Comfort Zone

Before I knew it, nicely settled into my comfort zone, 4.5 years of my first job whizzed past me. People who saw my life from a distance, used to tell me that they were jealous of me. Working as a marketing manager for one of the world’s best brands, air travel for at least 3 days a week, 5 star hotel accommodation, high profile events, great salary, perks etc, etc.

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While people saw the glamour, they failed to see all the hard work. When I left this job, I had accrued over 3 months’ of unused leave because I had no time to take it. And this wasn’t all – I was a woman, (I STILL AM!) who was trying to break the glass ceiling in an out-an-out male dominated company and industry. I had to work twice as hard as my male counterparts. Honestly, I was fine with the struggle, it was all worth it. The only reason I had to leave this job and my comfort zone, was because I got married & my husband lived in London.

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I still remember my first day here. I had woken up at 4.30 pm after sleeping for around 15 hours due to the jet lag. I looked outside the window and it was pitch dark. That’s when it hit me – I was in a different country, different time zone, different situation, and living with another person. My life was never going to be the same again. Although I was excited, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy dealing with all the changes around me. As time passed by, I started to settle down in a new job, new responsibilities, new lifestyle, new culture, new customs. I started learning the law of the land. And, after a great deal of unlearning, I’m finally there. Well, sort of. I do have my moments!

Now that I’m about to complete equal number of professional years in this country, as in India, I look back at the evolution I went through. I look back at the person I was and am amazed to see the person I’ve become! Through all the hard work, the adjustments, fun times, new experiences and endless memories, I’ve identified a key change in me. Three to be precise.

  1. I found my lost inner voice!

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They say, one shouldn’t lose their inner voice, because it’s our true guardian angel. While working hard to ensure my voice was heard and to establish my identity in the male dominated corporate world and Indian society, I had started to lose my inner voice. By the end of that journey, there was so much noise around me, that not only had I lost my voice, I had also started to question the very concept of one. Living outside your comfort zone, is the perfect scene for de-cluttering your thoughts & searching your inner voice. After all these years, I can now ensure I never bury my inner voice, irrespective of the challenge.

  1. I started enjoying the journey of self-discovery!

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Thanks to my parents, I hardly faced any economic hardships. And after I started working, I never had to think twice before spending money. I spent at least INR 10k just on shoes every month and I still wasn’t content! My husband and I started our married life with little financial stability. Let’s just say that every penny we spent was accounted for & I questioned myself every time I even bought groceries. But surprisingly it didn’t bother me. During this time, I realized that I did not need much to be happy and content and I actually appreciated and enjoyed the smaller things in life. And the initial struggling period also showed me how much resilience I had!

I started enjoying every moment of self-introspection, when I could look deep inside myself and look for the reason behind why I did what I did. Also, I discovered innovative ways of working on my weaknesses. I realized the value of self-worth and self-appreciation, while staying humble! I discovered how motivating & important it is to acknowledge & celebrate my small wins as these would provide the strength to deal with the setbacks I faced during my journey. While I was in India, I was so much caught up in trying to shatter the glass ceiling in the male dominated corporate world, I never had the time to notice, leave alone celebrate my small wins.

With a pleasant surprise, I also discovered that I was a super-host. I actually love having people over all the time. With the sheer number I’ve hosted, it’s evident that I love throwing parties for loved ones!

  1. I became aware of how beautiful I am on the inside

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Okay, I agree this may also be down to the fact that I’m getting mature with age! With all the self-introspection, I had more time to look after myself – mentally, emotionally & physically. When I was in India, I had all the resources, to look after myself, simply didn’t have the time. I realized the more I looked after myself, the more I was able to perform my best in all walks of life.

This post isn’t a comparison of life in India versus abroad. I’m sharing how living outside my comfort zone, actually made me a better person. If you’re anyone who’s living a similar lifestyle like I did, then I would urge you to live outside your comfort zone at least for some time. It doesn’t have to be a different country, just has to be outside your comfort zone. Trust me you won’t regret it! Do share your experience if you too have witnessed life altering changes after stepping outside your comfort zone.

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About The Author

Chinmaya Khole

comfort zoneBorn marketer, story telling advocate, 3 am pillow talk philosopher, cars and F1 fanatic, runner, princess of all things shoes and every lil kid’s favorite aunt.

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