Yesterday was a pretty good day. I woke up and headed straight to my meditation mat. Afterward I made coffee and sat down at my laptop to write a blog post that I’ve been excited about regarding my upcoming silent meditation retreat.
Then I got dressed, put on some makeup, and left the house to change up the scenery. I decided to visit my fave second-hand clothing store (Buffalo Exchange always and forever!) and headed to the beach after.
Around the time I was driving to the beach I started getting that familiar feeling of dread creeping over me. The dread that my inner critic eats up like candy. My mind starts to recall all the reasons why I’m not a good human being and why I don’t deserve to feel happy along with thoughts like these:
Basically my mind was telling me I’m no good and will never amount to much so why bother trying in the first place.
Even though I recognize these thoughts don’t serve me, and in time they’ll dissipate, it’s still hard in the moment.
All I can do is breathe, drink water, send love to all these negative thoughts without trying to battle or ignore them. I must allow them to slowly fade while reminding myself that it’s safe to show up and be in the world in many forms.
Despite this inner unrest I went out to the beach and sat on a smooth driftwood log enjoying the blue sky, shiny sun rays, fluffy white clouds, chirping birds, and waves crashing onto the shore. I even made a point to feel good if only momentarily.
It’s been awhile since I’ve felt anxiety like this. I knew there must be a root cause for it. It wasn’t until I got home that I pieced together the reason for the anxiety.
I felt this way because today I had chosen to be more visible in the world.
To share parts of myself in a public way with writing on my blog, showing up on IG stories letting my followers know I’m temporarily closing the affirmation candle shop this weekend, and deciding to have fun in the middle of a weekday.
I was feeling anxious because I was living most of the day from outside my comfort zone. Of course I felt bad! It’s been awhile since I’ve done these activities and my body wasn’t acclimated. This anxiety manifested from the discomfort I felt by making myself more visible.
This reminds me of the documentary I watched a couple nights ago. Free Solo where solo climber Alex Honnold decided to climb El Capitan in Yosemite without ropes. 3200 feet up what looks like a sheer rock face with nothing, but his hands and feet keeping him from falling.
At one point in the movie he talks about how he overcomes his fear of getting out of his comfort zone.
“I try to expand my comfort zone by practicing the moves over and over again. I work through the fear, until it's just not scary anymore.”
Now what he does is one of the most extreme examples of getting out of one's comfort zone. Practicing climbing moves over and over on pitches until he feels confident in each section. I’ll never be close to what he does, but I resonated with his words when I related them to my own fears when I venture from my comfort zone.
I like the idea that the more I practice that which brings me fear, the more confidence will eventually build and the fear will dissipate.
In my life this looks like sharing my writing more, going out for solo daytime adventures, to promoting my products more often.
These three things can feel quite uncomfortable, but are all things that I must do if I wish to expand my business, my talents, myself.
I’d started getting used to doing all of these things and then I stopped for awhile so it’s feeling new to me again. The more I practice the more I will be familiar with these activities and they’ll cease to scare me.
So the next time you find yourself tiptoeing out from your comfort zone and feeling uneasy just remember with enough practice you’ll expand that comfort zone of yours and yourself in the process.
Here I am walking the talk with my third blog post of the week. What is it you’ll start practicing more of?
Thanks for reading today.
P.S. The affirmation candle shop will be closed this Sunday, the 2nd - 18th while I’m on my retreat. I wanted to give anyone who’s been thinking about buying one the chance to before the closure which is right now!
P.P.S. I talked about how I show love to those negative thoughts and feelings above. Want to learn more about my simple affirmation process? It's FREE!