"Challenge yourself, even if doing so takes you outside your comfort zone because sometimes, that's the best way."
Have you ever had a moment when someone's words hit you like a brick?
As I sat in the first forum in the 'Young Women's' series hosted by the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award in Victoria, Vicki Macdermid's words struck a nerve with me.
Why? I'm sure a lot of it had to do with what I was going through at the time but since hearing Vicki's powerful words, they are yet to leave me.
It was as though Vicki singled me out in that small lecture theater on that Thursday and started speaking directly to me.
As I sat in the women's forum, I had one day left at my job at the time and knew that come the following Monday morning, I'd be focusing on growing my freelance writing business and running my own show.
My head was bursting with all kinds of thoughts, feelings and emotions. And I'll admit that fear was (and still is) a massive part of it all.
I've never run my own business before - I know I have this gift, I know I'm capable of working hard and I know that once I set my mind to achieve something, I don't give up. So what? What does it all mean big picture-wise?
Fast-forward a few weeks and where am I? Am I scared that after putting this idea out there for the world to see, that I'll fail? Of course I am.
But back to Vicki's words. Realistically, everything I'm doing at the moment pits me well out of my comfort zone. I've never been what I call an 'in your face' kind of person. I'm very content to sit in the background and be a 'behind the scenes' person.
To be honest, this has seemed to work for me in the past because I've always let my writing speak for me.
Six months ago, if you told me I'd be emailing the likes of Arianna Huffington, Naomi Simson (Founder of RedBalloon), Carolyn Creswell (Founder of Carman's Kitchen) and Richard Branson, I would've laughed in your face.
I really can't explain what's happening at the moment. It's as though I'm being led by something out there that I simply can't ignore.
So many incredible things have happened since attending that Duke of Ed forum a few weeks ago. I've met some incredible people, I'm working on a book... I don't believe it all myself sometimes even though it's happening to me!
I was so inspired by Vicki's words that I plucked up the courage to email her as well.
I knew Vicki was a Partner/Executive Director at Pitcher Partners and to be honest, I did second-guess myself when drafting up an email to reach out to her. But I still hit send.
Today, the decision to send that email was one of the best I've made.
Over the last few weeks, I've been exchanging emails with Vicki and it's amazing how someone else's faith can give you added boost and drive. Especially when that person is someone like Vicki.
The chance to work alongside Vicki in whatever capacity may eventuate is a privilege for someone like me who needs as many mentors as possible.
So, what am I trying to get across here?
If there's something you want to do but the fear of being thrown outside your comfort zone is holding back, just go for it.
It's okay to be awkward. It's okay to be clumsy. It's okay to be unsure of where you're going. As long as you remain true to yourself and go with your heart, you won't look back.
Just remember, even the darkest of times will lead you to the direction or path you're meant to follow.