Change Begins Where Comfort Ends

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What is something you have been wanting to try, but just haven’t quite built up the courage?  Many times new situations or new activities can trigger anxiety or uncomfortable feelings that keep us from taking the risk and really going for it!  For example, it can be intimidating to try out a new gym or scary to take an unfamiliar bus route.  When we choose to NOT push ourselves out of our comfort zones, we can sometimes feel immediate relief.  But ultimately, we are feeding our anxiety and fear of being uncomfortable.  So what do we do?

I encourage you to make a list of your values.  Ask yourself, “What is important to me?”  If being healthy is on your list, but you’re not exercising or eating well, you might feel down on yourself.  We are happier when we are living a life that reflects what is important to us.  With this in mind, we can start to see that taking the risk of being anxious the first time we try something new (like going to a new fitness center) is worth it if it is something that is important to us. 

What is the new thing you want to try?  What is the first, smallest step you can do in the next 1 hour? The next 8 hours? The next 24 hours? That will get you closer to meeting that goal?  

The more we can grow our circle of comfort and practice putting ourselves in what might be new and anxiety-provoking situations, the more satisfied we will feel.  We can learn to allow the discomfort to be present, but not feel like we have to do anything to change it!

Have fun!
 

Article Author

Sarah Buller

Sarah has her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver and is also a Certified Personal Trainer.  She has been a Health Coach and Behavioral Health Clinician at Denver Health since 2014 and in this role provides support and motivation to others to help them achieve their health goals.