Stepping out of your comfort zone! – Written by Luke Chadwick

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Now as I’m sure you know I used to be a professional footballer as I do talk about it all the time, and why not it’s something I’m very proud of and somewhere I learnt so many lessons. But it was also somewhere I was comfortable, maybe a little bit too comfortable and would very rarely or as little as I possibly could step out my comfort zone. I was in the bubble of professional football and quite happy to not step out of it, or too scared to step out of it!

But of course all good things must come to an end as was the case with my playing career but because of my lack of preparation for this and the fact I wasn’t willing to accept that it had gone it caused my great heartache and I went to a very dark place. I was lost in my mind a nobody who had lost all identity and offered nothing to the world without my comfort blanket of football. I was so far out of my comfort zone I didn’t know what to do.

Now stepping out of your comfort zone is a great place to be, it’s so rewarding and a huge amount of personal development goes on there but what I have learnt is you have to want to be there, you have to embrace it because if you don’t it can cause more emotional damage. And I quite simply at this time didn’t want to be there. I was emotionally broken, unable to show vulnerability and felt trapped in a place I didn’t want to be.

But over time I learnt to let go of these feelings to accept I was now starting a new part of my life. I’m grateful for the challenges I had as it taught me so many valuable lessons about myself. Sometimes in life you have to completely let go to start again and surrender to the uncertainty of what may come next. I’ve much soul searching I made the decision to get away from professional football that I was coaching in, it just wasn’t making me happy and didn’t feel like it was my calling and that is without doubt the best thing I’ve ever done. Don’t get me wrong I will be eternally grateful to the game and the life it has given me but it was time for me to do something different.

I was finally ready to jump out of my comfort zone and the opportunities it has given me has been incredible. I made a leap into the unknown as a franchisee with the Football Fun Factory which gave me so much confidence and made me feel so free. I’m now a director of the company, on social media, delivered keynote speeches, set up business deals, started a podcast and helped scale the business. Things that would not have been possible had I not made a leap of faith. But more important than any achievements is the feeling of following your heart and the pride I have in myself for recognising I had to change and more importantly actually doing it.

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