Moving out of one’s comfort zone

Today’s life lesson – move out of my comfort zone. Two days back I had to attend a meeting of Research Administrators of all the institutions from my city. The meeting discussed various issue faced by Research Administrators during award management , both pre and post award. This was my first time at such a meeting, having been a research administrator for such a short period.

I knew I would meet someone from my previous institution there but there was no way I could avoid going there too, unless I wanted to go on the wrong side of my current supervisor. You can imagine my dilemma- wanting to go and not wanting to meet former colleagues.

Finally, practicality won the day, and I went to the meeting. We were seated at different tables at the meeting venue and at my table we had people from my institution and our neighbouring institution. So all seats were occupied. As I arrived about 6 minutes after the start time, I did not get much time to look around or catch someone’s eye. The meeting went on smoothly and  by the time I got my bearings, I found some of my former colleagues at a neighbouring table and none of them was looking my way !

This was good- the entire meeting went through successfully and the fact that my former colleagues were my neighbours ceased bothering me soon after the meeting started. The meeting ended three hours later and most of the delegates left for other appointments; none of my other colleagues seemed to have noticed me or wanted to socialise- they left with the crowd that ran out soon as  the meeting finished.

I was one of the few left in the room after the meeting and my fears turned out to be unfounded.

If I had stayed behind at home that day, I would have risked having to explain things to my supervisor and also lost the change of attending a good meeting.

The fact that I decided to move out of my comfort zone, made all the difference. Unless I move out of my comfort zone, I wilt be able to meet new people, or avail of new opportunities. It made me realise that all life is not about me alone and there is so much more to life than me. Unless I make the choice to widen my horizon and embrace change, I will not be able to grow.