Expand Your Comfort Zones for Greater Success in Sports and Life


Now when the summer is approaching, many of us start thinking about the beaches, vacations and swimming suit season. What have we done to our bodies over the winter holidays??? I often mention that the summer body is made in winter. Even though the winter is far gone, it is still not too late.

Now many people decide to go on an exercise regimen—maybe even a super tough one—to make that lean body by the summer. For many, exercise is reaching a destination. You need to remember though that it’s not the destination that counts, but the beautiful adventurous journey that will take us there. Besides that, each time you reach your “destination”, you realize that it is just a temporary “layover” for the next destination, because you will always question what is next and set new goals and challenges.

So you’d  really better enjoy the journey.

 

Comfortable Won’t Bring Results

We live in such a comfortable world. The car seats are comfortable, the drive itself with the radio, electronics, bluetooth and all make it super comfortable, the sofas at home are comfy, the work chair is comfortable that you could almost fall asleep. And all the modern conveniences make our lives comfortable. Even the gyms and machines are comfortable! We are used to “comfortable”.

But let me tell you, being comfortable won’t bring the results that you are searching. You must push yourself out of your comfort zones to achieve something more than you have now. You want the lean six-pack summer body, or you want to perform at the peak performance on the tennis court or in your sport? Push yourself out of the comfortable. Train in the hot weather when everybody stays inside in the cool air, run in the rain when everybody else stays at home watching cozy movies, do the extra sets and reps in the gym when you already are tired and done with your workout.

 

the magic happens on the outside of your comfort zone

 

Reach Beyond Your Comfort Zones

That little extra that you do beyond your comfort zone, will just not increase your results a little bit, but it it will multiply them. And what is even better is that you will expand your comfort zone. Your comfort zone moves and changes constantly just like your fitness. The more you try new exercises and new experiences, the more you engage in uncomfortable activities and the more you push your limits, the more comfortable you become.

You will become more comfortable with being uncomfortable.

If you only do the easy things and walk the easy road, and only stick wit what is comfortable, your comfort zones will shrink. And you will start feeling uncomfortable in basic situations and will avoid everything outside your regular routines. You won’t get any results. You will remain stagnant, and your life journey is not as exciting as it could be.

All athletes tend to push their limits. They are so focused on their sport and on the results, and they are very confident in trying anything that can improve their performance and helps them to win. Yes, some may cross the line of what is legal, but it is not the point. They expand their comfort zones and push hard to reach a place that others may (falsely) believe is not even possible. Like running a 4-minute mile? For how long we’ve believed it’s not possible?

 

the magic happens outside of your comfort zones

 

Get Uncomfortable Slowly

Push yourself intelligently and slowly. Don’t try to change everything overnight, be patient. Don’t increase your weights by 50% from workout to workout, but maybe add just 2–5% each time. And then when you are done, do a few extra sets.

Break through your mental barriers by doing something different. Add variations: more intensity, new movements, more weight, longer distance, faster speed, or different combinations. Hire a trainer or coach who will push you extra. Get a training partner who will push you extra. Do not resist. Let yourself be pushed out of the comfortable.

By adapting to new training methods and new ideas, and maybe even overcoming an injury, you will expand your comfort zones and build more confidence. That’s how you achieve success. You and other people will notice a change in your behavior, they will want to know what you are doing.

Just like any athletic, business or life endeavor, it can be an up-and-down journey. It never goes slowly linearly upward. It is like a mini-roller coaster, but the average trajectory is upward. Always keep that in mind. The results of expanding your comfort zones and confidence are cumulative. It’s the compound effect of everyday small things that you do.

 

Uncomfortable Will Become Enjoyable

Once you get more comfortable feeling more uncomfortable, life itself becomes easier. Things that used to be a big deal won’t bother you anymore. Your fitness training that you used to think was too hard and not that much fun will feel so much easier and more enjoyable. The healthy diet that you used to think was tasteless will be surprisingly delicious. The life adversities that arrive in a natural flow of life will feel like a “great challenge” rather than a disaster.

Expanding your comfort zones is critical to your success in sports and life. The larger your comfort zone, the more you will enjoy your training and life.

Now go back to the gym and do some extra work so you can enjoy that summer body in time. And remember to enjoy the process, not just the results.


 

Do you dare to do something a bit different, expand your comfort zones in your diet? Do you dare to try eating more plants and see for yourself how positively it will affect your training, recovery and performance? And you will get that lean summer body as a pleasant side effect, too. Treat yourself or your training partner to “The Athlete’s Simple Guide to a Plant-Based Lifestyle” and let me know how great you feel in a few weeks  :-)

 

 

 

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About Suzanna McGee

A former Ms. Natural Olympia Bodybuilding champion, currently performance coach, injury prevention specialist, plant-based nutrition coach, author, speaker and raw vegan athlete. Loves to help others by sharing her knowledge, and to hang out with her favorite chocolate Labrador Zuzi. Find Suzanna on , Facebook and Amazon.