I mentioned in my last Friday Favorites post (here) that I was starting a new job this week. Now obviously, it’s too soon to actually talk about my new job – I’m still settling in – but this whole thing has made me introspective and nostalgic, in a way, so I wanted to talk about it.

My previous job was my first “real” job ever – my first full-time job after graduating college. That means that I spent almost 10 years in that position! Now, of course, the job responsibilities themselves had shifted and changed and grown over those years, but the people that I was working with stayed largely the same. While my work itself could definitely be challenging, I was mostly comfortable on the whole. Comfortable with my job, with the people I worked with, with what the job would be.

Comfortable can be good, but it’s also easy to get stuck, and to be too comfortable. A new job is the absolute opposite. There’s absolutely no comfort at all – everything is new, and unknown. And while it’s exciting… it’s also kind of terrifying. I’ve only ever worked with one supervisor – I have to learn how a new department works, new responsibilities of a position…. new everything! Everything is so unknown, it’s such a giant question mark looming over my head all the time, and it can feel like a lot.

For me, changes, especially big ones like a new job, are always full of excitement but always tinged with a little bit of fear. It can be so hard to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, to be okay living in that fear and that questioning of the unknown for a while until you find your footing again. But I also know that the super cliche statement about the best things lying outside of your comfort zone is one thousand percent true. Obviously, there’s something appealing about the comfort zone (hence it being called comfortable…), but I don’t want my whole life to just be comfortable. I want to be able to change and grow, and to do that I have to push myself.

A lot of the things that I’ve done in the last few years have been pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. And I know that I’ve grown so much during that time – I’m doing things now that I never really even imagined I’d be doing. So now, when I get nervous about a change, as I inevitably do, I remind myself about all the good things that have come from me doing things that I was a little bit afraid of.

I remember reading once that fear and excitement elicit the same biological response – it’s the feelings that you associate with that response that makes you feel one vs. the other. You can actually shift your own emotions by focusing on the positives rather than the negatives, and letting the excitement frow over the fear. Isn’t that cool??

This time, instead of the fear, I want to choose excitement. So instead of saying that I’m nervous about my new job, I’m going to be excited about the new opportunities that it will bring!

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