"My fear of failing prohibited me from trying new domains and I felt limited to which milestones I could achieve. Yet, a few years back I decided to remove the idea of failure and stepped out of my comfort zone to start an initiative in the community.”
What limits our youth in their ability to become well-rounded individuals is the stereotypes we as a community have fixated into our minds. A prime example is an athlete who is under the false impression that excelling in sports correlates with the inability to excel in school. Similarly, there are students who dominate in studying but shy away from joining sports league. To break this cycle, we need to stop the stigma around failure. Failure is often a stepping stone to success, and as Albert Einstein stated, “If you’ve never failed, you’ve never tried anything new.”
I too was afraid of new experiences that challenged me to remove myself from my comfort zone. As a full-time biology student at the University of British Columbia, my comfort zone was limited to school. My fear of failing prohibited me from trying new domains and I felt limited to which milestones I could achieve. Yet, a few years back I decided to remove the idea of failure and stepped out of my comfort zone to start an initiative in the community. This journey led to the development of a non-profit organization called Unified 4 Change which my brother Sukhman and I co-founded. Not only has Unified 4 Change helped the youth and our community, it has given various opportunities to both Sukhman and myself.
This goes to show, that the concept of fear only exists within the mind. Often when pursuing new goals or initiatives, we become afraid of the time commitment. For instance, being a doctor will take around eight to nine years after your high school degree, but those years will pass regardless of what you do. So why not put your time and energy into fulfilling your dreams? Furthermore, our comfort zone is not a place of growth. If you continue to follow your routine, you will continue to live the exact same life you are in. However, if your goal is to excel and further develop yourself, then you must sail away from your comfort zone. You need to create your own opportunities and pave your own path – don’t rely on others to do it for you.
Thus, my advice to youth would be to embrace the challenges, as you are capable of tackling everything that comes your way. Most often, the task that challenges us the most is the one which we learn our life lessons from. Believe in your abilities, and remember, “We did not come here to fear the future, we came here to shape it” – Barack Obama.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In addition to being a full-time student, Beenu is the VP and co-founder of Unified For Change. She also volunteers at the Emergency Department at BC Children’s Hospital Brain Trauma Injury Center and is the VP of Events for Young Women in Science and Engineering at UBC. She was Miss Greater Vancouver 2017.