The best example for this comfort bubble buster is exercise. If you’ve ever exercised and you get to the maximum you think you can handle, but decide to go just a little further, then you already understand what’s coming.
One of the major reasons people don’t get result from exercise has to do with their comfort zone. Sure, you pushed yourself until you felt it a bit, but could you have gone a bit further? Could you have done one more repetition?
While it’s easy to see how pushing just a little bit further applies to exercise, it can apply to any goal or anything you’re doing. If you push yourself just a little bit further, you will bust through your comfort zone bubble and start to expand your comfort zone.
Pushing Yourself Without Hurting Yourself
With exercise, you almost have to know that perfect stopping point. Doing one more bench press rep when your arms are shaking and feel like they may give out might be just a hair too far. However, if your arms are just getting tired and you’re just starting to struggle, you may have one more in you.
It’s important to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone, but not to the point of causing injury. Again, it’s easy to see how this relates to exercise, but let’s look at another example.
You’ve been working on some big project all day long. It’s 5pm and time to go home. However, you decide to push yourself just a little bit further and work until 6pm. Maybe this causes you to miss your daughter’s ballet recital or the big game for your son. Maybe it cost you an hour of time with your family.
In this scenario, you probably pushed too far. Maybe instead of working for another hour to push yourself a little bit further, you work for just an extra 15 minutes. You still make it to the recital or the big game on time and nothing is missed, yet you pushed just a little further on your big project.
Pushing with Goals
Sometimes, we need to push ourselves when we are working towards our goals. Maybe you’re having one of those days where everything is going great and you’re moving along faster than expected. It might be easy to consider calling it quits early as a reward, but why?
The seemingly perfect days don’t come along often, so why not push yourself a little bit further? Maybe you’re a freelance writer and you’ve already finished all your work for the day, yet you had planned to work 2 more hours. Why not split the difference?
Put in one more hour and use the other hour as your reward. Now, you’re ahead on tomorrow’s work, which will come in handy when that less than perfect day rolls around.
The Key to the Push
You don’t have to go nuts and push yourself so far that your comfort zone accommodated an 18-hour work day or something ridiculous like that. However, you do want to push yourself just a little bit further.
The key to the push is living in that very moment. When you live in that very moment when you push yourself just a little bit further, you will truly find a little extra joy in your life. This comfort zone buster may even filter into things unrelated to exercise and work.
Maybe you find yourself pushing just a little further on the romantic gesture this Valentine’s Day. Instead of the typical flowers and candy, you choose something your spouse would never expect, but has always wanted from you.
Maybe it even happens with that quality time you so rarely get with your teenager. Maybe you’d normally cut it off early to get back to work, but you’re having so much fun you just keep going, even if it means taking the afternoon off.
When we stretch our comfort zone by pushing just a little further and we live in that very moment, we will start to learn how to master the moment of decision. If you want to experience greater joy, become better at decision making in the moment by pushing yourself just a little bit further.