I want to share a post with you about my comfortzone. Actually even better, about stepping out of my comfort zone.
I made the decision to move to another country in 2015. Making this choice also meant, stepping completely out of my comfortzone. I didn’t even realise how much, until I started living in this new home called Australia.
Differences causing me to get out of my comfortzone
When you move to a different country – or in my situation a different continent – everything is different
Language, weather, trends, habits, attitude, everything.
I mean, I knew English, but the Australian slang is whole other world. I had trouble understanding people, making a conversation and therefore getting to know them.
In the beginning you might seem a bit rude, but the fact is, I just don’t understand what people are telling me.
The language is the biggest thing, since this is our way of communication. I tried very hard, but it takes a lot of energy every single moment of the day.
Does it get better? Definitely.
The key is to ask people. If they use a words you don’t recognise, ask them what this word means. This way you keep improving your language skills.
To me even this means stepping out of my comfortzone. I am awkward, insecure and not the best talker and when I don’t understand something, I get even worse.
In the beginning I also thought it was me, where as it is a mixture of things. It is my second language and others nature, so you communicate on a whole different level.
When people realise you are not Australia, which is 99% of the time after my first words, they slow down a bit and take the time for me to answer.
It is all about giving and taking, but it is out of my comfort zone.
Weather and trends
These 2 might seem odd, but the weather here in Australia is amazing. It is warm most of the time, which means that the biggest part of the year you are in summer clothes/bikinis. This combined with trends brings me to my next ‘out-of-my-comfortzone’- moment. I am not comfortable in my bikini, so that was a big thing to get over.
Besides the bikini, there is the rest of a girls wardrobe and mine couldn’t have been more different. It is strange and hard to explain what the exact difference is, but it is absolutely not the same.
One of the ways of explaining it the occasions. I have more ‘special events’ here than back home, which require ‘special clothes’. I have had musical openings, a wedding, a hens-party and all those events needed ‘nicer clothes’ than my suitcase hold.
And then there is the exact opposite, which is camping and being outdoors, which requires clothes that aren’t worth anything, can get dirty and most of all: are comfortable.
Conclusion: I basically had to get myself a new wardrobe. Which is nice, it is a refreshing thing to do when you are already in the process of starting over, but also a very ‘out-of-your-comfortzone’-experience, since you are buying stuff you wouldn’t even have looked at before.
Habits and attitude
Maximum ‘get-out-of-your-comfort-zone’-moments are the result of different habits and attitude. The tiniest things as the way people say hi.
In The Netherlands we say something in the line of ‘Good Day’/’Hello’, depending who it is we are greeting.
Australians however greet each other by saying ‘Hi, how are you going?’, which sounds like ‘G’day mate, ow ya goin?’.
Once I had figured out what people actually said to me (it took a few tries), I started greeting them back, saying things like ‘Good, how are you?’.
Guess what, some people would just walk past and not reply. I starting thinking to myself if I understood them incorrectly, if maybe I wasn’t making sense, until someone explained. It is a way of greeting, people don’t necessarily start a conversation with this. If you’re in a shop or run into someone, they can say ‘G’day mate, ow ya goin?’ as if they say ‘Hello’.
So I though people were a bit rude by not replying to me after I asked them back how they were, where this is actually a difference in habits/manners.
This is just one of the things, but I mean, if saying ‘Hello’ is different, you can imagine the list. It is a difficult process and you find yourself in situations where people think you are being rude (where actually I just don’t know what they are saying) or where you think they are rude (where it is just their way of doing stuff).
Taking yourself out of your comfort zone isn’t so bad. Besides a few awkward situations and misunderstandings, it is a big space to learn in. Everything that is in your comfortzone is stuff that you know, that is why you are comfortable with it. But if you want to grow, do more and live more, you have to go to the unknown. Even if that is just taking a different route to work or going to a different restaurant. Trying new things makes you grow, because you have to find skills that you never used before or you weren’t even aware that you had them.
Moving to Australia was my ultimate dream
But it sure did turn my world upside down and inside and out
In the beginning it was a bit confusing
The things you do, habits you have
Things they do and habits they have
And sometimes that can be overwhelming
Or it feels as if they think you are a bit weird
But I had to keep in mind that it was just as new to them
As it was new to me
I really had to get through this fase of trying to find the new me
I love to adjust and I love to get to know the Australian way of life
But I also was trying to stay true to myself and my Dutch habits
Even little things as eating sandwich with chocolate sprinkles on top
Or our very direct way of communication
I am and always will be a Dutch,
living in Australia
I hope this story help you to step out of your own comfort zone and chase your dreams.
Lots of love,