’t do – and I’ve done them well.

I know there are things we can’t change about our sit­u­a­tions, but I refuse to live the same year re­peat­edly and call that my life.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.