I am the first to admit, I am pretty comfortable in my comfort zone. I really had not given this much thought, until yesterday, while coaching my girls on the run team. Our lesson was about comfort zones and how to stretch them. I learned a lot about myself from listening to them talk about what makes them uncomfortable.
Having the naivety of an 11 year old girl affords you some leeway on where you feel comfortable and what causes you stress. My 6th grade girls were not afraid to try snowboarding, ride roller coasters or fly on planes. What did they worry about? Going to middle school, reciting in front of their class and making new friends. We talked about the feelings associated with staying in your comfort zone: happiness, ease, familiarity. In addition, the feelings that go along with stretching your limits: anxiety, fear and stress.
I realized through the course of our discussion that I happily spend most of my time in my own comfort zone. I mean, who would choose not to be comfortable? Well, lots of people apparently. I read other runners accounts of how they push themselves way out of their physical comfort zones. I see facebook posts of people jumping out of airplanes or swimming with sharks. I am so not a swim with sharks kind of person.
Over the past year or so, I have been working on stepping out of my comfort zone (a bit). Last summer, I flew to Chicago to meet up with a bunch of running blogger friends that I had never met in person. That, is something I never would have done previously. I signed up for an adult Bat Mitzvah class that I’ve been participating in for the last 4 months. Learning Hebrew and working towards being able to read from the Torah is something I never thought I would do.
When one of my girls asked me, “what is out of your comfort zone”? I came up with a list of a few situations that definitely make me anxious. High buildings, flying on small planes, running on trails, running at night and snorkeling to name a few. This summer, I am going to make a conscious effort to push myself out of my comfort zone and attempt to experience some of those very things.
I thank my girls on the run team for challenging me to think outside of my own comfort zone. When is the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone and tried something new? What’s one thing that is way out of your comfort zone? Something you wish you had the nerve to try?
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