We all like to be comfortable. Doing new things and trying new things can be fun and exciting or can be scary and nerve racking. I think the older we get the easier it is to stay in that nice, warm comfortable space. And that is where we stop moving forward and growing. Recently, I did something far out of my comfort zone. I’m happy to report that I survived and am still alive and kicking.
There are actually articles providing real reasons for us to get out of our comfort zones. As we get older and more set in our ways, more comfortable in our lives and places, it can be really easy to simply stay the course. Keep on keeping on. However, there are actually healthy benefits for doing anything – big or small – that makes us uncomfortable. It can be as simple as stepping into a new exercise class, taking up a new hobby, or as big as interviewing for a new job, or maybe making a move to a new home or city. If fact, getting out of our comfort zone is an important part of personal growth, and a little anxiety is actually a good thing. It helps us perform, stay creative and continue learning and growing.
Huffington Post shared this article highlighting 6 reasons to step outside of your comfort zone. I especially like these two quotes from the article.
“In an increasingly competitive, cautious and accelerated world, those who are willing to take risks, step out of their comfort zone and into the discomfort of uncertainty will be those who will reap the biggest rewards,” Margie Warrell writes in Forbes.
“We pay a heavy price for our fear of failure,” the author John Gardner wrote in Self-Renewal. “It is a powerful obstacle to growth. It assures the progressive narrowing of the personality and prevents exploration and experimentation. There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure — all your life. It’s as simple as that.”
While I’m all for learning and growing and trying to do new things, there are just some things I would definitely shy away from. One such occasion recently arose. In the drugstore. Of all places.
While waiting in line at the drugstore a friend of mine approached me and asked me to be part of her fashion blog. She gave me the exact day and time and where to be. Right then. To my face. Before I could search my head for an acceptable excuse I had somehow agreed. Let me preface this by saying my friend Vickie has a beautiful site at KirbYourStyle full of beautiful and stylish fashions. This is so not me. I was completely honest telling her this was far out of my comfort zone. I am not a stylish or fashionable person. I like to look good, of course. But my idea of a big shopping spree is usually hitting up the Athleta store – not the high end designers of many women!
The other layer of my anxiety was being photographed. I have never thought myself particularly photogenic. I have what my family has always called “the Thomas eyes”. My mother, brother and I have “the Thomas eyes”, which are those unsightly circles that seem to be part of my DNA. I also always feel uncomfortable having my photo taken. I just never know what to do, where to look, what to do with my hands. I just feel plain silly. I often think about putting more photos of workouts and exercises here on my site. I have a YouTube channel, but only have a few videos uploaded because I get so self conscience about having my photos and videos out there.
Then there was the embarrassment factor. I just felt embarrassed that anyone who might see these photos might think something about me. I’m not exactly sure what I thought in this part of my anxiety, but it was that age old worry about what other people might think.
These were my anxieties leading up to the “photo shoot”. I’m sure it did not help when I showed up with my favorite pair of jeans . . . that happened to be from Target. See what I mean??
Well, let me just tell you Vickie made me feel so comfortable! She had chosen some great combinations for me to try on. It was so much fun! Some worked and some did not and that was part of the fun, too. My sweet and talented friend, Deborah, worked her fabulous magic photographing me. She made me laugh and helped me lose any bit of nervousness.
I had a certain amount of time before I had to leave to teach some yoga clients. I couldn’t believe how quickly the time flew! What a wonderful and pleasant surprise! If you want to see me in anything other than workout gear, check it out HERE. You can see what a great job Vickie did in dressing me and the magic Deborah worked!
I owe these two women a big thank you for forcing me to do something different, something completely outside of my comfort zone.
Here’s a peek of one of the photos taken and not used. I loved this outfit because I felt like I was wearing my PJ’s!
So now I’ve shared with you about one of my latest anxieties and some of the benefits of getting out of your comfort zone. There are so many things out there I need to do and learn . . .
What about you? How big is your comfort zone? How do you overcome yours?
Enjoy Your Day!