Is there something you really want to do but you’re scared to leave your comfort zone and take the first step?
I hear ya!
Getting out of a comfort zone is tough. Anyone who’s ever done it will tell you it can be painful…so painful. A little bit of excitement mixed with a whole lot of fear and anxiety. The terrain is new…unknown and untraveled…there’s bumpy patches and detours. The visibility is poor, you can’t see what’s ahead.
Tell me about it I’m doing it right now.
Some days I feel like I’m in the boxing ring. OK…I could remove the gloves and take a seat listening to the nattering little gremlin in my head who says things like this, “is this necessary?? do you really need this…Come on….be easy on yourself…your little comfort zone was you know soooo…comfy.”
Trust me I’m tempted.
But then I think….noooo….….I don’t want to look back saying woulda’, shoulda’, coulda’. I do not want to harbor regret in my life. I do not want to regret not going after my dreams because it was a little bit uncomfortable. For that reason I’m staying the course. I’m embracing the discomfort zone.
I remind myself – Fear and discomfort is temporary. REGRET is forever.
Take a look at what strangers wrote on this New York blackboard to see impact of regret.
I’m inviting my fear in knowing it’ll provide the energy to give me the extra boost I’ll need. I tell myself that people have done far greater things than this, things that have impacted the world, and they didn’t have it all figured out and felt damn uncomfortable too. I’m also remembering that all the great, amazing, wonderfully awesome, things that have happened in my life have been preceded by a big, small or medium sized uncomfortable s-t-r-e-t-c-h I had to take.
It’s par for the course. It’s supposed to feel like this.
You see what I’m trying to do is make the Red Shoe Zone a whole lot better for all of us. That means stretching myself because to do what I want to do requires an understanding of online business, embracing social media and technology. You gotta know this so far out of my comfort zone it’s like I’m on another planet. Seriously.
Here’s what I do know. I’m totally invested and fired up about my vision. I believe there is a solution to every problem. I believe the secret is getting in action…staying in action…that means taking teeny tiny steps every day.
Isn’t it funny how what we get what we need exactly when we need it. I read this yesterday.
“Our bodies like to be in homeostasis. We like to be balanced. Life is hard enough-we want to be comfortable. But again to get better and improve our game on and off the court we need to move out of our comfort zones. That doesn’t mean you should go so far out of your comfort zone that you can’t function well. Our bodies work best when we push them in small increments. If we push ourselves too far, eustress can become distress. We have to really pay attention, because they can manifest the same symptoms. Eustress is achieved through moderation, sticking to the middle way, and not going to extremes… Moving out of your comfort zone through experiencing eustress is a continuous incremental process of romancing your discomfort zone. It’s not like you get to a certain level and then stay there. Things are either going forward or backward they’re not staying static. If you are comfortable where you are and you just want to stay comfortable, that’s fine, but that isn’t the way to pursue excellence and wisdom.” George Mumford – The Mindful Athlete
I like the way George frames the stress and discomfort I feel.
Stress. It comes in 2 different forms: eustress and distress.
Eustress is good stress. It’s essential for growth. We experience this just on the other side of our comfort zones.
Distress on the other hand is what shows up when we push ourselves too far.
Imagine stretching a rubber band. Pull it hard enough so it stretches but not so hard it snaps.
Eustress = the stretch and discomfort
Distress = the snap
The important thing to note is that growth, change and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g out of comfort zones takes TIME.
It’s the continuous incremental gains that are important…those itty bitty baby steps…that maintain forward momentum.
Sometimes when we get going with a new idea or a new vision we get a little too gung ho. We want to change dramatically and immediately. The perfect recipe for crash and burn.
“You can’t push yourself so far out of your comfort zone your body breaks down or that you ultimately give up because you can’t sustain your own self imposed pressure.” George Mumford
I don’t know about you but as much as I want to make all these changes right now…I’m going to take small steps every day. I am going to romance my discomfort zones, stretch myself but not to the point of snapping. I’m going to take baby steps allowing the compound effect to do its work over the long run as I continue to work towards a dream and live without regret.
TAKE ACTION – Ask yourself – What do you really want to do? What’s scaring you? How can you stretch just a little towards where you want to go? Then take one tiny step in that direction – today.
Create a heart doodle like this one. The doodles may be a simple concept but they have a mega powerful purpose. They (or any art related activity) allow us to move a message or an idea we’re working on from our head, to our heart through out hands. Once the idea is safely tucked into our hearts it has the power to have s-i-g-n-i-f-i-c-a-n-t impact. I know this ‘art stuff’ is stretch for a lot of people but I encourage you to give it a try. It’s way more fun than it may appear and (trust me) it works!
PS Do you know someone who needs a little reassurance to step outside their comfort zone? Please share this post with them it could be just the thing to encourage them to take one tiny step today. Imagine how reassuring it would be to know they’re not alone and others are working at doing same. What a gift that would be.