Day #15 of Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone: 

Challenge: Celebrate the small victories.
Last year was the hardest year of my life.  

– I got a severe concussion and had to get seven staples in my head

– I got meningitis and couldn’t leave my bed for nearly two weeks

– I lost my grandma who I’m closest to

– I stopped taking my sleeping, anxiety, AND ADHD medications and went through the associated withdraws 

– I moved cities THREE times trying to get settled in my career

– I switched campaigns twice 

– I had my trust betrayed too many times to count 

– I lost myself for a while.  
I’ve never been good at celebrating small victories. So here’s my attempt at celebrating a few of the MANY things that have gone right:

1. I MADE IT TO CALIFORNIA. I thought this would take me years of planning and saving but NOPE, I made it!

2. I got to speak on stage at a conference! It was a small speech, but it was something I’ve always wanted the opportunity to do.

3. My relationship is the healthiest it’s ever been. Nelson and I have come SO FAR from where we were two years ago and, while we’re still learning about each other everyday, I’m so glad we’ve stuck together through the hard times.

4. I got not one puppy, but TWO.

5. I got a baller office that I designed myself 

6. I still believe people are good. Despite how many times I’ve gotten hurt or screwed over or betrayed, I’m not scared to trust people. I’m grateful for this mindset. 

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Day #14 Of Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone:

Today I gave myself time to just master my craft in the sales field. A major role in my job involves teaching others how to do sales and developing the skills needed to excel in the field, so I spend a lot of time training others and rarely get to focus on myself and bringing in my own commissions. Today, I went to the field with the intention of challenging myself to see exactly what I’m capable of- and after five hours of being fully focused, I ended the day with 3 accounts closed and $420 in commissions. It felt weird at first feeling like an agent again, but by the end of the day my confidence was higher than it’s been in a while.

Day #13 Of Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone:

Disclaimer: SUPER NERVOUS for this one.

Writing was my first love. Ever since I was little, I’d write stories of princesses and fairy tales and adventures. In school, I was the kid that got EXCITED when we were assigned a 5-page essay. And then I’d write 10 pages just for fun. I imagine everyone whose ever had an English class with me wasn’t my biggest fan at at the time.
Poetry has always been a secret love. Some private, something personal. I had a blog I started back in late middle school/early high school that I kept up with for a few years.  
Now I’m deciding to share it. http://mckenzieleighc.tumblr.com

Day #12 Of Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone: Make-Up Free, Filter-Free selfie.

Anyone who grew up with me knows that, middle school through COLLEGE, I had pretty bad skin issues. I tried every skin care product on the market, from Acutain to Proactive- and nothing really helped. I spent those 10 years imagining that IF ONLY my skin was clearer or my hair softer or my stomach flatter, then essentially none of the problems I had then would exist or matter.

Ten years later, I’ve grown out of my acne. I’m finally happy with my hair, and my weight is healthy. And all of the problems I thought would go away? They’re still there. Girls STILL make mean comments (a random number texted my boyfriend last year and said they think I’m ugly?). I STILL have days where I don’t feel good about myself. There are STILL things I wish were better.
What I understand now is that, there will never be a certain point where my problems just go away. Not a point in my career or a dollar amount in my bank account or a number of friends on my friends list. However, I’ve learned to understand what problems are worth my energy, and which ones aren’t. If someone else has a problem with me, this is not my problem, it is only there’s. And when it comes to my problems, I try and keep the perspective that, no matter what, I’ll get through it. Whether it’s one day from now or one year or maybe even ten, if you do the right things, eventually your problems take care of themselves.

Day #9 Of Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone:

Today I took a Saturday off work when I had work too do. For those who don’t know, I’m definitely a type A personality. I enjoy my work, and I certainly don’t mind doing it, but I have a hard time doing much else if there’s still work that needs to be done. Despite that, today I took a day to enjoy the weather and the city I live in and the people around me- and, uncomfortable as it was, I’m extremely glad that I did it.

