“You have enormous untapped power you’ll probably never tap, because most people never run far enough on their first wind to ever find they have a second.” – William James
Whether you want to get in better shape, learn a new skill, or make an important life change, it requires moving out of your comfort zone and trying something new.
It is just one of those cosmic jokes the universe plays on us. We have to go through strain and discomfort to come away stronger, wiser, and more aware.
Many people want something different for their life, but they aren’t willing to face the discomfort, fear, and potential failure required to make it happen.
This is one major aspect of helping people deal with their “inner game” in the coaching process.
We naturally want to take the path of least resistance. We want to have better health, more money, and improved relationships without going through a learning curve and putting in the hard work.
So helping people shift their perspective about stretching themselves and getting uncomfortable is an important first step to creating new opportunities and possibilities.
If you’re feeling stuck, here are two important reminders to help you create more of what you want.
The first thing to remember is that:
1. Fear and discomfort are a part of life
This is a day to day reminder I have to make for myself, but I try to accept that if I want something more from life it will involve some resistance, doubt, and push back.
When we can remind ourselves that fear and resistance is a normal part of the growth process we are more likely to take the next step despite these feelings.
“If we are growing we are always going to be outside our comfort zone.” - John Maxwell
There isn’t a final destination where resistance disappears, but we can learn to channel our doubts and fears in a different way. We can learn to acknowledge our resistance and take action anyway.
The second thing to remember is:
2. You want to “stretch” not “snap”
Many people assume getting out of their comfort zone means going bungee jumping or sticking their head in a tank of spiders. (Good ole’ Fear Factor!)
But we don’t need to shock ourselves to get uncomfortable. Frankly if we take outrageous measures like these we won’t just stretch, we will snap!
We don’t want to overload ourselves or push too far past our comfort zone.
Think of this in terms of lifting weights. You don’t want to start out bench pressing 200 lbs. if you haven’t worked out in years.
Not only will you probably not be strong enough to life this weight, but if you do you could injure yourself.
We just have to take small incremental steps.
Little by little as we stretch ourselves to a point where we’re uncomfortable we will start to see results.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” - Neale Donald Walsch
We can start to run that extra mile, face that fear, or sing that new note.
We can start to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and before we know it we have reach a new level of growth and awareness we didn’t even realize was possible.
Where in your life do you need to accept that resistance is normal and natural? What small steps can you start taking to step into this resistance without feeling overwhelmed?