Should you go out of your comfort zone and try new stuff? If so, how do you go about it? Today is the beginning of a four week series on why trying new things is good, and how to do it well.
May 5 was a big day for me. It was the day of the Bristol 10k – a 10km run/jog/stagger along the roads of some of the most picturesque bits of my home town.
10km may not seem like much to some of you. To me, it’s a big deal. I only started running seriously in February. I had never before taken part long-term in any sporting activity. I was not fit, not even close to it.
And yet I decided to take part. Why?
Well, it all comes back to the fundamental basis of the work which I teach, the life-changing discoveries made by FM Alexander. You see, Alexander’s work starts with one simple but all-important question:
“Could it be something I was doing… That caused my problem?”
When you start to take that question seriously, you are led to reconsider basic ideas you hold. For example, a plumber student of mine began to question whether he really needed to grip the wheel of his van as tightly as he did in order to keep it on the road.
But then, you see, you start to realise that there is a tremendous value in questioning ideas and mental attitudes that you believe to be true of yourself. You start to question all sorts of things.
I began to question my long-held view that I am No Good at Sport. I began to question my idea that Other People could run, but that I Could Not. These beliefs began to look like easy answers. They were a comfort zone that enabled me to stay away from activities that challenged my view of myself. I realised that the only way to know if my belief was true was to test it out.
And that’s the reason why I took a step outside of my comfort zone, and entered the Bristol 10k.
Your task for this week?
Simple. As you go about your week, keep a mental lookout for any ideas or mental attitudes you hold about yourself that you think may warrant closer examination. Like me, you might believe that you’re No Good at sport. Or maybe art. Or singing. Or speaking in public.
When you think you have found one or two (or more), decide which one you would most like to change, and begin to think about ways you could challenge it. Next week, I’ll give you some tips on how to go about it.