We have all heard the saying “step outside the box” or “step out of your comfort zone.”
Well, the Robeson County 4-H Program gives the youth of Robeson County an avenue to grow and excel in all facets of life, letting them “step outside the box.” Youth are given opportunities for personal growth and preparation for professional life. They learn skills that will last a lifetime.
When we do the same things, the same way, every day, we can become content. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but there are so many opportunities and successes in life that require stepping out of the box. The youth involved in the Robeson County 4-H Program have the opportunity to compete in public speaking, presentations, and so much more, which involves them stepping out of their comfort zone into a new experience.
There is usually some stress when expanding outside one’s comfort zone, which is known as healthy stress; it allows for growth. As humans, we are creatures of habit, maintaining a place where there is minimal stress and anxiety. We enjoy being in a place where we know what is going to happen and when. Stepping out of our comfort zones can begin with small changes that allow for personal growth. Joining the Robeson County 4-H Program offers youth many new experiences and opportunities taking them outside of their comfort zone.
As children, we step out of our comfort zones all the time by learning new things and not even realizing we are taking risk; that is how children learn. As adults, we are more fearful of taking risks and trying something new. Become a 4-H volunteer and step into a new and exciting challenge, helping the youth of Robeson County grow beyond their expectations.
The unknown can cause fear, which can be debilitating, causing us to stay within the parameters we know and feel safe in. Trying new avenues or ventures may not always be successful, but they are new experiences and lessons. The fear of failure can be crippling, again, not allowing us to reach our full potential. As long as we do our best, and learn, it is never a failure. Sometimes failure is a stepping stone in the journey of success.
Some of the most successful people failed prior to their success. Microsoft guru Bill Gates was not successful at his first attempt, but he didn’t give up. Now he is one of the richest men in the world. Walt Disney failed several times. He was even fired from a job, because they said he lacked imagination. These and other successful people, who failed several times before becoming successful, all had one thing in common — they stepped outside their comfort zones, faced their fears, pushed forward, and never gave up.
I challenge you to take the risk and do something you have wanted to do but have been afraid to do. Don’t let fear hold you back from allowing your children to experience growth on all levels. The Robeson County 4-H Program is open to all youth between the ages of 5 and 18, and volunteers over the age of 21 are welcome. Imagine how big your box could be if you begin stepping out and not allowing fear to conquer your success.
Wendy Maynor is an Extension 4-H Program Assistant for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center.