Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone: Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Thanks to all the wonderful snow New Jersey has gotten the past couple of weeks, I’ve been forced to change up my fitness routine a bit. Instead of lifting at my normal gym where everyone knows me, I’ve had to go to a local Retro Fitness that decided they were going to stay open during the storms (they were my lifesavers!). But, I noticed something the second I walked in. All of those hardcore gym rats who, in theory, are exactly like me because they schlepped out in the snow to pick things up and put them down, still looked at me as an oddity. I’m a fairly petite girl wandering into a new gym with a lot of meatheads (and no, I don’t mean that offensively. By definition I’m also a meathead), and I’m not walking over to the cardio machines. Quite the opposite. I almost ran for the weights. Oh, the looks I got were almost laughable.

This did two things to me. One, it made me feel slightly uncomfortable. Two, it made me push myself even harder! I knew I was being watched while I went through my usual work out. This was neither negative nor positive feedback, but I was something new and exotic that doesn’t appear very often in most gyms. The awkwardness I felt wasn’t fleeting, but it’s something I learned to embrace and deal with each time I had to switch gyms until mine reopened. And each time I go I put up more weight and get stronger and healthier. Instead of avoiding the tough situations, I work through them and come out a better person at the end.

Now, to make matters worse more interesting on the work end of things, my position has once again changed its direction. They really seem to be taking lots of liberties with the line “special projects” that’s in my job description. This has presented its own level of uncomfortableness as I’m thrust into situations that require me to teach my supervisor (shouldn’t it be the other way around?) and handle a level of ambiguity that many people would find cringeworthy.

Both of these situations, though, have provided me with some very important insight. In order to be successful and continue to thrive in even the worst situations, you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Nothing will ever be perfect and you will often find yourself in situations where you’d rather turn and run back to your safe spot. However, you must ignore those feelings and embrace the change. You have to show that it doesn’t matter what is thrown your way, you can work through it. You have to step outside your little box that makes you feel save and climb that ladder to success! Once you can do that, you can do anything.

Where the magic happens

Go get some of that magic, people!

So, the next time your boss asks you do to something you’ve never done before, try it (within reason of course). Or if your friends invite you out to have a food you’ve never eaten before, give it a shot. Take little steps to build up your ability to handle uncomfortable situations. This is definitely a time when practice makes perfect and baby steps will help push you along the way. In the end, you’ll find out you’ve just built up your own self-confidence and overall inner strength. That’ll come handy in any situation you’re put in!

Now, it’s your turn! What uncomfortable situations have you been placed in? How did you overcome those feelings?

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