Hands up who feels comfortable with their current efforts at training? Do you desire to be better or do you just show up for the sake of it? Seeking comfort is normal for the majority of people – it’s human nature to find security in reaching levels that are familiar to us. We’ll often begin with a burning desire to reach a certain level – not too high – usually a level that’s attained quite easily and quickly. Which is fine. But what happens next? Do we up the ante and reach even higher or do we play if safe in the comfort of our current levels?
Why do so many of us hold back?
- We place limitations on ourselves –
Why put yourself in a box? Self definitions are our biggest limitations. Closely followed by the definitions or limitations others place on you. And you listen to them!
Who says you have to be a 1 rep wonder on strength days?
Who says your box jumps will never happen?
Who says you are never going to improve your running?
Or your pull ups/double unders/thrusters/snatches/muscle ups/career prospects/love life/underwear choices….blah, blah, blah, we could be here all day naming limitations people place on themselves.
Don’t be limited by what you THINK your place is. In life and in the gym. If you start a sentence with ‘I am’ then you have already done so. Let go of what you think is expected of you. Let go of what your expectations of others are. You can only do you. Ask yourself who you are, where you would like to be and WHY. Think about this in terms of your CrossFit training…Why do you want to lift a certain number or make a certain time in a WOD? Is it because you want to be stronger or faster than someone else? Think again. Work on becoming stronger and faster – for you. To push those limitations you have on yourself. Sure, use others as inspiration to help you strip away those labels and step out of your box. Every time you step into the ‘Box’.
- We stick with what is comfortable –
We touched on this at the beginning of this blog. Comfort = Security to many people. By staying within the boundaries we have placed on ourselves, we know our capabilities and our predicted stress levels. We can reach our comfort levels with reasonable confidence and perform without fear of looking stupid or making mistakes. But once you reach a level of prolonged comfort, you are cutting off so many opportunities.
Mistakes are amazing!!
They help us grow as people. Mistakes in your training methods work in the same way. Just as you remember every little success you have, so should you remember your mistakes. Because if you learn from them, they will make you a better athlete. Your coaches are there to ensure your mistakes don’t lead to continued poor technique or injury.
You are there to make mistakes, to learn.
To miss those lifts or fall on your arse. Probing the outer edges of those boundaries your mind has set. With the support of a good CrossFit community around you.
Comfort is for bedtime!
So how do we go about pushing those so called limits that we have set for ourselves?
- Find confort in the Uncomfortable –
If you’re comfortabe the majority of time during your CrossFit classes, you need to change something. To really grow as athletes – as people – we need to be ok with going to those places where we know things will get sucky. While security and comfort are human requirements, we also need stimulation and the ability to stretch ourselves. If that seems scary, try just one thing at a time. Take the risk. Risks are, well, risky – we know. But just think of all the new ‘levels of comfort’ you reach by trying!
- Make a bucket list that pushes your mind and body –
Say you’ve always wanted to take singing lessons. You have no desire to be on Broadway, but you’re scared that you’ll sound more like a bansaw than Aretha Franklin.
So what? What does it matter? Do it anyway!
Your teacher can always wear earplugs and you could contain your performances to your nightly shower. But you have tried something new! You have created new stimuli for your mind and your body. Replace singing with box jumps or squats or pull ups – anything at all and ask yourself, WHY NOT? Why the hell not?
Don’t be so afraid of failure that you won’t even attempt something you’ve always dreamt of doing.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
- Courage + perseverance = strength
Have the strength to not only push your boundaries, but smash them into oblivion! We will never know what we are capable of until we push against our limits. Great things happen on the edge of our limits, so have the courage to lean on those edges a little. The walls of our mind can be stubborn, so perseverance and a little extra pressure may be required in many instances.
Endurance, speed and strength all have self-imposed limits. And we’re not talking about comparison between yourself and others here. It’s about pushing the boundaries of what you THINK you can achieve. But if you have the courage to push these boundaries just a little every time you train – you will surprise yourself with what you actually can achieve. You will also find yourself with the STRENGTH to push a little more.
Pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone in all facets of life can seem daunting. Because we don’t know the outcome. But it’s worth trying. Because if we try, we will become closer to realising our potential. As an athlete. As a person. And whether you experience failure or success, the fact that you have had the courage to push yourself means you’ve already succeeded in extending your limits.
Don’t die wondering – step outside of your comfort zone. Today.