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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When was the last time you stepped out of your uncomfort zone?
thanks for photographing me Pinja