The whole month my friends have been continuously asking me to come ice skate with them. I had denied them several times, because I felt very uneasy going on a low friction surface on metal skates and was almost sure I would fall flat on my face. Public skate bothered me even more because I knew there would be several people there watching me, and potentially getting in the way of my skating. When the group decided to each get out of our comfort zones, I realized I should go with my friends this weekend, even though I felt very uncomfortable.
Upon putting my skates on, I wasn’t sure what I was doing, and it took me a couple minutes to finally step out onto the ice. I held on to the railing for a long time, and my friend told me that was no way to learn something new, and that I should go in head first without being scared of failure. I felt ridiculous for caring so much, and let go and started skating around. I came to realize it was extremely similar to roller skating, and started enjoying it. When small children or fast skaters came by me, I was still a bit uneasy and would stop or slow down, but I realized it wasn’t as bad as I made it.
Having everyone support me and show me tricks to go faster or make turns was very encouraging. I realized there were actually very many beginners during public skate that were going even slower than me. I didn’t feel so alone and realized I shouldn’t have chickened out for so long. My main fears were being out of control, that I would fail, or be embarrassed. Sometimes these things would pop up a bit, but in the end the experience gave me motivation to try new things and to wipe away the fear. It’s hard to grow and learn without taking risks, so I was proud I did it.
To many it may have seemed like a small situation, but for me personally it was a bold step. Taking small bold steps may lead me to take larger more uncomfortable steps to get ahead. I realized that very few of the decisions or actions that you take are life or death. If you look at challenges through that lens it becomes much easier to step out of your comfort zone. As a concluding thought, I feel that if people don’t challenge themselves, chances are they will be drifting. If you want to be known as a leader, you need to be the first one to step outside of the box.