Tag Archives: comfort zones

Just Do It!

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“Confidence is like a muscle: The more you use it the stronger it gets..” (Anonymous)

Point to Ponder:
Do you lack confidence?

Action Item:
Get outside your comfort zone this week by trying an exercise or class you wouldn’t usually try.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Well, I did it! Last Monday I flew to Santa Monica for my ‘de-blorfting’ trip— a personal getaway (all by myself and for myself) for the sole purpose of recharging my battery. And just as the wise and wonderful iGnite member Louise Pincoffs warned me I would, the day before I left I began questioning if I indeed needed the trip and if it was worth the hassle of organizing myself and the family for my departure. I won’t lie, there was tension in the household, which made it even more uncomfortable for me to leave. Then, of course, I had multiple conversations with ‘Lady Guilt.’ She tried, almost successfully, to convince me that I was being a bad and selfish wife and mother by doing something completely for me. But I had prepared for her pathetic attempts and for no other reason than to defeat her, I was going on this trip!

Upon arriving and for about the first eight to twelve hours, it was rough. I didn’t know what to do with myself. As much as I wanted to completely remove my ’wife,’ ‘mom’ and ‘business owner’ hats and instantly make the trip about me, it was impossible because I had not practiced it since pre-marriage! I’m a giver and a do-er, and as good as it sounds to completely relax, have a glass of wine and empty my brain, this was waaayyyyy out of my comfort zone and much more difficult than I anticipated. In fact, I even considered catching an early flight back. However, I continued to remind myself that good things always come from discomfort and I would be cheating myself and my husband Russell’s confidence in keeping the children if I didn’t stay the course.

Long story short, after a five-mile walk along the beach, a glass of wine, a few phone calls with two veteran wife and mom friends reminding me why it was so important to be on this trip, the guilt, discomfort and fear was completely gone, and I found my groove. In fact, by sunrise on day two I was ready to add another day!

As I had hoped, this trip did wonders for my body, my mind, my spirit and for mine and Russell’s relationship. Oddly, we had better conversations on the phone than we have had in years. They weren’t rushed or interrupted, they were brutally honest, and there were no arguments. Because our roles were reversed for the first time ever, it was an incredible opportunity for us to see things from each other’s perspective. We shared compassion and gained a greater appreciation for each other and the roles we typically play.

I also finished reading The Confidence Code (our suggested summer read) which continues to get more fascinating with each page. In it, the authors interview a range of confidence scientists and experts. I was completely unprepared for one piece of research: that between 25% and 50% of our confidence is in our DNA, meaning we are genetically predisposed to have less or more confidence (regardless of our environment, experiences, etc). Another finding proved that while we are genetically predisposed to have less or more confidence, much like being born with the certain skill sets and talents, the more we practice confidence, the more comfortable we get at using it. So, to translate this finding into muscular physiology, most of us are born with more slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are the endurance type muscle fibers, however by performing and practicing quick and explosive movements, we can actually recruit fast-twitch muscle fibers, which will inevitably increase our speed and quickness. And so, the notion to ‘JUST DO IT’ (which the authors and of course Nike suggest), by practicing doing the uncomfortable things that we really want and need to do but avoid because we fear failure or the unknown outcome, is absolutely necessary in building confidence.

Lucky for us, summer is within an arm’s reach. I don’t know why, but the summer season has always felt like we can color outside of the lines and tip toe beyond our margins more than we would typically allow ourselves during any other season. With this liberty comes the opportunity to practice stretching our confidence zones. You can actually start in a safe place, like iGnite, and then take a class you have feared you can’t do or practice an exercise or pose you didn’t think you were strong enough to perform. Then you take that confidence/momentum and apply it when trying something else you’ve been hesitant or reluctant to try, do, or talk about.

When you practice enough, your confidence builds like a fast growing snow ball rolling down a mountain. Soon enough it becomes a massive avalanche and you become unstoppable! The bottom line is, you have to say ‘yes’ to yourself and JUST DO IT! Without a doubt, you can count on iGnite to be your never-ending source of encouragement and cheerleaders. We all have one shot at this life and we want to knock it out of the park with you. So let’s JUST DO IT!

 

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WEEKLY JOURNAL: Your Word of the Year

Inspirational Glass Stones

“Be fearless. Have the courage to take risks. Go where there are no guarantees.Get out of your comfort zone even if it means being uncomfortable. The road less traveled is sometimes fraught with barricades, bumps and uncharted terrain. But it is on that road where your character is truly tested. And have the courage to accept that you’re not perfect, nothing is and no one is — and that’s OK.” -Katie Couric

Each new year, a friend of mine — instead of creating a long and lofty resolution — chooses one word and makes it her supporting focus for the year. She was told, “choose a word that best supports and soothes you and mentally puts you in a place where you are your best”. What a brilliant idea! When I found this out, I was inspired and immediately began working on choosing a word of my own.

Thinking about my word led me down a squeemish and self-reflective path. Determining ‘your word’ requires staying introspective and still long enough to check in with your gut and truly listen to yourself. You have to be honest about your fears, insecurities and imperfections, as well as what you are striving for in life and why. So, after plenty of discomfort and thinking (of which I will spare you the details), I discovered my word for 2013: grace.

Grace, or in other words giving myself a break, is what I need to keep in mind when I am feeling inadequate in one of the many roles that I, like all of us, play in life — professional, friend, parent, spouse, neighbor… the list is goes on. On the days when I am not feeling “enough”, I will remind myself to give myself grace — that while I can always try my best, it is impossible for me to be or have it all, all at once. Even just thinking about it now makes me breathe a sigh of relief!

So, what supporting and soothing word would remind you to come to a place mentally where you are your best? Is it Worth? Adventure? Openness? Listen? Love? Strength? Rest? Peace? Grow? Patience? Joy? Travel? Family? Friends? Career? Energy? Fun? Financial freedom?…

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Point to Ponder:

What situations in your life do you wish you would respond to differently?

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Action Item:

Choose a word that will support and soothe you and remind you to respond to those situations in a way that reflects you at your best. Write it down and put it somewhere where you will see it on a regular basis.  Then, say it to yourself when necessary!

Finding Joy in “The Juggle”

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It’s good to do uncomfortable things.  It’s weight training for life.
-Anne Lamott

By Neissa Springmann

By Neissa Springmann

Tires are screeching, you’re running late, breakfast is burned  and you have on 2 different socks — It’s juggle time!

As you step into the life juggle this week, remember to keep a sense of humor and even find joy in the juggle, as the more we’re juggling the harder we’re living!

When I stumbled upon the awesome quote above, it reminded me that stretching beyond my mental and spiritual comfort zones are equally as important as stretching outside of my physical comfort zones, as I get to do in iGnite. So, let’s celebrate our opportunities to get UNcomfortable together and be grateful for Plan B, C and even D.  After all, Plan B, C, and D often times work out better than Plan A. I love the way life works!

Point to Ponder:
What area of “the juggle” in your life would you like to find more joy in this week?

Action Item:
During one stressful event this week, make an effort to laugh at the situation and enjoy the journey of “the juggle!”

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