This week I dared to push myself beyond what I thought was my limit. After a certain age I believe we all begin to develop an opinion of ourselves. We put ourselves in a category or label ourselves in a particular way. Normally these categories or labels justify how we personally see ourselves in this world. For as long as I can remember I have given myself this label or that label. I was the “smart girl”, ” the funny one”, ” the mom” and “the wife” and the list goes on and on. The one label that I had never given myself but always wanted was “the outgoing one”, now don’t get me wrong I am very very sociable to a fault, but never have I been the one to crave or go after the spotlight. Truth be told I do not like to draw attention to myself and for the longest time had no issue being a supporting character in my own life, until now.
At the very start of this year, I made a promise to myself that this was the year of pushing. The year of being uncomfortable, living out loud and fully in all areas of my life. Now with the last 3 months of 2019 upon us (matter of fact, the last 3 months of this DECADE). I was presented with a challenge to further push me outside of my comfort zone.
So before you all start to believe that I did something super daring like sky diving, me pushing past my limit this week required me to post myself talking on Instagram Stories. I know that may not seem like a big deal, but for me it was major. For the longest time I allowed anxiety and fear to hold me back from ever recording or posting. Anytime I even thought about posting, my mind was crowded with “what ifs”, what if I have nothing to say, what if I sound dumb, what if I ramble, what if, what if, what if. Before I ever even hit the record button I had already torn any possibilities down + if I managed to actually record something I ripped it to shreds with critiques to the point that I wouldn’t post a thing. Being in the business of health, whole wellness + motivation there is some level of social presence that is needed especially for those clients that are not local. I knew and understood what it was that I was lacking which is always the very 1st step in making a change. I truly wanted to conqueror my fear and push further into my personal development, here are some steps I took in my journey.
- Learn: I started researching every thing I could on Instagram Stories and how they worked. I attended masterclasses provided online (pro tip, there are a butt load of masterclasses that are for FREE from real live experts all over the internet). The more I searched the more tools I obtained and the less afraid I felt. A lot of anxiety comes from lack of knowledge, or fear of unknown variables. Research, read blogs, watch videos, attend workshops or masterclasses; gather as much information as possible. The more you learn the more your anxiety will began to fade. Knowledge is POWER, the more you know the more your confidence grows.
- Plan: In one of the many masterclasses I attended there were freebies that included a “30 day plan” or challenge tool to help the attendees take what they learned to apply on their own ( I really cant stress enough how advantageous it is to attend these free workshops or masterclasses, yes they do try to sale something at some point BUT they always have freebies that are super useful). I took advantage of a Challenge tool, it basically broke up exactly what I needed to do each day. Take what you learned and make a plan. Remember simple to complex as you start with the easiest step 1st in your plan and build. Provide yourself deadlines that are realistic, a plan is great but if there is no actual deadline or timeline its really easy to fall into that passive state with no real progress towards the end goal.
- Accountability: I joined an engagement Facebook group as one of the freebies of the masterclass I attended. It was important for me to not just take the knowledge that I learned and the challenge tool that was provided and just go. I wanted others that were on the same journey to help me push myself as well as hold me accountable for following through. Facebook groups are amazing in the sense of community and having the ability to connect with people who are striving towards the same goals. Find like minded people, those on a similar journey for accountability. Facebook groups are a great place to start, not only are there tons of masterclasses and courses online that are free, these groups are also free. 98% of the facebook groups that I am apart of are full of tools and resources, the best part is if you dont know something you can always ask and there will ALWAYS be at least 1 person with a suggestion/answer.
- Action: The tools and the group meant nothing without actually taking tiny steps to follow through with my plan. During this week I was so UNCOMFORTABLE. I had to live with the discomfort initially, which is to be expected doing something that I had never really done before. The 2nd day felt like a complete sh*t show and if I am being honest I wanted to run and hide. The 3rd day didn’t feel as bad as the 1st but being 100% transparent I was still in discomfort. By the 4th day, I found with doing the research, knowing what to expect, having a plan and the support of my accountability group, I was less in my head about how I “thought I looked or sound” and began to really authentically connect and engage. Everyone’s timeline and level of comfort will be different, the main thing is taking action to follow through on those tiny steps to push outside of your comfort zone. Revisit that plan if needed and make adjustments, remember this is not a race, this is you working on your personal development. How you go about it will be very much personal to you.
- Grace: Where would I be without some GRACE? I will always be 100% honest and I am not going to pretend that I didn’t have any hiccups in my quest to push outside of my comfort zone this week. In-fact, I didn’t even make it to the 1st day of posting. I know, I know, I had all the tools, had the plan, even had the Facebook group, everything that I could need to be successful. The 1st day got the best of me, I recorded but couldn’t post. Looking back now, I know that I allowed anxiety to creep which lead me to tap into past fears about posting. Anxiety + Fear can go hand in hand and feed off of one another. In the past that 1 day hiccup might have kept me from continuing on and throwing in the towel. My accountability group came through like SuperMan that 1st day, reminding me of GRACE. There are gonna be hiccups and things wont go as planned, but keeping in mind the purpose of this journey: self development and growth, there has to be grace + understanding as you grow. Nurture yourself and tend to that growth with compassion.
Sometimes the very best things in life can happen when you are uncomfortable. As people we do our best growing when we are challenged or required to step up. There is a place for comfort zones for sure, comfort zones are where we feel safe or at home. Its where our mental and emotional selves can find peace and solace. Staying inside your comfort zone really means staying stagnate, keeping with the same routines, activities, taking low to no risks, never really pushing yourself to meet your potential. Comfort zones are very much needed as we balance through life. There always has to be that push and pull that keeps us steady. The only way to grow is to test your limits and to keep pushing that limit further and further. Had I not taken the steps to step outside of my comfort zone, I would have allowed the anxiety of the unknowns continue to keep me stunted in my personal development. By pushing myself forward not only was I able to accomplish my goal but in the midst I learned so much about myself, gained a new view and understanding on a topic that was not familiar to me and connected/engaged with so many others on the same journey.
What are some things that you want to push outside your comfort zone about?
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