Change doesn’t happen unless you do. How many times have you heard that?
Or, change happens outside your comfort zone. How about that one? You’ve heard that one, right?
And, as much as we know it, acknowledge it and “like” all the quotes and memes on Facebook about it, change and being outside your comfort zone is hard. It’s really hard. But, there will be a time in your life when you’ll have to accept that something’s gotta give and you’re going to need to step out of your bubble and go way past your comfort zone.
The power of letting go and moving yourself toward your goals is yours. It’s yours if you choose to dig in, step out and expose your vulnerabilities. You need to respect your limitations but push your boundaries and your comfort zone.
Think of your comfort zone like a balloon. You can expand it by putting more into it and you can shrink it by giving up and letting go. You can also pop it if you push too far. The further you try to push yourself out of your comfort zone, the harder it is. But it’s okay. You’re supposed to push. You’re supposed to constantly expand. Trust me.
We’ve recently started a contest with Hot Mama called Rock Your Routine that requires you to take a sweaty selfie as proof that you have completed a workout. We also have a support group where you an go to post your selfie and get cheered on! As we were launching I received numerous, and I mean numerous emails, messages and texts from people asking “do I have to publicly post my selfie?” or “do I have to join in the group? It’s really big.”. “It makes me ucomfortable”.
It got me thinking. Maybe that’s just what you need to help you get through. Maybe you need to step out of your comfort zone and feel what it’s like to be supported by women who have a common goal, who are trying to do what you’re doing and who want nothing but for you to succeed. Why are you shrinking away from that? Maybe you need to expand your comfort zone to feel the power of the group.
Oh yeah, baby. Sure…you can not like the way you look after you workout. Or, maybe right now you’re heavier than what you’ve been previously. Maybe you worry that you’re going to be judged for the workout you’re doing and that it’s not “enough”, or maybe you’re just a shy, quiet person. I understand all of these reasons, trust me I do. But…
Expand, Mamas. Expand.
Here are 6 things to do or think about when you’re asked to expand your comfort zone and push your boundaries:
1) Discover the positives. Think about what you’re being asked to do and why you’re being asked to do it. There are often many reasons we’re asked to push ourselves further than where we’re comfortable but we’re often too busy listing why we can’t do it so we overlook why we should. Write out 5 positive outcomes you’ll experience by expanding your comfort zone.
2) Step away and breathe. This is something that you can do while you’re discovering the positives. You can step away from what you’re doing and breathe. Breathe in for five and out for five and discover the positives. Slow down. Breathe. Relax.
3) Don’t automatically say no. When you’re asked to do something that’s beyond comfortable for you, your initial response will be to say “No”. Don’t. Don’t say that word. Don’t commit one way or another. Step back, take a breath (see #2), discover the positives (see #1) and figure out how far you can expand with this, push with this and then decide. This can be done quickly. If you’re asked in a workout to do something you’ve never done, you can quickly assess…but don’t automatically say “no”. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You try and you fail. Now you know.
4) Take your time. Decide on your own time. Often when we’re asked to do something oustide our comfort zone we don’t need to decide right at the moment we’re asked. Unless it’s during a workout, then you need to do quick assessments and just say YES and try (trust me on this one, I know what I’m talking about). BUT, most times when we’re asked to expand we can take a few moments to decide. So, do it. Take the time. Push yourself, expand yourself. Take the time to decide if you’re willing to face a fear, face feeling uncomfortable. Will it help you? If so…do it. Gather your strength and your courage and jump.
5) Know this: people don’t often want you to fail. Unless they’re jerks…stay away from those people. We’re often asked to expand our comfort zones because someone sees something in us that we need or that would help us. Sure, it’s uncomfortable, but they’re not asking to make you feel stupid or silly, they’re asking because they know it’s going to help you. People want you to succeed…and maybe, just maybe they know of ways to help you do just that, you just need to trust them and put yourself out there.
6) Ask yourself “Why not?”. If you’re leaning towards staying in your comfortable little bubble start asking yourself “why not”. Why wouldn’t you do this thing? Can it harm you? Can it hurt you? Physically? Mentally? Spiritually? This goes alongside #1, but honestly, what have you got to lose? If you’re looking to change…um…”change happens outside your comfort zone”. AND “if you want to change, you need to change”. So…why not try?
Change is hard, Mamas. I know this. I live this. But, whenever I’m doing something that I feel uncomfortable doing, I also feel proud of myself. I’m doing it anyway. I may be uncomfortable, but someday…it’ll be easier. Someday I’ll do this very uncomfortable thing as a habit.
It’s worth it. It’s time to push yourselves, Mamas. It’s time to expand your balloon and grow. Trust the people in your lives, trust the people helping you on your journey. They’re supporting you and cheering you on…they’re going to push you…that’s their job. Accept it and get pushed.
It’s time to grow. You can do it. Breathe. Take that step outside.