We have received some amazing responses from our community about how they answered the questions: Something Tricky, Something Easy, Something Fun.
The idea behind these questions was to try and get us thinking about our comfort zone, what this means for our mindset when we are taking on these activities and how it can contribute to our overall sense of wellbeing. Some of our personal thoughts in this area have come from personal experience of how we approached different challenges in our lives but also from a few interesting reads such as……
Something Tricky… When I think of something tricky, I think of moments when I have found myself completely absorbed in what I have been doing. My brain is completely engaged and working as quickly as it can to process all of the information so that I can cope with the challenge ahead of me. This is an uncomfortable feeling because we are teetering on the edge of failure but it’s also invigorating as our senses are all activated and any outside distraction is removed from our consciousness. Whenever I am asked what I miss most about my time playing Hockey for New Zealand, it’s this feeling. The feeling of intensity that you can only get when you are playing a big test match. When you know that you have to be at your absolute best to not fail and maybe succeed if you’re a bit lucky. The fact that your opponent is experiencing the same emotion and desire to succeed only adds to the intensity.
Changing a career, taking up a novel activity or sport also creates this feeling of intense focus that comes with pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s a healthy process to go through especially if you have enough control over your ego that you can commit yourself completely to trying to succeed without fearing what other will think if you fail.
Something Easy: As a coach, I often see players neglect to work on their strengths because of a constant desire to work on their weaknesses. While it is clearly important to spend time outside our comfort zone and work on an area we are not comfortable in; I firmly beleive that we should spend an equal amount of time working within our comfort zone trying to achieve mastery. Trying to achieve mastery might look like a tennis player spending an hour working on that running forehand. Its already a strength but there is a great feeling to know that you can nail a dipping passing shot every time. Or, It might be selecting a software program you are already proficient at for professional development. For me, on the farm, its searching for the Queen bee. We have to make sure we spot the Queen in the hive to know that she is in good condition and supporting the hive. You have to slow down and focus on what you are doing if you have any chance of spotting her amougst the thousands of bees in the hive. It’s a time to focus on a simple task, to remove outside distractions and it’s amazing how the time can fly by without you even realizing it!
Something Fun: Of course we can’t spend all of our time either pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone or seeking to achieve mastery. We have to have time to just chill-out and do something where we have no concern for the outcome. In fact, I personally think its even better if we take on a leisure activity that we are actually not very good at, so that our focus has to be fun! The fun activity that I choose is surfing. Or probably more accurately, floundering around on a board getting smashed by waves! As someone who is innately competitive, I find it a bit puzzling that I have never managed to get good at surfing. Its really hard. But I still love being out in the waves and getting some good healthy exercise. I also think that the fact that I give myself no expectations over how well I should be surfing makes it an even more beneficial activity for me.