Press "Enter" to skip to content

Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone | Yubing Zhang | TEDxStanford

it’s a cold and foggy winter morning and
I’m standing on the world’s tallest
bungy platform the platform standing on
is so tiny that I have to stand on my
toes and balance myself against the wind
the operator ties one end of the bungee
cord to my ankle and throws the slack in
the air I can feel the weight of the
Rope i’ma ankles slowly dragging me down
I look down all the buildings and roads
are buried in heavy fog there is only
one voice in my head I can’t do this so
I turn around and tell them that I want
to quit and then I see a huge quote
printed on the glass window right next
to me life begins at the edge of your
comfort zone I don’t know why but this
short yet powerful sentence gives me the
final potion before I realize it I walk
straight back to the platform and jump
off the world’s highest bungee platform
during the 5 seconds of free fall I
remember thinking to myself it’s not as
scary as it looks
and that’s not led to a whole new world
every time I hear the voice of fear in
my head I can’t leave this job because
I’m not going to find anything better
I’m scared of entering a new
relationship because I don’t want to be
hurt again and even a minute ago before
I walk onto the stage the voice was
repeating in my head every time I hear
that voice I take a deep breath and tell
myself it’s never as scary as it looks
let me take you back to the summer of
2007 a remote village in Cambodia a
small room in a domestic violence victim
center it’s my first day of work I
walked into room and was introduced to
an 18 year old girl her name was
chia-chia was so emotionally physically
abused that she was trembling all the
time and she couldn’t even look at me in
the eyes and on her face I saw a fear
anxiety and shame and that day she
refused to take our help and went back
to her husband and in the course of next
few months she would do that again and
again only come back with more bruises
and cuts xie knew that she should leave
her husband but she was scared too
because she had been married to her him
since 14 depending on him for survival
and did not know that she could live a
life on her own to help cheer and
thousands of other girls like Gia I
started as vocational skill training
program after 3 months of training magic
happened Xie regained confidence and
dignity step out of the fear of failure
found a new job in a local hotel and
separated with her husband she started a
new chapter of life at the edge of her
comfort zone
Chea might be an extreme example but I
can see myself in her and maybe you can
what is it that you’re not doing because
of fear of failure finding a new job
starting a new company or asking someone
out for a date for me it was the fear of
public speaking whatever it is I
encourage you to try it because as Chia
found and I found and I think you will
find – it’s never as scary as he looks
and you’re stronger and more capable
than you thought the second story is
about embracing uncertainty my friend
Jean lives an extremely comfortable life
in Hong Kong he works from 9:00 to 5:00
and receives a very good pay but he’s
dispassionate about his job and life and
he’s constantly complaining he has lived
his whole life with certainty that the
fear of losing what he had is stopping
him from pursuing his passion until one
morning I got a call from him – I went
to a positive psychology class last
quarter got so inspired I quit my job
today and I’m moving to Australia you
what what are you gonna do with your
life I asked he said this is the first
time in life that I don’t have a plan
and I view every bit as scared as I’m
excited the next time I saw him was six
months later he just got back from
Australia a licensed hypnotherapist from
a trader to a hypnotherapist I was
shocked when I saw him again his face
was pink eyes glittering his whole body
was just glowing he is living his dream
right now traveling around the world
giving workshops and therapy sessions
for thousands of people to find
happiness in life and as with Chia I
could see myself in Jung and maybe you
can too we’re all scared of uncertainty
giving up all you have to pursue a dream
that may or may not work out loving
someone with whole heart without
guarantee it’s incredibly hard but as
John found and I found and I think you
will find – it’s never as scary as it
looks and it leads to more possibilities
and happiness in life the last story is
about vulnerability and the last story
is about me my love for my parents is
the strongest emotion my life but in
Asian culture love is seldom expressed
in words it makes me feel extremely
uncomfortable to tell them I love you or
to even share my feelings with them our
daily conversation is a combination of
what I had for lunch and what they had
for dinner the word courage came from
Latin root kur which means heart and the
original meaning of courage is to tell
the story of who you are with their
whole heart I don’t know why I have the
courage to stand here today and share my
story with you but I don’t have the
courage to tell my parents I love you
they raised me with love so much love
they made me believe I’m worthy of love
not because of what I achieve but
because of who I am yet I so desperately
want to be this perfect child for them
and share my happiness and achievements
and withhold my struggles and failures
and as I’m proud of my achievements I
didn’t know that this created a huge
emotional gap between us and we no
longer share the joy and pain of each
other’s life journey I’ve been
experiencing a tough time recently a
heartbroken ending of three year
relationship many questions about
friendship and deep insecurity about
future a cup of weeks ago I came back
from the exhausting recruiting shoot
from New York the moment I walked in my
room in darkness I experienced an
emotional breakdown
I caught my mom I burst into tears the
moment I heard her voice and for the
next hour and first time in my life I
shared my struggles with her and even
though she hasn’t been with me in this
journey for so long she understands
exactly what I’ve been going through the
feeling of reconnection after so many
years is like magic in the end I told
her I love you and she said I love you
too it’s the first time remember either
of us has said that I didn’t expect what
felt so uncomfortable previously came so
natural and peacefully in the end I see
life as a constant fight against your
comfort zone you push it it pushes back
what’s the fear that’s holding you back
what are you not saying or doing because
it’s outside your comfort zone I
challenge you to find that comfort zone
today bravely step out of it and as you
get comfortable again push it even
further don’t try to get rid of fear
accept that you will be afraid and then
go do it anyway as the words that high
on the boundary platform life begins at
the edge of your comfort zone thank you
Please follow and like us: