Leaving your comfort zone is quite a bold move. The thought of taking a risk and facing the unknown can be frightening. But if you want to reap the biggest rewards that life can give you, then it's all about taking a leap of faith and seeing where your choices lead you.
And for high school graduate Ysabella Santiago, being offered a 4-year scholarship to study in one of the best private schools in Manila was definitely the biggest plot twist that she could ever ask for. Graduating as a Salutatorian in Miriam College didn't come easy—it took a lot of courage and sacrifice. If she didn't leave her comfort zone, she would still be this timid girl in the province, daydreaming about how her life would be like if she pursued her goal to study in one of Manila’s prestigious schools. With all of the things she achieved once she came out of her shell, Ysabella taught us a few lessons on the perks of leaving your comfort zone.
1. It will help you value and cherish all of your experiences.
Withholding your full potential hinders you from experiencing everything life has to offer and achieving a brighter future but once you leave your comfort zone, you’ll see how your perspective in life change in ways you could never have imagined. "You get to meet people who will make an impact in your journey, and they will make you realize how beautiful life is. You may not see it right now because of a series of mishaps and miscalculations, but trust me when I say that there is merit in failure—just as long as you persist and remain hopeful." Ysabella shares.
2. If you don't do it now, you're just wasting time.
Dreaming big is a must. But if you don’t act on it, then what’s the point? Ysabella claims, "In my mind, if I didn’t challenge myself of stepping out of my comfort zone for something that I have always dreamt about, then I would have wasted so much time in imagining an awfully too abstract life that I could never attain." Be it leaving your home to chase after your passion or doing the thing you fear the most, just take a deep breath and dive right in before it’s too late.
3. It will boost your confidence.
There will be times when it's going to be hard to feel accomplished and appreciated especially if you're away from the physical presence of your family. And in Ysabella's experience she realized, "Stepping out of my comfort zone was definitely the beginning of my growth and development as a person. I’ve gained plausible attributes that I didn’t have in the beginning. Taking risks gave me some sort of confidence and trust in myself and in my capabilities. Even if most of the time the risks that I take may not lead to the best results or to the most opportune events, I still have faith and hope in myself, because I know that as long as I persist, I will succeed. " Go, gurl!
4. You will learn to stand on your own.
Change never feels smooth and easy, but, in time, Ysabella learned how to ride with it. “Back then, I would have a hot plate of home-cooked breakfast to wake me up then be dropped to school by my parents. Now, I find myself heating up last night’s leftovers for breakfast then walking towards school. I’ve never really realized the importance and the warmth of home, until I left." But through these endless changes, Ysabella realized that everything worthwhile is deserving of sacrifice. "Leaving home was probably not the best decision a 13-year old can make, but pushing my boundaries and challenging myself in order to be a step closer to the future that I have always wanted, was the best choice that I could have ever made." Ysabella shares.
5. You will start looking at failure as a sign that you're trying.
Feeling like you’re not enough after giving your utmost effort can be dreadfully frustrating. But Ysabella has learned how to look at her failure in a different way. "When nothing in my life was going right, and when it seemed like living out my dream meant living out a nightmare, there’s a small part of me that still had hope. I got past the dark beginning of my journey because of hope and persistence. If I didn’t have any faith, then I would never have pushed myself to keep on trying. I guess you could say that it took me a series of failures, in order to achieve a single victory."
6. You'll become the best version of yourself.
Living inside your safe bubble limits your set of skills which would only hinder you to become your best self. Ysabella shares, "I had a totally different and new perspective about my reality and it made me appreciate all of the things—both the good and the bad—that I have experienced throughout my journey. I believe that I’m so much closer to being the person that I have always dreamt of becoming. "
It may seem like bursting your way out of your own bubble is overwhelming, but remember that there is a reason why you were given the opportunity to do so. Whether it's a small change or not, in the end, you'll realize it was the best decision you ever made.
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Photos courtesy of Miriam College/Ysabella Santiago