How to Challenge Yourself without Pushing Too Hard

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Staying in the safety of our comfort zone seems like the logic thing to do. We can be sure that nothing unpredictable will happen as that may make us feel uncomfortable. We tend to try to avoid any new and slightly scary things that may appear in our life even though deep down we know that we can benefit from that. Some people tend to push themselves a little bit too hard. They constantly try to do things that they feel afraid of or uncomfortable. Something I think we all need is a healthy balance between challenging ourselves while still feeling grounded and safe. 

If there is something you really want to do, but as soon as you start thinking about you get that nervous feeling in your stomach, then take a few deep breaths. Think about all the reasons behind this nervous feeling. Is it really a negative or positive one? You do not need to decide right away. Something you can do is get closer to realizing if you really want to do it or not and what are the reasons behind both decisions. We tend to put too much pressure on ourselves and make it seem bigger and scarier that it really is.

Just stop in that moment and get back to the root of the “problem” or that initial thought. Do not immediately brush it off but also do not jump right into it at the first thought. Sometimes we need more than just a second as every decision holds a different level of importance to your life. Look back at your daily life and is that thing that makes you uncomfortable something that could actually be good for you. 

Now that you have a stable breath and somewhat clear mind, try and imagine yourself doing that something that is maybe completely out of your comfort zone. Just imagine all the possibilities. Think about all the benefits you could get from doing it and how would they affect you and your life in the future. Of course, think about negative things that could happen. The important thing is that you stay as objective as you can. I know that this can be quite hard as we tend to look at things from just one perspective.

Do not try to make it better or worse than it actually could be. Our imagination is an incredible thing but sometimes it can get a little bit too wild. Take as much time as you need, close your eyes and imagine how you would feel doing it and think about how you would feel never doing it. Think about why you even started to get the desire or repulsion just from the single thought. Ask yourself if you are going to regret not doing it later? 

Going over what you thought was you limit is absolutely amazing but there are certain steps you need to make and order in the levels you need to go through. You can’t just jump to something that is at this moment just too challenging. You need to take it step by step. In my opinion, the best way to step out of your comfort zone is to make that first move as small as it may seem.

We are all on different levels while some feel ready to make some big leaps you might not feel that way and that is completely fine. Knowing your limits does not mean following others and their path. First two steps that were mentioned in this post are a great way to get yourself ready. Trust your intuition and if you feel drawn to something and if you see more positive in doing it than negative then give it a shot. But make it on your own turns. 

Just do it! You have done all the thinking and maybe even over thinking and now it is time to take action. Say yes to that invitation, apply to that job position, cross bungee jumping from your bucket list, get that “crazy” haircut, etc. Look, even if it does not end up to be what you expected it to be at least you tried and now you know. You just saved yourself from all the endless “what ifs”. While talking to people who made that step out of their comfort zones I mostly heard positive experiences.

They felt that spark again, that nervousness that indicates that something incredible is going to happen. Taking up on challenges that life puts in front of us is one of the ways we can grow, learn and at the end get closer to that person we are meant to be. Only when we get out of the comfort zone we start to feel and see all the endless opportunities around us but we also start to see new parts of ourselves. We realize that we are much braver then we thought we are. 

When was the last time you challenged yourself? 
Do you find it hard? 


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