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Seeking Opportunities Beyond Your Comfort Zone

By: Sydney Lovegrove

Whether you have a growth or fixed mindset can go hand-in-hand in determining whether you will be more flexible or stubborn throughout your life. Being stubborn isn’t necessarily a negative thing - with all of the opportunities we face in life and with limited time, we have to decide what specific activities we will invest our time and passion into.

I used to be stubborn…Well actually, I still am. I would say that on a daily basis, I am stubborn with at least one instance. It can be hard to not be stubborn and swallow your pride depending on the situation and circumstances. Although it is often said that a growth mindset is more effective for being successful in life, I truly believe it varies from person to person. Countless individuals live their lives strictly, with a fixed mindset, and still reach the success they desire. It is crucial to understand that everyone has their own goals and definitions of success in life, which can impact someone’s mindset.

Throughout my everyday activities, I strive to take on opportunities with an open perspective. Yes, I can still be stubborn about various aspects of my life. However, when it comes to career advancement and professional development, I strive to focus on having a growth mindset. I am a strong believer that one of our main purposes in life as humans is to constantly progress. Through my last four years at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, I have learned to seek opportunities outside of my normal comfort zone. Applying for new opportunities can be overwhelming and occasionally make you question your self-confidence, but we all have to remember that everyone has to start somewhere. You may not be totally qualified for that dream job you saw on LinkedIn, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to put yourself out there and show employers your passion for career advancement.

Coming to the University of Nebraska -Lincoln, I started out with an undecided major and an interest in pre-health. My schedule was full of science classes that were way over my head. At the time, I was not fully aware of the opportunities available within the world of marketing. As I started to stray away from the science world and explore new options, I found an interest in business with an emphasis on the need for marketing. As a sophomore, I quickly realized I needed to seek opportunities within the marketing industry and build my resume considering I had no prior experience. I came from a small Nebraskan town of 2,500 people to Lincoln with 284,000 people. Applying for an internship within the Lincoln community with no prior experience was absolutely a new and scary experience for sophomore Sydney. I decided to embrace this new time in my life and apply for an unpaid social media internship. It was for a company I knew nothing about, had no connections to, and had no social media management experience for. Today, I am forever thankful that my supervisor saw the potential to teach my young soul and jumpstart my marketing career. Everything about this experience was new to me; however, if I had not started somewhere and just went for it, I probably would not have worked my way up to the experiences I have had since then.

As we go about our hectic lives, I encourage more individuals to take on challenges with a growth mindset. Strive to push your insecurities to the back of your mind as you seek opportunities outside of your desired comfort zone. These opportunities that initially made you uneasy, will only help you grow into a more confident individual with a diverse background that will be beneficial for your future. Potential employers will recognize your ambition to seek challenging opportunities and that is the recipe to successfully progressing throughout your life.

In the wise words of Howard Walstein, I encourage you all from this day forward to, “Do something uncomfortable today. By stepping out of your box, you don’t have to settle for what you are – You get to create who you want to become.”


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