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Facing and overcoming challenges

During our life, we will always find some situations or tasks that may seem challenging -it’s part of this process that we call LIFE-. For some people, small things can be a big world and vice versa. 

So, at this point, what should we do when we face an important decision? Trust ourselves, knowing that if we really want to do it, it will be -at least- an interesting learning process that will lead to better knowledge about ourselves.  

For example, the decision to go abroad alone can be so scary for some people, and I heard these phrases so many times “What I’m going to do alone in a foreign country, all by my own”, “I don’t speak languages, how I’m going to communicate” or “I haven’t done that before, I don’t have any clue how to do it”. The truth is that we were born without any previous knowledge, we LEARN during our childhood- adolescence – adult life the things that we know nowadays. So challenging ourselves is a great way to discover what we like or what we don’t, things that we are good at -and we didn’t know before- or others that are not made for us at all, but it’s worthy to try and acknowledge at what point we are in life. 

Illustration by Nathalie Lees

Maybe all these advices don’t make so much sense without telling my story, so here it’s: 

I had really clear that I wanted to join a volunteer experience. After finalizing my law degree I wasn’t totally sure if I would like to continue in that path, besides that, I love to create art so I was doubting critically what to do with my life. At that point, – so around two years ago- I was only sure that I like to cultivate my creative skills and, also I was really connected with nature and its protection. I didn’t know anything about my future and, this got worse when the pandemic started. I was looking for something different that could provide me with new experiences, something that I have never done before. 

In my personal experience, the key is to try new things that open new possibilities and visions of the world.

Another reason that leads me to where I’m right now is learning languages. Honestly, I had been embarrassed all my life because I wasn’t able to speak English.

So, you can imagine, moving to another country and only speaking English was a bit terrifying but I needed to do it and I was convinced with all my heart. 

Trying new things, learning skills and last but not least, discovering a new culture.

Learning about a totally unknown culture is key in our learning process as a person. When we grow up in a certain culture we tend to believe that this is the only truth but facing a new culture, makes you analyze your own values, positives and negatives aspects. It helps to develop more empathy towards others and be more conscious that your origin doesn’t define who you’re. Basically, you learn how to look outside the box, to be more open and comprehensive, to understand new realities. 

During this year I tried experiences that I could never imagine before. I worked in a totally different atmosphere, I learn new skills, I met people from so many different places, I discover new hobbies, I develop even more passion for nature and, I clarify my goals in the future. 

Yesterday I did something that inspired me to write this post. This year I discovered that I love to do cross country skiing, – I’m from a warm city in the coast of Spain, so no previous contact with this sport before-. I practiced it several times but always in company. During this time of the year, the lake Pielinen is frozen so you can go on the top and walk on it. For me, it was terrifying to do it alone, maybe because I watched some horror movies where people get trapped in the ice and they died. The truth is that is -still- safe and so many people do it every day. I was ready to step in and do it all on my own, not only did I overcome my fear but also I was greatly surprised about all the kilometers that I did.

With this I want to say, step out, try to break out of your conform zone, be ready to learn and discover, at the end life is about that and is always worth it to give it a chance!

 I would like to encourage everyone that is in an uncertain moment of their lives to join an experience like this, volunteering can open so many doors in your life.

Are you ready to step in?

Laura Glez

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Published by volunteersofhyvarila

Hello! We are volunteers at Hyvärilä Youth Centre, Nurmes, Finland sharing experiences and projects.

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