You have probably heard about the value and importance of getting out of one’s comfort zone in order to grow and create success. Discomfort was one of my word for 2019, I got really uncomfortable at times and one day as I was running (I often get insights as I run…), I realized that there are 2 types of discomfort. And one of them is actually still in the comfort zone. Let me illustrate that.
I can get really uncomfortable by pushing myself physically, doing some High Intensity Intervals or racing in running or swimming, sometimes just hiking hard in the mountains, or biking up hills. It is hard, it hurts, and it might look like getting out of my comfort zone. But it is not. I know how to do that. I swam at national level in my high school years practicing twice a day, 6 days a week, I have always found fulfillment in pushing myself physically. So, doing High Intensity Intervals, pushing myself physically is actually just more of what I know and am comfortable with, even when it doesn’t feel pleasant. If you are someone already very structured, reliable to deliver, to be accountable and very committed, preparing more, delivering more, committing to more, although it can seem like getting out of your comfort zone because it requires more work and feels like pushing yourself more, is actually still in your comfort zone. Not that it’s wrong and can’t be useful, but it just has a limited impact on your growth and on what you are creating.
On the other hand, doing some Facebook videos (live or not) during the first part of the year was really out of my comfort zone. You see, I had never been on Facebook until I wanted to share my coaching journey, and my first posts were very challenging to put out there in the world. These videos were a much bigger leap. It was not so much during the video that it was uncomfortable but rather before and after, with all the self-doubts and fear of the judgment of others. Although at that point I didn’t do it for marketing purpose and I didn’t intend to make it “professional”, but just to practice pushing myself in this discomfort while adding value to those watching, I had to be with the feeling of not being good enough, feeling vulnerable, feeling shame, feeling judged. This was real discomfort for me. And this is where transformation happens, where you learn to feel what you are usually avoiding and that is holding you back, this is how you unblock some limiting beliefs or shift your way to operate in the world in order to create the life you really want.
I haven’t arrived (I actually will never because it is a never-ending process), but I am now more comfortable with imperfection, I am more comfortable with improvising, not being fully prepared. I recently joined a toastmaster group (to practice public speaking) and I was surprised how little scared I was for my first speeches, even during one I had to improvise because we were running out of speakers. And I am now ready to do more professional videos when I decide to.
Where are you deceiving yourself by thinking you are playing out of your comfort zone but are actually just doing more of what you know and are comfortable with?
Where do you need to get REALLY uncomfortable?