Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. ~ Neale Donald Walsch
As we move forward into the New Year, many of us are contemplating losing weight and making changes in our health habits. Initially, we may have a burst of enthusiasm about making these changes, but then suddenly we can be hit by a wave of apathy, inertia, self-sabotage, and resistance.
Because in order to change, we have to move beyond our comfort zone and to do so is scary. It means leaving behind our old familiar ways of doing things and moving into the unknown where the outcome is uncertain. What if we fail? What if? What if?
All of a sudden we can be plagued by self-doubt about our abilities and old negative tapes from the past begin to play in our heads, reminding us of all the times we’ve failed at weight loss before. Suddenly we’re paralyzed and gripped with anxiety and fear.
Yes, change can be unsettling and scary but if you want a better life, you can’t let that stop you.
Here are some tips to move beyond your comfort zone and make it a smoother transition.
1. Question your thoughts. Fear and anxiety are often based on irrational thought patterns. You need to question if what you’re telling yourself is really true. Have you always failed? I doubt it. Recall times in your life when you have been successful, if not at weight loss, at least with other things. Just because you haven’t been successful losing weight yet, doesn’t mean it can’t happen.
Allow for the possibility of success. Replace your negative statements with positive outcomes. Instead of “What if I fail at losing weight?” How about “What if I’m finally successful at weight loss? How will that rock my world?”
2. Move through fear with action, even if it’s only baby steps. As you move forward, the fear will dissipate. Remember this acronym: FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real. The more you buy into fear, the bigger it gets. The sooner you face it, the quicker you realize it was mostly self-created and blown out of proportion.
3. Use visualization to help you practice new behaviors. Spend 5 minutes every morning rehearsing in your mind’s eye. See yourself making better food choices, and choosing to exercise. Try to engage all your senses. Take another break at the end of the day, relax with some deep breathing, and spend another 5 minutes running a mental movie of the new desired behaviors. After visualizing, and throughout the day, repeat affirmations that reinforce the new behaviors.
4. Take a class, take up a new hobby, or engage in a new activity that stretches you beyond where you are now. Doing this will give you a fresh perspective and have far reaching effects throughout your life. For example, when people begin an exercise program and begin to make progress, it gives them a sense of satisfaction and confidence that translates into feeling more confident about making other changes in their lives.
5. Get coaching or join a support group. Sometimes we just need someone to hold our hand a bit, lead us through the change, and give us words of encouragement. If left to our own devices, we may give in to the fear and quit before we’ve given ourselves a real chance. Paying someone for support means we’re really serious and it’s a signal to the Universe that we’re ready to receive something new.
Remember, if you want something different, you must do something different and that means change!
I walk through my fear one small step at a time.
I am willing to stretch, grow, and spread my wings and fly.
You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.
~ Brian Tracy
Temporary discomfort is a small price to pay for success.
~ Catherine L. Taylor
To the degree we’re not living our dreams, our comfort zone has more control of us than we have over ourselves.
– Peter McWilliams