Several times a week, I workout with the infamous Jillian Michaels online and dread every second of it as she pushes me into a sweaty painful mess. With every challenging movement, I hear her yell “I want you to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” which helps me realize that if I don’t do this, not only will my arms turn into flabby bingo wings, my life would seem somewhat blasé as my workouts provide me the needed transition from work to home and gives me a boost of creativity and accomplishment!
What does this really mean? Be uncomfortable? Everyone tends to get comfortable with the familiar and their routines. It is in our routines that we become under stressed and succumb to safety. Really, when you think about it, we turn into mush, emotionally and physically. We lose out because we are going through life moving forward until we reach the end of the road, as opposed to moving up and out, expanding our horizons and seeing different possibilities.
No one likes to move beyond his or her comfort zone, as it gives an initial feeling of anxiety and it can be terrifying! But when you think about it, that’s where the magic happens. It’s where we grow, learn and develop in a way that increases our landscape beyond what we thought was possible.
What makes you uncomfortable enough to step out of your comfort zone? This year, I decided to change it up a little bit in terms of my “exercise” routine. I now go to badminton on Tuesdays nights. This is a BIG deal for me as I don’t play at all, I don’t like getting sweaty with a large group of people and don’t like looking silly and sometimes at badminton you do! It was hard for me to get the courage to go so I also enrolled my husband to come with me.
There is a risk to being exposed, to stepping out of your comfort zone however it never ceases to amaze me the people who do venture into unknown territories and change their lives for the better. I have met people who went back to school at age 48 to get a PHD; traveled to India to learn from Master Yogis; trained for a triathlon to combat their fear of swimming; and who ate their lunch at a different location one day and found their soul mate.
I am not going to conclude with the “5 easy steps to get out of your comfort zone”. Stepping out is difficult, and it’s totally a personal experience. Some people choose to take GIANT leaps while others take small steps. It doesn’t matter though because when you break free from your comfort zone, in any capacity, you will surely encounter new and exciting experiences that will make your heart beat just a little bit faster and you may even discover a whole new you!
“The danger of venturing into uncharted waters is not nearly as dangerous as staying on shore, waiting for your boat to come in.” Charles F. Glassman