After that injury (a tear of my calf muscle that put me in crutches for over a week), I was really feeling down — not only because the crutches were a real pain in the ass, but because I had been in a real workout “groove” prior to my injury.
My workout regimen was on track. I felt like I was in good shape, and I felt great.
With the injury, however, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do any workout that required me to even walk.
All those months of training down the drain, right?
Instead of using my injury as an excuse to be dormant, I created a new, circuit-training exercise regimen that included kettlebells, my “Total Gym” workout equipment and a pair of push-up bars. I was able to replicate my burst training workout without having to run or put weight on my injured muscle.
The results? I ended up working muscles I hadn’t worked in years, kicked my butt with some killer workouts, and actually ended up losing a few pounds and feeling even better than I did after my sprint-training workouts.
This isn’t a workout blog, so I’m not writing this post to brag, or to provide workout advice. But it dawned on me during this morning’s workout that it’s so easy to get into a groove with what we know, or with the habits we’ve formed. I’m not just talking about exercise — I’m talking about life, work, parenting, etc.
I had become so used to my sprint workouts that I was afraid of trying new workouts. I thought my normal workouts were working just fine, and trying something new would set me back. In fact, by broadening my horizons (granted, not by choice) was able to take several steps forward.
Think about how this might apply to your work. Are you happy with “good enough”? Think you might break through a plateau of professional growth by getting outside of your comfort zone and trying something new? Perhaps a new productivity routine? A new method of checking your email, scheduling your meetings, or dealing with your co-workers?
What about life? Have you grown so comfortable with the town in which you live, or the lifestyle you’re leading, that you’re afraid to try something new — something that may bring you a whole world of new experiences and happiness?
I’ve run my own company for seven years, and for the first six of those years, I grew consistently with incredible clients. I was definitely in a comfort zone with a fear of rocking the boat. But, during the past year, I’ve implemented a number of new productivity and time management methods that have allowed me to grow even more, while reducing my stress and allowing me to serve my clients better.
What ways can you get out of your comfort zone to help yourself grow? Have you already done so and have a story to share? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments section!