Comfort zones are something which come up a lot in coaching, how we feel about them, what it feels like to step out of them and what is possible when we do.
The thing is comfort zones are well… comfortable, we are used to being within them and it feels safe.
Another thing is, getting outside of your comfort zone is where growth, transformation and change happens.
I know this, because I am always pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone, trust me sharing a photo of me in a swim suit is also out of my comfort zone, but I like to lead by example, I also support my amazing clients to safely find their way outside of their comfort zones too, and I get to see and celebrate with them the growth they achieve, which I love.
I will now share a story as an example…
You may have seen that this winter I have hugely pushed myself out of my comfort zone by signing up for a cold-water swimming challenge called a Penguin Challenge, I went for the Gold challenge, which meant from 1st November until 31st March, I had to swim at least 1000m per month, which needed to include 2 separate 250m swims. I committed to doing this to raise money for my social enterprise Embrace PFC CIC which I run alongside my private practice, I did this, because I knew that I needed something to keep me going and committing to raising funds for our vital work was my motivating factor.
I love to challenge myself, but chucking myself into a freezing cold North Sea during the winter didn’t sound all that appealing, if I am totally honest when I signed up, I didn’t believe for one minute that I would succeed, I thought I would have to give up at some point, after all it gets down to 3 or 4 degrees centigrade at its coldest, that is colder than your fridge!
The reason I am sharing this is because to get out of our comfort zone, we need to be motivated to do so, otherwise why would we leave a place of comfort?
We are generally motivated by pleasure and pain, for example, is the goal something you want badly enough to commit to taking regular action to achieving it or is the current situation so bad that you are willing to commit to taking regular action to escape it.
If neither of these apply, we generally just stay where we are!
Another thing is sometimes we are scared of failure, so we stay where we feel safe. Sound familiar?
I knew I wanted to do something new to get me through the winter, it isn’t my favourite time of year. I also knew I wanted to make some changes, after having my plans to change my lifestyle and leave the country in 2020 totally ruined due to Covid, I needed to create a different life here in the UK.
Committing to this was so far out of my comfort zone, but the benefits have been huge. I’ve raised around £500.00 for Embrace, I’ve made some amazing friends, people who are like me, who like to do crazy things too! I’ve learnt a lot about myself and what my body can tolerate when I take control of my mind and overcome that temptation to run the other way, I did the whole challenge without wearing a wetsuit, which I still can’t believe! Plus, having read up on it and learnt so much about the benefits, cold water therapy is also incredible for our physical and mental health (I can recommend the Wim Hof Method book if you’d like to learn more).
This however, is not about me, this is only to demonstrate that when we dare to step outside of our comfort zones and we are willing to risk not succeeding, great things can happen.
So where is your comfort zone?
What would getting out of it look like for you?
It doesn’t have to be doing something crazy like swimming in the North Sea in Winter, I have been doing this work for a long time, so my comfort zone is pretty big these days, but it didn’t used to be, the more we push out the boundaries of our comfort zone, the bigger challenges we can face.
This is not a competition, this is about what works for you. Whether for you it is leaving the house every day, or making that phone call, joining a new group, class or a gym, going for that new job, wearing different clothes that really make you feel like you, whatever it may be, the more we do it the easier it becomes and the more we are inspired to do.
As always, please do get in touch with any comments or questions I love to hear from you, or if you would like to see how coaching could support you or you or young person to live a happier more fulfilled life do book your free discovery call.
Until next time,