Magic Happens Outside Your Comfort Zone
This year, 2017, I decided I was going to say yes to things that I would previously shy away from, or simply say no to, because they didn’t sit nicely within my comfort zone. You know that safe place where our behaviour and the activities we choose to engage in float around within our realm of ‘normal’ or regular, as not to induce risk, stress or discomfort? There is great article about the science behind breaking out of your comfort zone here, but today I wanted to write about how it actually feels, and what happens when we do it! MAGIC! Magic is what happens!
Image via Body Image Movement
So far, this year I have spoken publicly, organised a photoshoot with a bunch of women in our underwear (with no editing!), publicly launched my selfcare program, played freely on the beach in my swimmers, spoken my truth more than ever before, wore clothes that I never dared to previously, entered the Crossfit Games, joined tap dancing, started use skype for live coaching, posed nude, and this weekend I am going to a belly dancing workshop! Some of these things may sound very normal and stress free to you, but to me, not so much! They all took me outside my comfort zone. And you know what, each and every one of them made me feel AMAZING afterwards!
Photo via Morgan Parremore
Of course, before the amazing occurs, we tend to feel anxious and scared. Self-doubt comes flooding in. We might think about other people’s reactions, or a possible outcome based on fear. All of these feelings are completely normal and to be expected. They don’t call it your comfort zone for no reason! When we push the boundaries of our comfort zone, to a place called ‘optimal anxiety’ that is where the magic happens! It is important to note that it is possible to push our boundaries too far too soon, increasing our stress or anxiety levels a little too much at once. Think about fitness and pushing yourself to improve. The right level of pushing past your comfort zone can incur fantastic results, but too much can cause problems. Don’t use this as an excuse to stay stagnant though!
My top 3 tips for breaking through your comfort zone are:
1. Say YES and then work out the details later.
Once you have said yes you can work on the answers to make it happen.
2. Rope in a supportive friend, or make a new friend!
A ‘problem’ shared is a problem solved – even if it isn’t actually a problem, but rather a story you have been telling yourself for some time.
3. Weigh it up!
Image via Stocksnap
Think of the best thing that can happen – for example, it might inspire someone else to do the same. Think of the worst – for example, you might feel embarrassed for a little while. If the best thing outweighs the worst (which 9/10 times it will!) then why the heck not just go for it!?
Often when we step outside our comfort zone, there are wonderful lessons to be learnt, or gifts to be received, that we otherwise would not have been subjected to. When we can push past those boundaries and engage in new or altered experiences in can be very empowering! The more you do it, the more confidence you will have in yourself and the more you will find yourself stretching those limits! Take that leap of faith, say yes to the things that make your heart flutter even if they seem scary or too hard to begin with. The feeling afterwards will make it oh so worthwhile! Get out there and make magic happen baby!