Forcing Myself Out Of My Comfort Zone

It was exactly this time last year, when Penn and I set out to finish filming our season of The Amazing Race. The pandemic, very rudely, shut down production in 2020 and we were getting the chance to finish what we started 19 months later. 

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to compete on The Amazing Race, and even more special to win the dang thing, but the entire experience made me rethink everything. 

As we were gearing up to go back on the race, my anxiety was PEAKING. In the core of my soul I believe we only grow when we push past our comfort zone, but there’s no part of me that enjoys that process. 

I rather like the comfort of my couch and all things predictable. I like knowing we have tacos on Tuesdays and order sushi on Saturday. 

But after completing The Amazing Race, I’ve realized I’m two things: I crave comfort but I NEED to explore. 

I’m an introvert but I need quality social time. I love my couch but I need to get on an airplane and get lost in a city. The television game show taught me that I can be both things. 

Pushing Past Comfort

This month I’m writing every day on this blog about ways I’m focusing on my mental health. Today I wanted to share how I’ve been challenging myself to push beyond my comfort zone in little ways. No, it’s not jumping off the second highest bungee jump in the world, but not everything can be a reality show, am I right? 

To someone without anxiety, this list may seem laughable. But for someone like me, who gets sweaty thinking about bringing snacks for youth sports teams, this is a big deal.

Small ways I’m pushing outside my comfort zone:

  1. I fought the urge to couch surf on Friday and ventured to a restaurant we’ve never tried. 
  2. I am changing my running route. I have a 4 mile loop near my house that I’ve been running since we moved into this neighborhood seven years ago. Finally, I’ve started taking new paths. 
  3. I’m about to book an international trip around Thanksgiving. This one is a big one. I love the idea of traveling, but I get easily overwhelmed by the details. Just getting passports renewed for the kids is enough to challenge any rational person. 
  4. I have played pickleball! Listen, I know we made this video about it, and we really love the sport, but I have only played a handful of times. And, I suck at it. My perfectionist tendencies keep me from trying things I know I won’t IMMEDIATELY succeed at so I’ve been slow to pick up the paddle. I’ve played twice this month. (Happy to report that I was really terrible each time.)
  5. I went to a yoga studio to try a meditation session

It’s a strange balance to know that a routine helps heal the chaos in my brain, but I’m challenging myself to push outside what I know to create some needed joy. 

What are some small ways you challenge yourself?