When was the last time you really put yourself out there? Seriously! When was the last time you could feel your adrenaline pumping because you were doing something that made you nervous or uncomfortable? It might have been presenting in front of a group of people, putting an idea on the table that you hadn’t shared before, maybe a job interview, or maybe a first date?
Your comfort zone is a behavioural space where your activities fit a chosen routine that ultimately minimises your stress and risk. It provides you with a state of mental security. The routine is then reinforced because you experience regular happiness, low anxiety and reduced stress. If we are experiencing happiness, minimal to no anxiety and little to no stress, why the f*ck would I mess with that, I hear you say?
Because…. Healthy levels of stress and anxiety is where the magic happens! Interestingly though, to ensure you experience a good amount of “stretch” you need to consciously put yourself out there – that can be where alot of us fall down from time to time and that is where we can find ourselves in a bit of a rut.
In order to maximise our performance, some anxiety is necessary (Yes, I did just say that!) — a space where our stress levels are slightly higher than normal. This space is called “Optimal Anxiety”, and it’s just outside our comfort zone.
Check out this TED Talk by Matt Cutts and see if you’re motivated to get out of your comfort zone! It is only 3 minutes long, but gives you a truck load of reasons why hitting that point of optimal anxiety is so important to your continued growth and development. CLICK HERE
Can’t remember the last time you put yourself out there or did something that made you even just a little bit uncomfortable? Maybe you are in a bit or rut. Ask yourself these questions and reflect on these statements:
* Do you often use words like “just getting through the day”, or do your days generally start to feel like you have achieved very little?
* If you answered the question of “How are you?” genuinely, it would be something along the lines of “Meh”?
* You sort of know something doesn’t feel quite right within, but you just aren’t sure what it is?
* You often feel like you are on autopilot?
* You almost always feel tired –when you get up in the morning you are already counting down until you can be back in bed.
* You often day dream about a different reality, but don’t have the energy to do anything about it.
In need of a little shake up to get you back on track? That’s OK, we’ve all been there! First things first, watch the TED Talk I have mentioned above. Secondly, see if you can action these steps to help you.
1) Understand your current comfort zone – what is your current routine? Are you working long hours where you are woken up by coffee and put to bed by wine? You have little energy left for exercise at the end of your day so you just flop on the couch and watch Netflix night after night after night? Once you understand what your current “rut routine” looks like you can start to work out how to break it down.
2) Set yourself some small goals to get you up and about again, and eventually increase them in stretch – if you are living the above life I’ve just mentioned, maybe a small goal for you initially is to use one night a week to get out and catch up with a friend or make a phone call to a family member. Set small goals initially, but STICK to them – this will help you build back some momentum as you’ll be enjoying the good vibes that come with doing something for yourself and something outside of your rut routine. If you just watched Matt Cutts TED talk, you can now start to think of what you want to do with your next 30 days of challenges.
3) GET UP!! Nothing will rejuvenate you quite like some fresh air and the blood pumping again around your body. Even if it is only 10 minutes a day, don’t ever let a day go by where you haven’t been outside – and NO walking from your car to the house or the office does not count!
4) Talk to someone – Sometimes just “offloading” about how you are feeling can do you the world of good, and there are many people who would be happy to lend an ear. If you are feeling a sense of overwhelm on where to start, perhaps speak to a professional, whether it be a counselor, psychologist or a coach (Hi!!) who can help you start unpacking what is going on for you and help you create some goals to move forward.
5) Review the balance wheel and make sure you have something to look forward to in ALL areas of your life – not sure what the balance wheel is or where to start ? Flick me an email and I will happily send it through to you so you can check yo-self!
Most importantly, if you realise you might be in a bit of a rut, do not feel like you are alone, or that you need to be stuck here. We all have down periods from time to time, but it is important that you take the necessary steps to get yourself back on track and enjoying a life full of healthy balance and optimal stress that comes from pushing yourself in a healthy manner.
I help women get out of their own ways. I help you deal with the overthinking. The Imposter Syndrome. The self-doubt. The overwhelm. The career confusion. All the things currently getting in your way of being a confident, kick a** woman in your workplace and in your life. Ask me for more info on how I can help you at firstname.lastname@example.org