Patience and Comfort Zones

Recently it has been brought to my attention that I need to “better work on getting out of my comfort zone”.

As an introverted person I have heard this lovely line more times than I care to count because there may not be an actual number for it.

However, this whole month has been an exercise in getting out of my comfort zone. For example, in all of my other study abroad that I’ve done I went with professors and students that I knew and already had a relationship with. For this trip I went in blind as a bat, and it was only a week or two in that all of us started to find common ground with each other and friendships were started.

I consider myself lucky to have found this group of fellow women to travel with on such a fun trip, because we all seem to understand each other and are all on each other’s team.

However, my unwillingness to do some of the things that are expected of us on this trip are simply because I don’t do a lot of these things in my own life.

Although, since I have been here, I have:

-lived with three strangers in a very small space

-traveled to another country on my own

  • stood in the photographer’s pit at a heavy metal show, and I’m not even a fan of heavy metal music
  • I have invaded other people’s space to get the perfect photo, and I apologized the entire time too because I hated to do it as much as they hated me doing it.

So, yes, I have gotten myself out of my comfort zone this month. Sure, it may not have been as much as some people would like, but I’m a late bloomer and I’ll get my things done when they are expected. I just need to take my time to get adjusted and then I will throw myself head first into things. Until then, patience is a virtue.

Published by

Steven Listopad

Steven Listopad, Henderson State University faculty and NDSU PhD candidate, has been an assistant professor of JMC and student media director at two North Dakota universities. He’s received honors from the Hefner Foundation, AEJMC, JEA, and SCJ for his work with New Voices USA and currently coordinates the New Voices USA website and the national campaign in conjunction with SPLC. His converged student media center at UJ was a finalist in North Dakota’s annual professional entrepreneurial competition, InnovateND, and he was a Scripps Fellow for Entrepreneurial Journalism. He has taught journalism in China, France, Italy, and Norway. He is currently the ieiMedia program director for OsloRocks, a music and culture international journalism experience. Listopad has been a member of CMA since 2005 and has served on the CMA and ACP Advisory Councils. He was chair of the CMA Adviser Awards Committee from 2013 to 2015. Listopad was honored with CMA’s Distinguished Multimedia Adviser Award in 2010 and has received two CMA Presidential Citations.