Escaping the City: Challenge Yourself
Last Saturday (28th January 2017), I began my Escape journey. Together with 32 other people, we are embarking on a 3 month voyage of exploration. We are going to learn more about ourselves than ever before, and in the process, understand how and why we have held ourselves back to date. We’re challenging ourselves to be our truest selves, to live fuller, happier lives. And it is indeed a challenge. But one I am quite excited to be taking on.
Our first weekend together was spent setting up ground rules — like confidentiality, which means that although I will share my own perspective and learning, I will not be sharing any of the stories of the people sharing the journey with me. I will also not be sharing any photos of the events, although I may still share some images that are helping to motivate and inspire me through the process.
It’s an introspective process, but one we go through in an interactive way. No sitting on the sidelines watching others participate, no passing the time while being lectured on how to live a better life. You get stuck in. As Brene Brown would say, you get into the arena, and you dare to live greatly.
One of the recurring themes of Escape is the invitation to regularly challenge yourself, but within a manageable context. To find the edge of your comfort zone and then take tiny steps outside it — it could be something as simple as wearing a soft pink jumper to work when you usually wear shirts, or as big as getting on a stage to give a speech to a room full of people you’ve only recently met! I am so proud to say I achieved both of those this week, and more besides!
Getting on stage was terrifying — even thought it was only 5 minutes — baring my soul like that so openly and publicly felt like I was free-falling and hoping my fellow Tribers would catch me! I had even added to the challenge by deciding at the last minute not to go with my pre-prepared talking points, and instead to just speak from the heart… The first minute or so was essentially me revealing how just how much anxiety I was feeling, but then I managed to calm myself, and breathe, and speak about what I really care about. Which is this blog, and the Facebook group, and knowing that what I’m doing is helping other women. I told them how much I love seeing the women in the group ask for help, and be responded to and supported by the community. I love knowing that I’m helping this to happen, and it makes me so happy.
It’s amazing how quickly you can go from being terrified of any discomfort to seeking out little edge challenges everywhere, looking for that high you get when you achieve one! It’s almost addictive! You start feeling the difference between continuing to do things exactly how you’ve always done them, and the little jolt of adrenaline you get when you dare to do something slightly different.
It felt timely then that this Ted Talk appeared in my inbox on Wednesday morning — Eduardo Briceño shares his thoughts on how we can get better at the things we care about, by finding/creating a safe space to learn and grow, rather than constantly putting ourselves under pressure to perform:
So I would like to extend an invitation to you today — find one small thing to do that pushes you ever so gently out of your comfort zone, then take the time to notice how you feel afterwards, and let me know how you get on.
Originally posted on www.togetherfurther.org on 3rd February 2017.