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  • Writer's pictureArchuleta A. Chisolm

What Happens When You Stretch

Ever since I was kid, I’ve been fascinated with giraffes. Whether on television or in books, I just loved watching them move so effortlessly. It is believed that giraffes didn’t always have long necks. A cousin of theirs – the okapi – is a short animal that looks similar to a horse, and barely stands at 5-feet-tall. So how did giraffes get so tall?

Animal Kingdom says that giraffes likely developed longer necks over time in response to fierce competition for food in the Savannah grasslands. The okapi didn’t face the same conditions in the rain forest, therefore didn’t grow over time.

January always seems to be “the month” for newness and reaching for more. It’s a time when we think of more in every area of our lives, and that it’s a good time to start doing the very thing we’ve been wanting to do.

Will you challenge yourself to leave the familiar behind and stretch for higher ground? The stretch is the space between your comfort zone and your dream. It goes beyond normal. The stretch is necessary to fulfill what you’ve been called to do.

Here are some tips on pushing past your boundaries:

Trust Yourself

There is always a disconnect between what we are called to do and what we feel we are capable of doing. To make connection, you have to trust yourself and take leaps of faith. When you doubt yourself, remember that you were created for a specific purpose. Once you become clear about who you are and what you’re here to do, lean into that. Even in the difficult moments, you can still push forward.

Forget What it Looks Like

Things are not always going to look the best, while you’re making necessary changes in your life. Your job may change, your living situation may change, or your finances may change. It may not look good on the outside but it is needed to get where you need to be. Sometimes, it’s okay to look crazy in order to follow a dream.

Take Steady Steps

Giraffes did not grow five feet in five months. Decide what first step you can take to expand beyond your usual. You have to actually be in the game. Once you’re in, the preparation starts happening. Keep digging in as you go.

Build Community

If you talk with people who’ve achieved their dreams, they’ll tell you that it took place outside their comfort zone. Surround yourself with people who have done what you're trying to do. You have to see what's possible. In order to get what you never had, you have to stretch yourself and do things you’ve never done.


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