Head of Primary
All the concepts about stepping out of your comfort zone mean nothing until you decide that your essential purpose, vision and goals are more important than your self-imposed limitations.
Last week the Primary School went to the Great Aussie Bush Camp to get to know each other and to build relationships that will foster connection and belonging which is such an integral part of the Loreto family.
On the second day, while watching the girls preparing to tackle the Giant Swing, where they are pulled to a very great height, attached to a rope and harness and then launched into the great open sky, I was amazed at how courageous they are. As I was marvelling at their bravery, a voice said, ‘Are you going to have a go, Mrs Dwyer?’ Now it should be known that I have a considerable fear of heights and I am not a person who craves the dizzying heights and adrenaline rush of roller coasters, but as I am always talking to the girls about stepping outside their comfort zone, I could hardly say no. So, with wobbly legs I harnessed up and climbed the ladder to be pulled to the greatest of heights. I mentioned to the guide that I was quite scared but had to go through with it to prove to the girls that I too could overcome my fears. He told me that he was also scared, but as I had just seen him doing somersaults whilst flying through the air, he was not to be believed! So, with the encouragement of the girls, I too was launched into the great open sky, and after the initial shock, I really enjoyed the experience (which has been documented through video!).
So, it got me thinking about all the opportunities we miss out on in life because we are happier to be comfortable than courageous when faced with life’s challenges.
Here are some of the benefits you may find when you step outside your comfort zone.
- You’ll be more adaptable to change: Harvard Professor Brené Brown shares that if you challenge yourself to do things you normally wouldn’t, you can prime your body to be able to handle changes better. You don’t really know what you’re made of unless you venture outside familiarity. Brown states that one of the worst things we can do is pretend fear and uncertainty don’t exist. By taking risks in a controlled fashion and challenging yourself to things you normally wouldn’t do, you can experience some of that uncertainty in a controlled, manageable environment. Learning to live outside your comfort zone when you choose to, can prepare you for life changes.
- Expanding yourself and your creativity: When you try something new, you may find a new hobby or talent with skills that you didn’t know that you had. New and challenging situations require you to find your own creativity in order to reach a solution.
- Learn about yourself: Taking risks will help you grow as an individual and will teach you about your interests, passions, talents, strengths and weaknesses. Every time you accomplish something you didn’t think you were capable of, you become more confident, knowledgeable and skilled.
- Taking risks, regardless of their outcome, are growth experiences. Even if you make mistakes or don’t get it right the first time, those become experiences you can use to tap into in the future. There really is no such thing as failure, if you get something out of the experience. “FAIL” re-framed means “First Attempt in Learning.”
In the Primary School, the girls have certainly embraced every opportunity that has come their way with enthusiasm and zest. By providing opportunities for growth, whether it be utilising the growth mindset, stretching girls into the zone of proximal development or encouraging them to try the flying fox, our vision is always to support and encourage the girls so that they can strive to reach their personal potential. If you are prepared to have courage and open yourself up to endless possibilities by stepping outside your comfort zone, you might be surprised by what you can achieve.
Mrs Maryanne Dwyer
Head of Primary