Day #8 Of Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone:

Confession Time! I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this topic to anyone other than my mom, but I was bullied A TON growing up. To a point where I went on anxiety and sleeping medication when I was 13, and by the time I was in high school things were so bad that I was drinking every weekend, switching schools, and going to sleep almost every single night feeling like I was completely alone. To a point where I had to see a therapist- multiple times a week. To a point where my depression meds stopped cutting it. I remember coming home after school the day of my 17th birthday and just bawling my eyes to my mom because I didn’t know how to make it go away. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. Why the people I, at one time, considered my friends, were so cruel. Naturally, my mom knew exactly what to do, so with the promise of ice cream cake at the end, she convinced me to go on an 15 mile bike ride with her, and it was the first time that I really learned how to stop caring. As I got older, closer to 18, I started gaining the ability to deal with the bullying I was surrounded with on my own, and I did it by throwing myself into something I truly cared about- which at the time, was building my first business (Sorry I Party). I figured the bullying would change after high school, or maybe after I actually accomplished something to prove everyone else wrong- but it didn’t. However, I did. I found a way to handle it. 

Bullying is easier to talk about now than it was five years ago. We have series like “13 reasons why” to get the conversation started, and there’s a lot more education programs at schools focused around the issue.
However, for me, admitting that I was a victim of bullying is still really hard. It sounds weak- Like a cry for attention. It’s beyond uncomfortable. But I know that I want to help people in the future who are experiencing these things, so I’m hoping they can learn from some of the lessons I’ve had to learn the hard way. So this is me- putting myself out there- and if anyone, ANYONE, ever needs someone to talk to or someone to listen, send me a message. I’m all ears.

As for my advice, here is goes,

Things I’ve learned from getting bullied:

1. The other person/people is coming from a place of pain. It’s a well-known fact that people who are bullies were once bullied themselves- so learning how to practice a sense of empathy for the people who treated me so poorly helped me gain some perspective.

2. It’s not personal. Even when it seems like it is. Even when everything is directed at you. Bullying is never about the person being bullied and what’s wrong with them, it’s about the bullies own ego and desire for power/control. The meaner the comments, the lower the esteem of the bully.

3. Fighting back isn’t worth it. This is really contradictory to a lot of advice given about bullying, but from my experience, it’s the truth. Responding to the comments or getting defensive is only going to fuel the bully to push even further. The best reaction is to not give them any attention at all- not in person, not on social media, not at all. Eventually they’ll get bored and move on.

4. The best way to get over being bullied is to surround yourself with people who genuinely care about you and focus you attention on something you care about. If someone is having a negative impact on you, just cut them out. Black and white. You don’t need them. And then do your thing. If you love to write, write. If you want to dance, dance. If you want to crotchet sweaters for kittens and sell them on eBay, then do that. But there’s nothing that discourages a bully than realizing that they are not having an impact.

5. LOVE YOURSELF! A lot of people think that bullying stops past middle school/high school. It doesn’t. There will be bullies in college. In frats/sororities/in your classes. There will be bullies in the workplace, and in the friends groups you make- even as an adult. Surprisingly enough, some people really don’t grow up. So instead of hating the bullies, just feel sorry for them. It would suck to be stuck in an adult body with a child’s mind.

Day #7 of Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone Challenge:

Challenge #1: wake up at 5:30- this one was easy because my puppies were up early, and it honestly didn’t feel that different since I normally give myself a lot of time in the morning anyway. I did, however, get to work earlier than usual which was nice. Overall, nothing life-changing to report.

Challenge #2- Go a whole day without asking permission for anything- THIS one I learned a lot from, starting with the fact that I ask for A LOT more permission than I realize! It was difficult for me to catch myself beforehand the majority of the life, but I found that, as a result, I was paying a lot more attention to my conversations and it made me feel much more “present”. I spent a lot less time on my phone or having a pointless conversations and can definitely say that, by paying closer attention and being more intentional with the things I said, the conversations I had seemed of significantly higher value.
I liked this challenge, so tomorrow I’m going to follow a similar theme of being intentional with my conversations by skipping the small talk and asking people uncomfortably deep questions in what would normally be a lighter conversation.

Ex. Other person- “my grandma died last year”

Normally I’d respond “I’m so sorry”

Tomorrow I will respond “how did you feel about your grandma?”

Day #5 Of Getting Outside Of My Comfort Zone:

Today’s challenge was a TON of fun: I made friends with total strangers! I met them through a sales call and we hit it off, so after hours I went to their house and we had drinks and they taught me how to play darts and we talked and hung out for about two hours. We have a camping trip planned for two weekends from now and they let me borrow a book- so random but super cool.