The Comfort Zone
I don’t know about you, but I have a comfort zone that I like staying in. I am a type A personality so obviously I like to be in control! I like to have everything on a schedule. If you want me to do something spontaneous, it is best to give me at least a couple of days heads up. I know that doesn’t sound very spontaneous, but that is how I am. If my hubby says he is wanting to go for a motorcycle ride sometime on a weekend, he will let me know during the week. Then I will keep my schedule open so I can go with him.
Since I am a control freak, I have been working on doing things out of my comfort zone. Let’s define comfort zone. Comfort zone is a situation in which you feel comfortable and in which your ability and determination are not being tested. Another definition is a situation or position in which a person feels secure, comfortable, or in control. Now you may be thinking that is a good place to be, right? But part of the first definition states “your ability and determination are not being tested”. So if we never get out of our comfort zone, do we ever know what we are really capable of doing?
Benefits of Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
This has made me research about why I should get out of my comfort zone. According to an article from Psychology Today, there are five benefits from stepping outside your comfort zone (this is very condensed).
- Your life is a sum total of ALL of your experiences—not just the comfortable ones. Get out and enjoy your life.
- You learn what you are really capable of doing by stepping out and doing new things.
- Risk taking is a growth experience; it can be good or bad, and you can learn from both.
- Don’t settle for mediocre by not stepping out of your comfort zone, get out there and expand your life skills and self-knowledge.
- It helps you deal with change and life is all about change whether we like it or not.
Does this mean you need to go and get an adrenaline rush to just get out of your comfort zone? NO. What if you just went to work a different way, ordered something different at your favorite restaurant, or struck up a conversation with a total stranger? Any of these small deeds can really stretch people. Some additional benefits can include becoming more productive, learning to deal with the unexpected, pushing boundaries in future experiences, and becoming more creative according to Lifehacker.
Exiting My Comfort Zone
So in an effort to get myself out of my own comfort zone, I have started to do things that push me beyond my current comfort zone. I would see others on social media posting pictures of mud runs, and I would think “I don’t think I could do that”. I took that as a sign that maybe I SHOULD do that. I found an organization that does a mud run just for women! It is the Dirty Girl Mud Run. One of their sponsors is Bright Pink which is a charity that supports awareness for breast and ovarian cancer in younger women. The event is all about joining together with other women, helping each other, and if you don’t want to do an obstacle just head on to the next one. It isn’t timed (unless you want to time yourself). You can walk or run, whatever works for you. Minnesota had an event in August, so my daughter and I decided we would take on this challenge. As the day approached, I found myself thinking “what have I gotten myself into? Is everyone else going to be in great shape and am I the only one that is going to struggle with this?”
The day came and it was unseasonably cold, 63 degrees and raining. Again, in my head I am thinking this is foolish, but we invested our money (one way to keep a commitment). During check in, it continued to rain. We had close to an hour wait for our start time in the rain, yuk. As we are waiting, we are looking around and watching other groups of women (yes that is what women tend to do). We notice that there are women of all different sizes, shapes, and ages. Some groups are dressed in all their bling and are there just to have a good time with friends. Others are a bit more dedicated and obviously are there to run a serious race, and either option works
Finally, we are at the starting line for our wave of women. We are off. We decided that we would walk most of the course and try to enjoy this adventure. One of the first obstacles turned out to be the most difficult, mainly because it was raining and it was difficult to grip the inflatable we had to climb up and over. As we were waiting our turn to scale the obstacle, we noticed how women were helping each other, even women who didn’t know each other. It was great to see.
We didn’t bring a camera along, but next time I would definitely have one in a plastic bag to capture all the fun adventures. Yes, I said fun. Even with the rain and cold, we had a good time. It pushed both of us to do some things that we have never done before. I think we both benefited from the experience. One way it helped me is that I now know that I can do a mud run, and I have the confidence to step out and do other things. My daughter made the comment as we were driving home, “Wow, I was nervous about not being able to handle this, but now I think I would be up for trying a more intense mud run!” The organization has had an event in Minnesota for at least four years. I am hoping they will be back in 2017. Wouldn’t it be fun to get together with a bunch of women and get out of your comfort zone together? Would you do this type of event? How do you get yourself out of your comfort zone? How has it changed you?
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