There’s a reason why “stepping outside your comfort zone” has become a popular cliché. Leaving your comfort zone is where you grow and make progress.
Why is it so hard to leave?
Your comfort zone is familiar. When you stay there, you know exactly what you’re capable of, and there is no risk of failure or making a mistake. On the other hand, going beyond your comfort zone would mean entering uncharted territory. When you don’t know what’s out there, fear and thoughts of messing up, making a mistake or looking ridiculous can hold you back.
Why not just stay in your comfort zone?
Rather than risk failing in some way, why not just stay in your comfort zone? Yeah, that’s always an option. But is it the best option?
Once you stop challenging yourself in the gym or in any area of your life, you risk getting bored and stuck. Your training will hit a plateau, and that strong sense of purpose that got you into the gym in the first place will fizzle out.
So, how can you lean into growth and continue to take steps forward? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Sometimes, you need to take a giant leap.
Starting CrossFit is a giant leap outside of most peoples’ comfort zones. Looking back, you might recognize that a giant leap is exactly what you needed.
2. Other times, you need to take smaller steps.
While it’s possible to get outside your comfort zone by taking that giant leap, sometimes leaping is not the best option. For example, let’s say a marathon would challenge you to do something you’ve never done before. But going from a few miles of running right into 26.2 miles of running would probably lead to injury. However, smaller steps would work in this situation. Over time, you’d get further and further away from where you started.
3. Choose the harder/more challenging option.
Getting outside of your comfort zone comes down to choices. Anytime you reach a fork in the road, choose the path that will challenge you. Like, do you do five more reps or put the bar down? Do five more reps. Do you stop and walk the last 200 yards or keep running? Keep running. In those moments where you must make a choice, give it everything you have and recognize that effort. Even if you can only manage three reps instead of five or you have to walk the last 50 yards, it’s still a win. You’re doing more than you did before.
Leaving your comfort zone might be scary, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely path. Don’t be afraid to ask your coach (or your community) for some help.
Are you ready to live life to your fullest potential? So are we. Schedule your first free class today at Rhapsody CrossFit in Charleston.