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.


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

Yet I am here

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I used to be one of those people, who, when seeing a beautiful three-story house and a happy family in it, thought, that it could never be me, laughing and running in that yard.

I was negative in a way, that when I saw a four thousand euro bag in the mall window, I didn’t even dare to dream about it, because I could never own that.

For some reason, I found myself thinking, that where I am now, is where I will always be. That the situation where I am, will always stay the same.

It’s a wrong kind of thought. Because that means, that I could never go forward.

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But it’s only human to have those thoughts, and those feelings.

It happens. You find yourself having the same doubts, the same insecurities, day after day. On some days you can silence those thoughts – and you get a glimpse of what could be. But on other days, you need a push outside, to wake you up. And you feel silly for staring at the wall.

It’s hard to see into the future, when your feet are so grounded, almost glued, to present.
You wake up tired, even though you would like to be one of those people, who wake up at 6am, not at all tired, ready to conquer the world.

And what is that, anyway, about conquering the world? Why do we need to conquer that? Isn’t it already conquered?

Can’t I just enjoy the world? I would like to walk on it’s grass, feel it’s heat on my skin and meet it’s people. Yeah, I always think, that I don’t really like people, but I know I’m wrong. I love people. I love how everyone looks different, how everyone laughs different and how everyone has their things. And even when I’m alone, I am comforted by the thought, that I have my closest friends on my Whatsapp.

And now, when I really think of it, with the people I have in my life, I’m exactly where I want to be.

space buns blonde hair

But to get back to accomplishments and things, that sometimes seem so distant and almost impossible to achieve – I’ll say this.

It’s funny.

It’s funny, because right now I’m sitting on my computer, writing, in a home, that I share with the love of my life. I get to drink my coffee freshly roasted from the machine, just like I like it, and it’s one of the things, I will never get bored of. And the weirdest thing really – I am an entrepreneur. I know, that if a young Charlotta could see me now, sitting on our balcony, drinking coffee and smiling to the sun, she would be quite amazed. I ended up here, even though that wasn’t meant to be possible. In front of me is my new DIY-project, even though I was supposed to know nothing about crafting..

I know these are just things, and stuff. But we do dream about things, and stuff as well. At least I do and I did. I’m not as perfect, as to only value feelings and reality. Sometimes it’s easier to point out something, by pointing out something physical, such as my makeup station, which is, yet again, another dream come true.

But to not sound as superficial, let me put it this way.

If that was funny, this is crazy.

Because fifteen years ago, I wondered, what life was gonna be like for me. Was it always gonna be as dull, sad and miserable, as I felt inside? Surely, it had to, since that was what was happening right then. Eleven years ago, I sat in the middle of my classmates, and wondered – would I ever be able to create real connections or was my output too foreign for anyone to understand?

It’s crazy, because I still have to pinch myself to really understand that it all turned out okay. No one told me, how cool is it to be adult, to fall in love with yourself as the years go by, and to understand, that it all went, how it was supposed to go. Who knew, that you would drink wine with your best friend from kindergarten, light candles and imagine it’s autumn together, in the middle of the summer. Who knew, that you could love so many people, and that inevitably, they love you right back. You.

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This is what I’ve always been waiting for, and here I am now. A while back I went through my wardrobe and bought some new things while putting some things to sale. Today I did some dishes and cleaned up some makeup brushes –  and pretty soon I will go take a run in a cloudy, yet warm weather.

An old text reminded me of something today with this sentence: Remember to smile and to love.

I am one of those people, who stops every once in a while to write, and remembers yet again, why it feels so good to play your favorite songs so loud, no one hears you when you sing along.

It only feels natural, to end this text with a quote, that is written on one of the candles, that sits on our balcony:

Happiness is not a destination
It is a way of life

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Hair & photos of me by Susanna Pomèll
Coffee photos by me