Discomfort Zones

Discomfort Zones

So, hope you notice the subtle change of direction - I often talk of comfort zones, but now Discomfort!!!

I have been doing some research into ways of stretching people's comfort zones so they can achieve more, and I totally believe in practising what I preach so I needed to test some things out.

Modern parlance, talks of Discomfort. We all experience it, I know I do; those sweaty palms, faster breathing, anxiety and Id even rather vacuum the house than face certain things! So, thought I would purposely push myself into that zone, to see if I could "acclimatise" to it, and therefore be less fearful in it and so able to stretch myself.

As a result, I found myself this last couple of days in the Lake District, Langdale to be precise, on my own, with cold, wet, snow and ice! All my favourites all together - lucky me. I set off with the aim of pushing myself into poor conditions, not stupidly, but with calculated risks, knowing I am a wimp on my own, but also being aware of the changing weather and ground underfoot.

I had left details of where I was heading and off I went. I probably have not navigated for myself in about 25 years, and I certainly have not walked on my own for many years. Funny, I live in the Peak District, just as high, but as I walk and run there every day I do not consider that to be mountains! or dangerous even. This is how your brain can become irrational because there is no difference between the two places. Folk become lost and hurt in the Peaks, just as much as in the Lakes!

Anyway, back to discomfort. So not before long, I was talking to myself, justifying continuing up some bad ice, going higher, scrambling a bit. I knew my heart rate was up and my head kept telling me to stop. However, I had told myself I would be out for at least 4 hours, so I didn't want to be a complete wimp, so I kept going. Gradually I was able to remain calmer, rationalise more, and lo and behold, I was fine! No falls, major slips, or getting lost. I did lose the path a few times, trying to avoid some large ice sheets, but was able to navigate my way back. Visibility greatly reduced but I was fine.

I feel pleased with myself, but also a bit cross, as I now think I could have done even more.But what a great way to end, feeling success, but also a little frustrated, so I cannot wait to go out again! I experienced discomfort, but was able to manage it, to greater success and greater self belief. By setting a small target and trying simple steps, I have pushed my own boundaries and extended my comfort zone.

If you want to share your experiences of discomfort please comment, or call me to discuss.