District 4 Director James Hart - May

Greetings Fellow Jaycees!

The weather is getting better, the trees are budding, and that means Conference in Mackinaw is right around the corner. I look forward to seeing all of you and hearing of all the wonderful things you have been doing to think bigger and make impact in yourselves, your communities, and your chapters.

Last month we talked about thinking bigger. This month, we will discuss stepping outside of your comfort zones in order to make that big, and necessary step forward. 

The comfort zone, as defined by Lifehacker, is a “behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk” — the operative words here being stress and risk. In our comfort zone, there is a sense of familiarity, security and certainty. When we step outside of our comfort zone, we’re taking a risk, and opening ourselves up to the possibility of stress and anxiety; we’re not quite sure what will happen and how we’ll react.

We, as basic creatures are pre wired to stay in our comfort zones. If we have food, shelter, and close proximity to it all, we have no other physical need to venture out. But, we are higher thinking human beings and there is another need that doesn’t seem to fit well with all other species and that is desire.  We desire to accomplish goals, seek new heights, excel in our personal pursuits, and beyond. The first step we have to take, is the one out of “our zone”. While you are in your comfort zone, no new ground can be covered. If you look at your chapters signature projects and things they do every year, they always had their “first” time. Take comfort in knowing that those people had a lot of anxiety and had to step out of their comfort zones, but they did it, and so can you. 

When you joined this organization, you stuck your foot out of your comfort zone to test the waters. I invite you to bravely take a full step out of your comfort zone and see what you have been missing and how much you can accomplish. The journey of a thousand miles always begins with the toughest part, and that is the first step. You can accomplish anything in this organization you seek, you just need to take that step and open yourself to new experiences and challenges. So, step up and take on that chair position or compete in the Professional skills competition. Speak at a local council meeting or submit that new project idea. I know you can do it, you are a Jaycee after all. 

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”  - Jack Canfield