Go on, exceed yourself

Let’s talk about something uncomfortable and shamefully personal.

And what’s more uncomfortable than the uncomfort zone? (I’m getting uncomfortable just writing about it.) You know, the zone where supposedly the magic happens? The place where you challenge yourself, learn new things, fail miserably, laugh, cry and also – grow.

I think I’m finally ready to step out of my comfort zone. And that might sound like such a small little thing, but it is huge. For me, anyway. And here’s where it gets personal.

Horrible yet necessary – going outside of your comfort zone

You see, I hate the uncomfort zone. I have not spent that much time in there – except for the years of depression and anxiety. That was uncomfortable times thousand. Or a million. And possibly one of the reasons I’ve avoided some things. I don’t know if it makes sense, but being so uncomfortable, sad, miserable, insecure and depressed – you kind of never want to go back. I only want to go forward. Not to talk about the fact that I still sometimes struggle with the feelings of anxiety.

Pinja’s cat managed to showcase the emotions so well I just had to take a photo.

But the uncomfort zone means owning up to those feelings. All of the feelings. You’re bound to feel insecure. You’re bound to feel sad. But you also get the opportunity to feel proud.

For some reason I have had this fear of trying new things and learning new skills. No, that’s not right.
I have the fear of failing and not being good enough.

Which, in paper, sounds so ridiculous it makes me want to jump in to the unknown. And that’s good. Because lately I have done just that. I have tried new things. I have challenged myself.

And as a small surprise for myself: I didn’t break. 

lifestyle wellbeing uncomfort zone

I’ve stepped in the uncomfort zone

You know the movie “Yes Man”? I always thought it was such a clever idea. It’s fascinating what might happen, once you agree and just say yes. It’s more exciting than saying no. It presents an opportunity and opportunities are rarely bad (except when they come in the form of a very unprofessional email).

Lately I’ve been doing new things and putting myself in my personal uncomfort zone. I’ve made a fool of myself in a twerking class (I’m not quite the agile cat I thought I was), I’ve said yes to a new opportunity (even though my anxiety wanted to say no), I’ve went to a yoga class all by myself (I didn’t die) and I even tried boxing.

My hands almost bled in the boxing class, my heart rate got up to 170 bpm at one point, the gloves smelled disgusting, but guess what – I actually had fun. I laughed and succeeded. And want to go again.

I’m already noticing that one part of my brain is encouraging me: go on, try again.

About the twerking class – it’s so so difficult, embarrassing and fun. I honestly wanted to cry at some point, because I was so frustrated. And yet I’m already noticing that one part of my brain is encouraging me: go on, try again. I think I’m getting the whole buzz about the uncomfort zone now. The feeling of winning yourself is, well, super comfortable.

uncomfortzone

When uncomfortable becomes comfortable

I used to hate waking up early and doing a workout first thing in the morning. I have these few particular moves I especially hated, they were so difficult to do and I hated not being able to do something properly.

I used to dread going out running when it was cold, raining or dark.

Used to.

Nowadays, I look forward to working out first thing in the morning. I love challenging myself and doing those moves that seemed so impossible in the beginning. I love going out for a run – no matter the weather. Running in the dark or cold doesn’t bother me like it used to. I have made some uncomfortable things more comfortable.

I know I’m mostly talking about exercising and sports here. Maybe that’s just an easy way to start? It honestly is. Challenging your body physically is easy, because you see the results with your own eyes. Doing something concrete is effective. You get this feeling: if I can do this, I can do anything.

The good feeling that exercising does goes way beyond looking fit and healthy. Being in shape makes me feel good. Exercising is possibly the most important thing when it comes to my mental health.

Go on, exceed yourself

I’m amazed at how the enthusiastic little child, who’s eager to learn new things and not at all afraid of falling down, is waking up in me and almost winning the calculative, shy adult side in me.

I guess I always thought that I would be perfectly fine where I am. That I didn’t need to do the things I was scared of. That I didn’t need to feel insecure or dumb.

But now I’m thinking, that’s where the fun happens.

If not for me, at least for all the other people in my class wondering what on earth is that girl with no sense of rhytm doing in a twerk-dance class.

To put it simply: She’s there to win.

 the uncomfort zone my experience

When was the last time you stepped out of your uncomfort zone?

thanks for photographing me Pinja

Miles to go

 

I feel as if I’ve written these words before. I feel as if I’ve already been here, staring out the window and wondering how to best explain myself.

I doubt I’ll get it just right, but even if I got even a tiny piece of this feeling off my chest, I know I’ll feel relieved. I guess that’s the beauty of writing – the storm of feelings turns into words. And words turn into comfort.

Perfectionism & me

Perfectionism means that the person is always trying her or his best and always pushing to be better. But it also means constant self-doubt and goals, that are not possible to achieve (because you raise the stakes as you go).

It means I’m doing my best, but still at the end wondering: Could I have done this better? It means always focusing on the mistakes and errors. Somehow – they are all I see. Okay, not always, but sometimes. Or often? I guess the right way to put it is to say that it’s impossible not to see the mistakes.

The end of the year is like the ultimate exam I take. I look at the paper and remember all the answers I got wrong. Even if I got nine out of ten right. And even if I managed to be happy of my great results, I still feel a bit anxious of the time running out. Is there more to be done? I don’t know.

Why does it even feel like such an exam? Isn’t it just days and weeks, months and hours? Isn’t it just life? Isn’t a year just a year and a moment much, much more important? I’d like to think so.

It’s such a roller coaster of feelings – reason telling me it’s fine and mind telling me it’s not fine. And I feel weird writing about this and in some way saying it out loud. But it’s there, the perfectionism and the only enemy I have – myself.

And I know. It’s not all bad. In fact, I guess it’s also my power. I try even harder to focus on the positive and that is usually the higher power. There are more days when I celebrate my imperfections than the days where I doubt myself. Much more. It makes me beyond happy to know I have already gotten here. I can honestly say I have done the work (not all of it) and I know myself. And the fact that you’re never really ready – I guess that’s the beauty of it.

I’m constantly learning to let go of things. Letting go of that doubt. Letting go of that over-achieving. Letting go of things that don’t do me any good. It’s a work in progress.

It’s always easier to write about things after they’ve happened. It’s easier to be victorious and yell from the rooftops: I did it! I won!

But I guess it’s also more honest to say, that there’s still miles to go. That I’m possibly not even halfway there. And even if feels bad at times and there are those horrible nightmares where you can’t put the lights on or run anywhere, it’s worth it.

It is. Life, I mean.

Even if you had to work just a little bit harder than the others – to, I don’t know – raise a toast and enjoy it? – it tastes even better, be it cheap or expensive.

I’m pretty proud of myself and the year 2018. Writing that down and actually meaning it isn’t easy, but it’s okay.

There’s still miles to go and I look forward to each and every one of them.

Do you?

 

P.S. In these photos I’m wearing the green shades from the eye palette I wrote about on my latest post.