The goal of our ancestors was to survive. Life was thrilling and challenging enough finding and gathering food and finding and building shelter as protection from the elements and predators. Today our challenges are not survival, but, stretching our limits. Our limits are mental, emotional and physical. Challenging ourselves is actually good for us.
Science is now backing this up. We already know this about physical fitness. When you stress, or challenge a muscle, it improves its ability and gets stronger. The same is true when we challenge ourselves mentally and emotionally. When we do anything that is out of our comfort zone, and succeed, we get a huge rush of adrenaline and a happiness buzz that changes our brains and we want to experience that thrill again. But, doing something like, say, scale a rock face or pass a piano exam, more than once, does not produce the same level of joy. Intensity of feeling diminishes with each repetition, so we need to keep doing something new and different, as in, find a new challenge.
Thankfully, there are an unlimited supply of challenges available!
For the Sake of Your Health, Leave Your Comfort Zone
Back to science for a sec, the chemistry in our body changes when we are in a negative or unhealthy, stressful state. It makes us sick. Literally. The cells in our bodies first slow down their processes, sending as much energy to the stress-solving operation as possible. If the stress or ‘threat’ persists, cells shut down and eventually die off to the point that we develop at first, inflammation and then dis-ease and if left untreated/unchanged, death.
But, challenging our bodies and minds with healthy stress—things that give us a thrill of accomplishment—activates the cells in our bodies—repairing, building and producing them!
If you are currently comfortable, as in, your life is routine and you’re pretty set in what to expect most of the time, for your health’s sake, it may be time for you to challenge yourself.
The main reason we don’t go after our dreams is because we believe there are rules in place that disqualify us, or we talk ourselves out of pursuing our dreams because here and now feels safe and we believe safe is the point. Sorry, it’s not.
Challenge Your Thinking
If you’re not ready to sky dive, run your first marathon or perform stand up, just yet, here is a good primer to see where you are living by self-imposed rules. Your answers may lead you to actually go after something you’ve been ‘afraid’ to do. The point here is to challenge your rules.
Answer the following:
If people I knew wouldn’t find out, I would_____________________
If I knew I would be guaranteed success, I would_____________________
If money wasn’t an issue, I would _________________________
What about challenging your relationships?
What would you say if you were brave enough? ____________________
What would you ask if you weren't afraid of the answer? _______________
Your answers are your clues to where your comfort zone ends (and LIFE begins). I challenge you to do what you’ve written down. It’s literally good for you.
Want to go to your own NEXT LEVEL?
You’re worth it.
Certified Martha Beck Life Coach
What Now Life Coaching