How Mindfulness Can Push Us Out of Our Comfort Zone

Yesterday afternoon I went along to Sunita’s (Lucky Things Blog ) third ‘Lucky Things Meet-Up’ in the City of London.

Tomorrow afternoon I take myself off to Thamesmead, south-east London to begin teaching a mindfulness course to primary school children.

Obviously these are two very different appointments. In two very different parts of London.  And yet they do have one thing in common.  Until recently I may not have found myself in either setting.

You see both have needed me to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Perfect Moment

I turned up at the ‘Lucky Things Meet-Up’ by myself, in reality knowing nobody (though feeling like I knew Nicole and Claire a little already having read their eminently readable blogs for some time now) and knowing that it was also what some would term, a ‘networking opportunity’ – (though Sunita’s phrase of seeing it as a chance to “share your news” is a much lovelier way of putting it).  This is the type of event that I would most likely have avoided a couple of years ago.

Teaching mindfulness in Thamesmead sees me return to teaching in a socially deprived area and facing the challenges that can come with this.  Again something that I probably would not have put myself forward for a couple of years ago.

Both involved self-promotion ‘or sharing your news’ to return to Sunita’s phrase.  Something I generally balk at.      Having conversations about the blog and my passion for mindfulness with people I hadn’t met before, and having to ‘pitch’ to a Headteacher about the benefits of mindfulness and the positive impact the course would have on his students were not altogether things that come naturally to me. And yet I did them.

I did them because, as I mention here  I am passionate about ‘spreading the word’ about mindfulness and I KNOW that I can’t very well do that just from the comfort of my own laptop.  However, I also went for it on both counts because practicing mindfulness has undoubtedly helped my confidence.  Not that anyone would have called me particularly lacking in confidence before, but I would shy away from situations where I may have had my confidence tested.

So mindfulness has helped me to notice:

  1. When I may be putting my own obstacles in the way of doing something due to how I anticipate I may feel or react at the time.  This is called observing the ‘story-telling mind’.
  2. When I am falling into a fixed mindset (see more about Dweck’s theory of mindset in this post here) which can be a barrier to learning, development and embracing challenges.
  3. When I begin to potentially be ‘paralysed’ by worrying what people may think of me.  Remembering that ‘thoughts are not facts’ is really helpful here – more about this ‘mantra’ of mine in this post.

Mindfulness has also helped me to be more non-judgmental of myself.  I used to hate that I blush fairly easily.  Now I see that this would sometimes mean I would subconsciously stop myself being in situations where this may occur.  However, I am much kinder to myself now.  I remind myself that it is a natural physical response that doesn’t just happen to me.  Suddenly it becomes less important.

I’m so pleased I have begun to push myself out of my comfort zone.  It means that not only am I going to help some fantastic young people develop mindfulness skills in the next few weeks, but it also means that I met some really interesting and lovely new people yesterday too.  People like  Livvy, Natalie, and Talya to name but a few.

So one of the documented benefits of mindfulness is that it helps raise self esteem and increases self confidence and I have certainly felt more empowered since beginning to practice it.   In turn this meant that at the ‘Lucky Things Meet-Up’ I met some fascinating people, learned about clothes and confidence and  generally left with a spring in my step.

I feel sure that tomorrow will leave me feeling equally as positive too.

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16 thoughts on “How Mindfulness Can Push Us Out of Our Comfort Zone

  1. What a fab blog post Hayley. I didn’t realise you were staring your course! Did you meet Somayeh fro IMore kids on Saturday. She’s running a lovely campaign to get mindfulness into schools. She’s a teacher herself.

    Hope you guys can connect.

    Thanks again for the amazing blog post and for mentioning lucky things and the meet up. I really appreciate it all

    Enjoy the course. Sounds amazing

    Sunita xx Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This really resonates with me – especially the story telling mind. You’ve really encouraged me to find out more about it, and about Dweck’s theory, so thank you very much! Just what I needed this Monday morning x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a great post and I certainly couldn’t tell you might once have avoided such an event. You seemed very confident! It’s good for me to be reminded that thoughts are not facts too. Thanks for mentioning me. It was so great to meet you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree that it can be so satisfying to push yourself out of your comfort zone. I’m going to BlogOn MSI next month even though I’m normally terrified of networking-type events – I’m hoping stepping outside of what I’m normally comfortable with pays off! #FamilyFun

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can really identify with this.I know I am the biggest barrier to me doing things that are out of my comfort zone. I am making the concerted effort to push through and it certainly gets easier with each new situation you put yourself into. I’m going to go read some more of your blog posts now whilst I’m feeling inspired!!! #ablogginggoodtime

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I saw you went to the Lucky Things meetup! If I was in the UK I’d have been there too! It looked like good fun. I used to avoid networking too, I hated it, but it seems to be getting better. I think having something that I am confident and passionate about talking about makes so much difference. Good on you for going out of your comfort zone. I’m glad it paid off! xx GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Way to go Hayley that’s really great. I’ve found I’ve got socially worse since being a Mum and although I go to groups and things I find it really hard to actually chat to people or actually want to chat to people. It’s a bizarre one!! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Like the sound of these meet ups. Pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone is a good thing sometimes. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Talya myself and thought she was very lovely, considerate,caring and knowledgeable. #FamilyFun

    Liked by 1 person

  9. its soo very easy to stay safely tucked away in our comfort zones especially when we have been burnt when stepping out of it. If mindfulness can help me step out of my bubble more then I am all for it as blogging has already encouraged me to do this with lovely results and lasting friendships made.
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime and don’t forget to join us this Thurs.

    Liked by 1 person

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