It was a wet Tuesday morning in mid-Wales during September. My husband and I left the comfort of our cosy hotel to wait in the car park for our guide to arrive. We were booked on a two day off-road motorbiking trip. Although my husband has always been a biker, I learnt to ride about two years ago when our 7 year old son moved up from an electric motorbike to a petrol one. I didn’t want to be left out and the three of us started taking part in some off-road motorbiking events.
The rain continued to fall and shortly a rusty, shabby looking van appeared in the car park, driven by a woman. Could this be our guide? A grey-haired lady in her 60s got out and came towards us, smiling. Yes, this was our guide, Marianne. Whilst we tried to hide our surprise we easily struck up conversation. It turns out she races side cars competitively with a female passenger to accompany her! Although our email communication had been with Marianne, why did I assume she was just handling the administration? Why was I expecting to be guided by a man? Why was I expecting to be the only woman riding on those two days?
Marianne taught me a lot. She was a strong, power house kind of woman. She had followed her passion and set up the off-road biking business 10 years ago with her husband. She took me out of my comfort zone during those two days, but I trusted her and she gave me confidence. My mantra, like the train puffing up the hill in the film Dumbo, was ‘I think I can, I think I can’ as we negotiated rocky slopes, deep puddles and muddy tracks.
Why is it good to get out of your comfort zone?
- Science says it’s good for you – as you move out of your comfort zone you move in to a learning zone. Doing new things helps us to learn and motivates us. Novelty tends to increase levels of dopamine in the brain, improving memory and increasing possibilities for learning.
- It will help you to grow – a mixture of self-doubt, some anxiety and a feeling of accomplishment can lead to personal growth.
- Your comfort zone will grow – if your comfort zone is small, ie the number of things you can do without feeling anxious are few – by getting out of your comfort zone more regularly you’ll increase the number of things you’re comfortable with.
Would you like some support to help you to move out of your comfort zone? I have had the privilege of working with many mums and seeing how a series of coaching sessions can enable them to find the confidence to step out of their comfort zones and in to a more fulfilling life.