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  • Writer's pictureEric R

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Over the weekend my daughter tried out for her first competitive sports team and when I picked her up from tryouts, she was very upset. When I asked her why she was so upset, it wasn't because she didn't do well or because she didn't give it her all. No, the reason why she was so upset was because the other girls in her tryouts were so much better than her and she felt like she would never be at their level.

Building up to the tryouts, we talked with the coaches and a few things they really liked about my daughter were her work ethic, ability to learn new things quickly, and her support of her fellow teammates. The day of tryouts I was so nervous for her and when I asked how she was feeling, she said she was doing great and excited for the challenge. While we sat in the car after the tryouts, she showed me her hands, which were trembling. She said once the tryouts started, she became nervous and scared, asking herself if she regretted the decision to tryout for the team.

As the tears ran down my daughter's face after the tryouts, I couldn't help but feel her disappointment and at the same time I couldn't help but smile on the inside as I knew she was learning a very valuable lesson; a lesson that all of us should be reminded of often.

We have all heard that "change begins at the end of your comfort zone" and when it comes to sports it's usually very easy to see who is the best and who needs to improve. When it comes to our everyday lives, seeing the change and improvement needed to become the best isn't as apparent. It's easy to compare ourselves to the most successful people in our respective disciplines, however we never see the work and effort that goes into their success. Our culture celebrates an overnight success, even though there is no such thing.

As we talked, my daughter discovered that she is one of the youngest girls trying out for the team and some of the girls have been practicing their craft for many years, 5+ years in some cases. She has only been practicing for the past year and really hasn't been too serious until it was announced a competitive team was being created a few months ago. The more we talked, the more she realized that she is at the beginning of her journey and those traits her coaches called out as her strengths (work ethic, quick learner, good teammate) are the exact ones that will help her improve and compete on the team.

Fast forward a few days and my daughter has taken her disappointment and fear from the tryouts and has committed herself to getting a little bit better every day. Some of the things she couldn't do a few days ago at the tryouts (back walkover) she can now do on her own. And one of the biggest things she has going for her is an unwavering confidence in herself, which no matter what the obstacle, will always help her succeed in all she does today, tomorrow, and beyond.

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