I believe getting out of ones comfort zone is the most important thing people can do for themselves. Before I tell you why it is important to get out of your comfort zone, let me tell you my story.
I am a self-taught artist, who fell in love with colors since the age of 3. At that time my family was not in a position to support my obsession with painting but nevertheless they supported me in every way they could.
By the age of 8, I decided that my art shall no longer be a burden on my family, and began working towards getting my own supplies. By the age of 10 I managed to get a scholarship from the Government of India, which covered all my art expenses for the next ten years.
The important thing to remember is that, even though it took 2 years to achieve my goal, I continued to persevere. I was 10 years old, I could have just stopped there and it would have been a great enough achievement. I didn’t want to sink into a rut, so I kept pushing forward; and by then I started entering competitions.
I was terrified at the idea of sharing my work with hundreds and thousands of people, but I figured it would be worth it, if it meant I get to spend more time cultivating my passion. I ended up winning several of the competitions I had entered and even won 2 medals from the then president of India.
After finishing my education, I was offered a job as an illustrator in a boutique agency in Dubai. I had decided I wanted to move away from India for quite some time, so when this opportunity arose, I grabbed it with both hands.
And I am glad I did, because this is where I met my husband, and had the opportunity to start a new life. Sometimes I think back to that 8-year-old girl in Koileri, a small village in Kerala, had she not persevered and pushed herself out of her comfort zone, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I still have a long way to go, but I always look to my 8-year-old self as an example that if we push ourselves and truly persevere we can will ourselves into getting what we want. I want to leave you by saying never give up on your dreams and remember only when you step out of your comfort zone do you really get close to what you want. I know that’s a cliché, but clichés are there for a reason.
For more information on the artist visit athirananda.com