Your comfort zone is a funny place, its warm and safe and make you feel happy, relaxed and, well, comfortable.
Trouble is nothing ever happens in your comfort zone, if you stay in this place then, by definition you are not pushing yourself, you are safe and things are OK. But if you really want to progress you have to push, you have to work and you have to get out of that comfort zone.
When you suffer from depression your comfort zone is an especially dangerous place. When you have depression, that comfort zone is doing nothing, its not getting out of bed in the morning, its hiding away and not doing what you have to do to function.
When depression and anxiety are the mainstay of your day, functioning is uncomfortable so your comfort zone is to not function. It seems like it’s easier to wither away than risk it. People can’t hurt you if you never mix with other people.
Paradoxically, this then builds on your depression, increases your anxiety and make your comfort zone seem so much more of an inviting option.
So this happened , a few months ago I signed up to help the coach at one of my gyms out by taking part in the qualifiers for a large fitness competition. This is way outside of my zone, in the spotlight, open where others can see and critique. I was asked purely because I am over 40, competition rules state there must be one Masters Male and one female on each team and we don’t have that many old guys. I agreed purely because if there was no Master Male, there was no team….I guess I took one for the team.
Being in this team has been hard, I am undoubtedly the weakest member, feeding my insecurities further that I’m letting the side down somehow. But its also out of my comfort zone, massively.
It may backfire but I have to try, as a great man once said
On any given day you can get better or worse, I don’t intend to get worse.
Putting myself in a position that makes me feel uncomfortable is may be risky, but not trying, ultimately, is even worse.
BTW, We made the final, and despite the fact that i was only supposed to be in the qualifiers, we need the bodies so I’m in once again. in amongst some of the fittest, strongest athletes you can imagine…. and me…
mmm, lets see