From Your Comfort Zone to The Mountain Peak

Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.

– Shannon Alder

Getting out of your comfort zone might sound way too challenging, but it’s something that happens almost every day. What actually is a zone of comfort? Basically, our comfort zone is the state of mind (or being) in which we feel at ease. Any situation that makes us anxious drags us out of our comfort zone.

From interacting with strangers to standing in the rain on a daily basis, we all face a lifestyle that’s quite stressful and pushes us out of our comfy little bed. And there’s one occasion when getting out of our comfort zones is a must: sports.

Doing sporting activities is marked by a constant shift in our comfort zones. Let’s say that in the beginning, 20 push-ups can be out of your zone of comfort. However, with time you get used to your workout, and as a result, you feel comfortable with your new routine. So it’s time to push the boundaries of your comfort zone once more and master another level of discomfort: 50 push-ups, for example. Exercising is not just physical strength; it requires the mental resistance to continually force yourself out of your comfort zone. And further along the line, committed athletes (and their coaches) are in pursuit of more extreme zones of performance: peak performance.

There’s a kind of sport that challenges not only our physical or mental strength, but also our environment as a whole: Extreme sports! Bungee jumping, caving, climbing, rafting and many more; they all offer something hugely different to the urban surroundings we dwell in.

How can we give up our comfortable life and replace the holy smartphone with a rope? By not letting old habits control us. How simple is that?! We’ve all heard that old habits die hard… But has it ever come to your mind that it’s YOU that keep these habits alive?

So let’s start anew, and break this bubble:

*Build on your self-efficacy. In other words, start believing in your own ability to succeed in specific situations. Okay, if you can’t swim 100 metres without a break, start with 50 metres instead. But don’t lose hope that in the end you’ll make it!
*Change what you’re used to, because it is YOUR choice to make a change in your habits. To run 400 metres as always or 600 metres for a change? Try something new, choose CHANGE. Come on, feel the force of your feet as they move – this is the force of your own will!
*Be competitive – compete with yourself. If you’ve mastered a new skill, use it and learn a new one. So if you are good at jumping, try a long jump. You’ll see how your self-rewarding mechanisms will pay off: your body will start learning quicker and quicker.
*Know your limits. Comfort zones fluctuate, expand, change and disappear, but to successfully get out of them, get to know your body. It may sometimes be necessary to just let go. For example, I’ve given up on the idea of being a ballet dancer, but that doesn’t stop my frantic dancing at home. A great example of the importance of letting go is the personal story of the Swedish adventurer Goeran Kropp. In 1996 Kropp reached Everest’s South Summit, a peak that is “only” 100 metres away from the primary peak of Everest. However, he decided to turn around because it was too late and he realised that getting to the top wouldn’t be the problem, but the way back to the camp would. Was he scared? Not at all! He was smart because he survived the 1996 Everest Disaster, that terrifying year in which the peak embraced too many brave people and their last breath was drawn in its white arms. Nevertheless, Kropp never gave up on his dream and a year later he reached Everest with no oxygen. What’s the lesson, you might ask? It’s simple: don’t let your obsessions control you, but never give up on your dreams! My personal experience as a caver taught me this very same lesson: your body is capable of many things, but don’t play with nature… unless you want these dreams taken away from you.
* Oh, and don’t forget to give yourself a nice treat: a bar of chocolate after a healthy meal and a productive day at the gym will do nothing but good for your energy-craving body!
So leave your comfort zone and reach the peak of your dreams!


Posted on: Thanks, Rashina!


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