Since this is such a personal experience I thought I could share with you how I managed to break the barrier of my comfort zone today.
As a woman who takes regular exercise, I begin to feel restless if I have missed a few days. This is simply because my body is used to being dragged out onto the street and pushed for anything from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Having been on holidays in March for 3 weeks, I was travelling light and knew there would not be much opportunity to find appropriate times and places in order to exercise. I had my husband to consider also, and as we would be travelling for 3 weeks, it would be unfair to have to focus on running in a safe place for over an hour. I made the Executive decision to take 3 weeks off running, knowing that it would be replaced with healthy daily hiking (or tramping as it is known in New Zealand) and a healthy diet.
In Practice, and in Theory?
This was re-assuring and in practice worked very well!
On our return to Ireland, I immediately went out and did a run equal to the last distance I had done before we travelled abroad. I succeeded albeit over a longer period. And this did not matter. Pass 2 days, 3 days, 4 days and I found reasons and weather related excuses not to go out. It annoyed me and intrigued me all at the same time.
This went on for a couple of weeks, until today. I went out and simply ran 1km further from the office than my normal distance. This presented me with two options. Either walk some of the way back, or bloody well run it back.
Now I know myself. I am ever curious about why I do things and don’t do things. I knew that once I had made a deal with myself to allow myself walk back some of the way, by the time I hit the return journey, my competitive streak kicked in and I was going to complete the distance – running! And I succeeded.
Only on the “cool down” walk back to the office, did I realise I actually ran the full distance. I was equally annoyed and delighted with myself for fooling myself into that age old “trick”. And sometimes, it’s simply how I get things done. When all the strategies fail, or get pushed by the wayside, I make deals with myself, and that’s how I broke through my comfort zone of running 40 mins to running 55 mins.
These thoughts are simply to share with you the trickster things we can do to ourselves to achieve a POSITIVE outcome. The reality is that we do similar tricks to entice negative outcomes (see beginning of this blog post). Coach or no Coach, I can also get caught out with lack of enthusiasm, lack of action, and downright “divilment”. Sometimes being a Personal Coach separates us from achieving negative outcomes because we know our trade, and can “coach” ourselves.
And sometimes, we just don’t have the energy. The idea is that we acknowledge that, accept it, and be curious about it. By being curious, we learn and can change the state we are in with little effort.
And so it goes, another successful breakthrough for now. And the final tidbit – the prize!! Always treat yourself for achieving difficult accomplishments, whether they are big or seemingly insignificant.
Happy “breaking the barrier”! And be humble enough to ask for help when you need extra guidance or a more structured approach to setting and achieving your goals.