“I’m continually trying to make choices that put me against my own comfort zone. As long as you’re uncomfortable, it means you’re growing.” — Ashton Kutcher
Most of us have built our lives around rituals and routines that feel comfortable. It is “easy” to stay there. To resist change. To maintain the status quo. To live in the safe zone that we create for ourselves. But if we stay there, our growth will become stunted.
Over the years, I have proven to myself repeatedly that the most significant periods of personal growth occur when I push myself out of my comfort zone. I am sure you have all been there. You load that bar with more weight than you think you can lift. You fill your plate with vegetables, even though you’ve convinced yourself that you hate them. You tackle that public speaking assignment. You pick up the phone and have a difficult conversation with someone you love. Personally, after experiencing these situations of discomfort, I spend time reflecting on how it went, what I learned, and how I might do things differently the next time. Moments of reflection may happen immediately and intentionally, or after some time has passed and seemingly out of the blue. Either way, that self-reflection helps to synthesize the learning experience and forces me to grow.
Part of my role as a Nutrition Coach is to push clients out of their comfort zones, even just a little, to allow that space for growth and possibility by establishing new habits. It may sound trivial to go from drinking 8 ounces of water per day to 80 ounces of water per day, but beyond the physical health benefits, it allows clients to see their own potential for growth. If they can change this behavior for the better, what else are they capable of? During follow up conversations, I always ask clients to reflect on the past few weeks to identify bright spots and challenges. This reflective exercise helps clients recognize growth that has already occurred and acknowledge areas to improve upon for the future.
Wellness practices can be powerful tools of growth and change. While they may seem like surface-level behaviors, you might be surprised how deeply impactful they prove to be over time for your personal growth and development. With this, I challenge you to take a step forward toward that behavior you’ve been thinking about changing. Drink those 80 ounces of water. Start that daily meditation practice. Try a new vegetable-forward recipe. Prioritize your 7 hours of sleep. Go for a walk, even when it’s cold outside. These actions may just make you uncomfortable enough to grow.
Prowess Fitness + Nutrition