Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone is a monthly idea from my friend Leslie at Once Upon A Time, Happily Ever After. Leslie described her new series as:
My vision for this series is to push myself out of my comfort zone so that I begin doing things that I have until now been scared or uncomfortable to try. Nothing illegal – ha – or too crazy!
and she has invited others to take this challenge with her. You can read about what others did to step out of their comfort zone through the link up at the end of this post.
Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone in May
What did I do to step out of my comfort zone in May?
I achieved two things in May which pushed me out of my comfort zone and signed up for another. Firstly, I participated in the Mindful in May (MiM) Challenge and secondly, I was M.C. and Guest Speaker for the Co.As.It Mother’s Day High Tea event.
I also signed up for the 34km ‘Bloody Long Walk’ which I hope to run with my Saturday Sisters so training in earnest now.
How is that stepping out of my comfort zone?
The concept of stepping out of our comfort zone is about doing something different to your normal routine. Participating in MiM made me stop and be still for longer than 2 minutes at a time and secondly, my public speaking event pushed me to stand up and present in front of an audience.
The Mindful in May Challenge as certainly a challenge. I’ve written some weekly updates if you would like to read more about what each day represented. Basically though by the end of Week 3. I found it tough going. I also found that because I was trying to listen to the interviews – some up to an hour long – plus meditate – some up to 25 minutes, my mind was in ‘information overload’ mode. I couldn’t absorb the information and my mind definitely would not clear during the meditations. For Weeks 4 & 5 I let go of the interviews and just did the daily guided meditation.
It certainly took me out of my comfort zone trying to give myself up to the meditations each day.
When I was about 15 years old I started my own ballet school. Back then I didn’t seem to have a problem speaking in front of people at the annual recital. Perhaps that was because it was such a fun time of year and everyone enjoyed the evening. As I matured, the self-doubt and insecurities crept in and I didn’t feel quite so comfortable talking to a small group let alone a large audience of more than 100.
A few months ago, I was invited to be the M.C. and Guest Speaker at an event for Co.As.It, a community organisation who help people stay in their homes longer as they age and also provide English lessons to people who come to Australia, predominantly of Italian descent.
I was pleasantly surprised as they found me through my website and loved my writing and the whole concept of Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond.
I agreed because I knew I would be stepping out of my comfort zone but at the same time, because of my passion for keeping fit and active after 50, I wanted to spread the message of ‘Having an Ageless Attitude’.
I prepared my speech and practiced. When the day arrived, my daughter accompanied me for moral support and also it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon together – High Tea for Mother’s Day.
The afternoon was a success and I actually found that I enjoyed the whole experience. I had successfully completed my Public Speaking engagement to an audience of 110. I had positive feedback and would love to do this type of engagement in the future. The D.J. and photographer both thought I had been doing this type of ‘gig’ for years and told me how professional I was. What a great feeling that was.
Rachel, her baby bump and I were also fortunate to meet Daphne Pirie, AO, MBE who was the other guest speaker. Daphne is 86 and such an inspiration. She has done so much for Women’s Sport in Queensland, was an athelete in her early years and recently trained to be able to jog and be part of the Queen’s Baton Relay at the recent Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Committing to a new Running Challenge
Well I haven’t actually stepped out of my comfort zone yet but one of the Saturday Sisters and I have entered ‘The Bloody Long Walk’ which is a 34km walk or run in July. This was on my bucket list before I turned 60 last year but after training for the event, I was struck down with pleurisy and couldn’t make it through the whole run.
We have started training and that means long Saturday runs building up to at least 30 kms. I’ve made the commitment to move out of my comfort zone to achieve a new distance and who knows maybe there is another full marathon in me yet!
What did I learn from Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone in May?
- I learned from MiM Challenge that although I always commit 110% to anything I try there are times when we just need to be kind to ourselves and accept that ‘our best is enough’
- I improved my ability to meditate and sit still for longer than 5 minutes
- I learned that facing the fear of public speaking by selecting a topic I’m passionate about helped me feel comfortable to take on the duties of M.C. and Speaking
- I competently handled being given last minute instructions for commentating the Fashion Parade at the event. I was given the script literally as the ladies were about to walk down the catwalk!
- I felt a great sense of achievement at having accomplished my goal
- My self-confidence has increased
- I learned to believe in myself and my abilities
Taking a challenge needs support
Sometimes when you undertake a challenge, you need support and cheerleaders so thank you to my lovely daughter, Rachel who suggested she would like to attend the High Tea Event with me.