Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Finding my new comfort zone

Sometimes you really do have to push yourself out of your comfort zone in order to grow.

Learning to live outside of your comfort zone can really help to prepare us for many of the unexpected changes in life – something I’ve struggled with since having kids.

The point of stepping out of our comfort zones is to embrace new experiences and to get to a state where anxiety is managed better whilst not adding to our stress too much.
I did this when I took a big leap of faith when I ditched everything (a career, a home, lots of friends, a great social life) in London to move to Ireland and marry an Irish man I'd only just met on holiday. I decided I would jump off the cliff and build my wings as I went along.

Fast forward 9 years, and I recently took the plunge again. I dived straight into the deep end miles away from my comfort zone when I taught my first antenatal class in front of 3 pregnant woman and partners.

I was terrified. Months of planning and preparation and mindfulness helped me to get through the day without going to pieces, but inside I was hot and shaking with adrenaline and it took a few classes of wine afterwards to come down from that.

My point here is that I could have easily stayed in my bubble and stagnated, but I wanted to finally overcome a fear that I’d had since childhood of speaking in public. Not only did I speak in public but I facilitated a full day of antenatal exercises and information sharing. And my attendees loved it!

I faced the fear and overcame it. So maybe next time it won’t be as terrifying because I’ve already shifted the parameters of my comfort zone to an expanded level.

It scared the life out of me and probably knocked a few years off my life in terms of the stress of preparing for it, but I feel I’m becoming a more-rounded and stronger person because of it.

I’m also feeling quite proud of myself for achieving something I never thought possible – which I really enjoyed telling my kids about, hoping in the back of my mind they would find that inspiring when faced with difficult situations in life.
Now that the dust has settled a bit, I’m able to take in the bigger picture of this new bigger me; someone who has evolved from a shy, quiet-as-a-mouse child to a teacher of women fearful of giving birth.

And it’s taken me 6 weeks to get to the point where I can reflect on this and assimilate it into my psyche.

I'm now starting to feel ready for my next teaching day soon – and at least next time, I’m sure to find it a lot less terrifying. I hope so anyway.



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