My Body Confidence Journey: Day 49 – Dealing with anxiety and pushing out of my "comfort zone"!
Your “comfort zone” consists of any person, place or factor that you feel most comfortable in and safe with. For me, it’s my home, or my bedroom; being with my Mum, my family, Bailey, or my best friend Katie; or when I am coaching and doing things that I love - among others. The more you push yourself out of your “comfort zone’, the more you will learn and grow… So, in most respects, trying new things is good!
Now, as I am sure you can imagine; getting on YouTube, filming and editing videos and putting myself “out there” was so far out of my comfort zone, I might as well have been sat on Mars… However, after pushing myself, preparing and planning the reasons why I needed to do this and how I was going to combat and control my anxiousness (see Day 20’s video for more on this); I felt “ready” (sort of) to take a leap of faith, which went on to change my life.
Now, I am not saying you need to start a YouTube channel, or even start blogging (although you can if you want to – I strongly recommend it!). What I would suggest is doing something small every day that is a little bit unfamiliar but you know will help you learn or grow… For example, you could start a journal, begin practicing mindfulness in the morning, or even meditating before you go to bed!
When I was in my lowest place, in terms of my body confidence, I remember feeling anxious about going to the supermarket, walking the dog, or even going out for dinner somewhere I hadn’t been before. This can be really frightening, especially when you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin, through worry of what others will think of you or how they might judge you. At so many points in my life, this fear of judgement has kept me well and truly inside of my “comfort zone”, as the fear has been crippling. I have stopped myself joining football teams, going swimming (which I love), going to new places or busy festivals or events. But there came a point where I just thought, “enough is enough!”.
I went onto learn (and I am still learning) about different ways to feel safe and expand my “comfort zone”. Along with setting small goals (again, check out Day 20’s video on CAPP Goals) and taking small steps to try new things, I found another great way to combat change and help me feel more comfortable when expanding my “comfort zone” … And that is positive mental rehearsal or visualisation.
Simply take the new “thing” you’d like to try, and create a positive mind-movie with you as the main character. For example, I wanted to go out wearing shorts, but it really frightened me, to the point where I felt physically sick. I then created a movie in my mind, of me walking Bailey (my cheeky Chihuahua) and bumping into friends who were friendly and smiley, taking no notice whatsoever of my legs. I introduced feelings of gratitude and happiness, and replayed this movie in my mind lots throughout the day. After practicing this for a week or so, I finally “bit the bullet” and went out in shorts. I felt surprisingly calm and, guess what? The sky didn’t fall down!
Remember that most of the time, change is good and change helps us grow. It may well be scary, but it can be really good for you…
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‘Whoops, There It Goes Again: How to Stay Positive When the Bottom Keeps Dropping Out of Your World!’ by Jo Richings – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whoops-there-goes-again-positive/dp/199991970X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
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