By Charmaine Emanuel Ralph
ACB, ALB, V.P. Transport Canada Toastmasters Club
I want you to imagine yourself as a baby chick inside an eggshell. You have been comfortable and warm for a long time. Your Mom has given you all the nutrients you need to grow. You see no need to leave your shell, because you have all you need to survive. Your home protects you from the outside world. However, you hear an inner voice telling you it is time to leave your abode. The voice says there is something new you have to discover; it is now time for you to leave the eggshell and enter the world. It prompts you to start pecking at the shell so you can leave your home.
If you were that chick, would you stay or would you go? Your answer will determine your destiny because the choices you make today build your future for tomorrow. You are the architect of your life!
I asked you to consider whether you would leave your eggshell to progress in the world. Is your inner voice telling you that there is a big world outside of your comfort zone and to leave it? Is it telling you of a dream that you have to realize? Is there a void in your life? If so, your inner voice is telling you there is something specific you must do to fill the emptiness you feel. If you have a dream then pursue it because this pursuit typically leads you to achieve your heart’s desire, filling the void in your life completely. Have you decided yet to go or to stay?
Leaving your comfort zone to pursue your dream will lead to your personal growth. Rachel Zane, a character in the television show Suits who works as a paralegal in a Manhattan law firm, decided to become a lawyer. She believed that her career as a paralegal was limiting and she wanted to use more of her mind. She decided to move from one position in life to another by moving from paralegal to lawyer and sat the law school entrance exam. A paralegal who becomes a lawyer grows in status with more competencies and the ability to provide more legal services for her clients. Like Rachel, by fulfilling a dream, you too can grow.
Your dream is custom made for you and exists to cause your personal growth. Therefore, if you can imagine it, and believe it, you can achieve it. Do you imagine yourself as a concert pianist? Do you dream of writing books? Have you invented a product that the world needs now? You can decide to leave your comfort zone and give yourself an opportunity for personal and professional growth.
Personal growth means coming out of your shell to pursue your dreams and achieve them. This process requires you to put yourself out in the world, stretch your wings, and to try something you’re inexperienced in doing. This is scary but with daily practicing you will eventually become better and better! If your dream is to be a concert pianist then your consistent efforts and practice will soon help you realise your dream of playing in concert halls with the best orchestras.
The quiet inner voice telling you to change your life is the spark that lights a flame causing a revolution in your life. Revolution is radical change. The only way to become who you are meant to be, is to light that flame, cause a revolution and make that dream come true. By doing things that make you uncomfortable, such as speaking before a group, taking a leadership role or entering a contest, you will grow personally and professionally. As you acquire and use your new skills, you will show growth. The more you use these skills, the stronger you’ll grow. That is how personal growth happens.