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Step out of your comfort zone

Growth is possible if you push yourself

Here’s a little story.

Chintu was playing in his garden when he noticed, in a small dark patch of shrubs, a butterfly struggling to get out of his cocoon. The butterfly was having a difficult time; it was struggling, it was fighting, it was exerting all its energy to get out of the cocoon but it couldn’t get out. Chintu, a sensitive lad, decided he would help the butterfly get out. He dashed to the kitchen and, panting, he told his mum, `Scissors, give me a pair of scissors, quick..’ She headed towards the drawer, but before she could reach it, Chintu had already opened it, grabbed the scissors and dashed out into the garden.

The butterfly was still struggling to get out. `Hold on, buddy’, Chintu whispered, `I’ll get you out….’ He started to cut the cocoon. `Wait, don’t do that,’ he heard his mum shout out to him. She had sensed what Chintu was up to and had followed him. But it was too late; Chintu had cut the cocoon and the butterfly fell to the ground.

`Oh, you shouldn’t have, son, now it will never be able to fly,’ she said to him. Chintu was aghast; he was quite sure he had done a good thing. When caterpillars become butterflies, they build a cocoon, she told him. `The struggle to get out of the cocoon makes their wings stronger and that is how they are able to fly. Your intentions were good, son,’ she said, `but struggle is not always a bad thing, you should have let it struggle.’ Chintu felt sorry for the butterfly as it lay on the ground, but now there was little he could do for it.

Struggle, challenges are not always a bad thing. They make you stronger, they make it possible for you to fly.

I used to be scared of heights. And that is why I decided to climb the Kalsubai peak. It’s the highest peak in the Sahyadris, and I wanted to conquer my fears. There was only one way to prepare for this. My coach advised me to climb up the stairs everyday instead of taking the elevator. I regretted asking him; I live on the seventh floor. When I reached home that day, I looked up at my apartment from the compound.  Just looking at my windows, which seemed very tiny from the ground floor, made me feel tired; I wished I had bought something on the first floor. But then I reminded myself that it was lower, much lower than the Kalsubai peak. I started my trek up the stairs. At the third floor, the voice inside me was shouting, `OK, enough, do the rest tomorrow, we are not as young as we used to be’, and there was another voice insisting, `No, don’t be a sissy, don’t give up.’ That day I decided to be a sissy. I would do this bit by bit, I would do this right, I would take baby steps, but I would do it.

On the next day, I went up to the fourth floor. In a week or so, I was climbing up all the way, in a month it became quite effortless. Then I started doing it more than once a day. My coach patted me on my back and reminded me that Kalsubai is only about 7000 floors high. I’ll do it, I said. I had made up my mind. I like to push myself out of my comfort zone. I like to swim in the deep. The oysters and pearls lie at the bottom of the ocean, and those who swim in shallow waters will never see the stunning beauty, the beautiful colours, the surprises  that lie at the bottom. Those who don’t push themselves will never discover the beauty and the strength that lies outside them and inside them.

Pushing myself has helped me to discover my true potential, my inner strength, and when I climb one inner peak I discover there’s another one lying ahead. But I view this other peak with greater confidence; I could do the first one, I did the second one, now I can do the third and the fourth and I can do more…..The confidence you feel within is like a high, and it spreads out to all other areas of your life….It disciplines you and this discipline gives a rhythm and an order to your life, it makes you feel in charge of your life, it makes you more productive…..You find yourself thinking, `I didn’t know I could do this.’ It’s like stumbling upon a treasure chest which was always right under your nose.

This feeling of finding a treasure is a good feeling. And you want to share it with others, and you start giving; you start giving your positivity, your energy, your goodness. You want to share with others because you are full of this positive energy and you cant keep it inside you, it’s bursting to come out. And then some more magic happens. When you start giving, the universe starts giving back to you and then you have more and then you give more and then you get more and then you have more and then you give more and then you get more…..The cycle has begun….

So get out of your comfort zone and do it….







About the Author

Mala Mansukhani

Mala spearheads the Grow Younger movement to help women over the age of 50 embrace a holistic lifestyle, and develop their minds and bodies. Mala is a force of nature—a motivational speaker, fitness icon, fashionista and philanthropist, whose mission is to help people Grow Younger.

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