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by Ashley Corbaley

For as long as I can remember Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous saying: “Do one thing every day that scares you” has been my personal motto. I had the quote pinned to my corkboard in my bedroom growing up. I wrote it in school binders and notebooks. It was the first thing I stuck to the wall of my college dorm and it now hangs up proudly in my house.

Perhaps this quote spoke to me so deeply because I often fall prey to staying inside my comfort zone. Staying in our comfort zone is so wonderfully enticing that it doesn’t make much sense to step out of it. Why overcome shyness by trying to make a new friend? Why risk a moment of awkwardness by trying something new? Why do something difficult when you can be at ease?

The answer to all of these questions is: growth.

 “If we’re growing, we are always going to be out of our comfort zone.”                                                             – John Maxwell

Simply put, our comfort zone consists of things that make us feel contented. These are the things that give us little to no anxiety. Our comfort zone is full of things that we are used to or the things that we can control. Outside of our comfort zone are the things that are new, challenging or scary to us. The comfort zone can be illustrated as a circle. A larger circle outside of that circle can be classified as the learning zone. The more we step outside of the smaller circle and into the larger circle, the bigger our comfort zone becomes.

Katy Caprino shares six benefits of stepping out of our comfort zone:

  1. You will let perfection go
  2. You will inspire others
  3. You will have no regrets at the end
  4. You will define yourself authentically
  5. You will gain control
  6. Your life experience will be fuller

The advice of “Do one thing every day that scares you,” does not mean that you have to do one crazy, terrifying thing every day that causes you a high level of anxiety. We do not need to become adrenaline junkies to achieve our goals. Sometimes the things that scare us could seem small to us but significant to others.

One thing that we could do is to stand up for our family values we know to be true. Standing up for our beliefs is not always easy. Oftentimes, it requires us to step out of our comfort zones and into the intimidating unknown. All of us have unique talents and capabilities that if we use for the benefit of families, can really make a difference for good. We can teach, inspire, create, vote, defend, and fight for the family. As we do strive to step out of our comfort zones a little everyday, we will learn and grow in ways we never thought were possible. One thing that keeps people from discussing issues such as defending the unborn and religious liberty is a lack not knowing what to say or how to say it. If this is a challenge for your, I encourage you to take advantage of United Families’ Guides to Family Issues. These guides cover a range of issues from abortion to sexual orientation. They are designed “to be the most comprehensive resource available providing peer-reviewed scientific research, social science data, expert commentary and sound, logical arguments to support” our belief that the family is the foundational unit of society, that marriage is worth defending, that life is worth protecting, that children have a right to be raised by both biological parents, and that religious liberty is at the core of all our human and civic rights.

So let us make the effort to step out of our comfort zone and challenge ourselves to take a stand for the family. No matter how scary our goals may be to us, don’t be afraid of failure. As the poet Erin Hanson says: “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”

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