Recently I decided to do something that would involve me moving outside of my comfort zone. Making the decision was easy, taking action was not so. While one part of me was keen and wanted to make changes, another part of me was having none of it. The resistant part was coming up with many reasons as to why I should stop right now and forget about the whole idea.
Negative thoughts would constantly be running through my mind, such as:-
- I was putting myself under too much pressure.
- I was making myself vulnerable and I wouldn’t be able to cope.
- I would be judged and criticized.
- I didn’t have enough experience.
The thoughts did make sense to me. Maybe I was genuinely making a big mistake and should keep things as they were.
Whenever we contemplate doing anything that might involve moving outside our comfort zone a part of us will resist, and do everything in its power to get us to give up.
Thankfully I have come to understand that experiencing this resistance is a normal part of being human. The intention of that resistant part is to keep us safe and secure. It acts like an over protective parent, fearing that we will fail, we will do something wrong, we will be judged and rejected and ultimately that we will not be able to handle the consequences. So the internal message we hear is usually some form of discouragement – ‘you aren’t good enough’, ‘ you will fail’. This internal chatter is so convincing that giving in feels more attractive than moving through the resistance. But gently moving through the resistance is exactly what we need to practice.
I share this with you as a reminder not to immediately give up on your desires and plans if you find yourself running into this type or resistance. Expect the resistance as a natural part of healthy human development. So instead of staying stuck, and reverting to your familiar coping patterns, get curious about why you are hesitant when it comes to moving outside your comfort zone.
Ask yourself some simple probing questions to understand what might be holding you back. For example:
Q What am I assuming might happen if I proceed with my plan?
Q. What benefits could I experience moving forward?
Q. How could I support myself through this process?
Asking questions is a great way to open our minds to possibility and to get a fresh perspective on ourselves. Don’t believe everything that you think – especially when it is negative. Challenge those thoughts and don’t let your mind put you off your dreams and plans.
Moving outside your comfort zone and gently stretching yourself one small step at a time may be exactly what you need to do right now.
You may also be interested in this post SURFING THE URGE – helenmckillen.com
For further ideas on reflective questions download my ebook: Resources – helenmckillen.com