Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Pushing Past The Comfort Zone


Wow. Two months since I last picked up the laptop to write a post! Apologies about that. I know some of you have been wondering where I've been. Truth is, work. Currently working a whole bundle of little jobs and I've just had no spare time. I'm still trying to get my new flat in order and life just seems to be getting in the way of life, as life does!

I wanted to write today about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. This past year has shaped me a lot. I feel like I've learnt a lot about how I work and I think I really just needed to take some time to figure myself out, and with the help of a few people I was able to do just that. 

A lot of it it is down to pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I've pushed myself to do things I never thought I would do, things I didn't want to do and things I most certainly was dying to do.

I just wanted to drop some examples here of ways I've personally done it myself and also suggestions for ways you can build your confidence too. 
Pushing out of the comfort barriers comes hand in hand with confidence. Confidence is key.

I'm hoping this might inspire a few people to break out of their routines and try something new. Even if I help just one person think 'wow, I did it!' I'll be happy. 
Maybe this is just me trying to tell myself to keep up with what I'm doing but either way, it helps to have it all written down. 

It starts with the little things before moving on to the real game changers. 

Little things like trying new foods.

Diet

I have always been a fussy eater since I was a little girl. I was a teeny tiny skinny malinky little thing and I HATED vegetables. Throughout the years I became stuck to a diet of foods I was comfortable with. Pasta, pizza, chicken. Oh, and lots and lots of sweets. I wouldn't say I made a desperate dietary change until I was in hospital in 2016. I came out of hospital deciding that I was starting a very healthy vegan diet with lots of calories and I was going to be the picture of health. I bought lots of new cook books and decided to teach myself how to cook. I can't even begin to tell you how glad I am that I did that. I can now cook some bomb-ass meals and I tell you what, I make a cracking green bean, cherry tomato and minestrone soup. (speaking of which, here is the recipe).

I'm not vegan anymore, That lasted two months and went in the bin. However I am a pollo-vegetarian, aiming to be pescatarian. I'm a lot healthier now, I don't get ill anywhere near as much! I used to be full of cold and sickness bugs over and over. I've gained weight too. A stone in the past year which is good. Still not a healthy weight but healthier regardless. 

I had help from the dietitian too so that helped me come up with little ways to build my calories. 

If any of you would be interested in me writing a blog post with gaining weight tips I think I'd love to do that because you always see people writing tips on losing weight but what about us twiggy people?! Shall I take one for the team? Let me know. I might do a 30 day weight gain challenge or something!

But anyway...try new foods! You won't know if you like something until you try it and it took me 24 years to figure that out. I know a certain somebody who lives on tortellini, cheese twists, orange juice, tomato soup, wholemeal bread and oreo dairy milk. I'm secretly adding little bits into their diet by saying 'oh have you tried this'? and then they like it and it slowly gets added to their weekly shop. Sometimes it's better to gently ease yourself into it and broaden your horizons :')


Fashion

This is another little thing you can do to massively improve your confidence! One thing I HATE to hear is 'I love your dress, I wish I could wear things like that' and then when I ask 'why can't you?' and the reply is always something daft like ' I would look stupid in it, HA me wearing that, are you mad, I don't have the figure for it' 

I don't have the figure for a 1950's swing dress with a sweetheart neckline but will you catch me wearing one? You're damn right you will. I think a LOT of people presume I'm bursting with confidence because of the way I come across on social media and because of the clothes I wear. It's all just an illusion. I'm the most introverted person with the fashion sense of an extrovert. That's all it is!

Confidence is all it takes. I have some hideous clothes. I mean truly, truly awful. I have the most garish blue dress with lemons all over it, it looks like a curtain from somebody's holiday home but here, look at me wearing it like I'm Coco Chanel. 





I don't care what I wear. I will buy the most horrific clothes but I'll style them to suit me. Whether it's adding layers or accessories or even customising it and cutting it up. I don't see why somebody's body shape should stop them wearing something they really really like. 

I don't know a single woman (or man if that's what you're into) who couldn't wear my disgusting lemon dress. It's so versatile. Curvy ladies would rock it and here I am taking one for the itty bitty tittie committee. 

I hate hate hate that people feel like they can't wear clothes that are seen as 'out-there' because of what others think. I've literally stopped traffic before. Actually had somebody stop still in their van in Finsbury Park with their mouth gawping at me when they've had people waiting to go behind them. Did I care? NO. I walked past like Madonna mate. Titus Andromedon. 

I love wearing prints that clash. I love wearing socks with sandals. What you gonna do? Get me arrested. Fine, do it. My hideously pointy vintage Prada shoes would look great in a prison cell anyway. 

Please don't put off buying something through comfort. In fact, go and buy that dress right now. The one you've been lusting over on Instagram but don't want to buy because you don't have the tan but do have the cellulite. 

Just do it. 

Fears and phobias

I was diagnosed with chronic anxiety in 2013, this is something that took over my life. I quit jobs because of it, ruined relationships because of it, lost friendships because of it, pretty much became a recluse because of it. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep but no matter how much you cry out for help, you always get the same response 'Just try your best not to worry about it or get some counselling'. 

I never really knew how to cope with it and so I became reliant on medication. I won't lie. It helped...a lot. And gave me some alleviation from the stress even if just for a few months. I was able to leave the house! But we can't just rely on pills forever. 

I wouldn't say I managed my anxiety until about a year ago. I started going to London. London to me was one of the scariest places I could go and I was bloody petrified but I wanted to see my friend and so I pushed myself to go. I'd also been told I 'needed to do more things by myself because I was too reliant on others' so I was given a bit of a firm push. To that person I say 'thank you' because you pushing me to do that, ended up with things the way they are now. 

The first time I went to London alone I could barely breathe. My stomach was in knots. I was deep breathing to keep calm on the tube. I cried a dozen times. But I did it. I remember being so so happy to go home to Devon. But I didn't allow it to stop me from going again. 

Each time I went, things got a little better. I've probably been about 4 times in the last year and I'm at the point now where I'm not even a little bit scared. I'm quite happy to sit on the tube and just chill out. The only thing I probably wouldn't be too comfortable with doing just yet is getting the tube alone. But that is my next step. 

I guess what I'm trying to say (or suggest) is that you should push yourself to try and do one thing that scares you. Do it once, freak out, tell yourself you survived and do it again. I promise it will get easier. Eventually it just becomes routine and then the other things follow. I don't really like to class myself as having anxiety anymore. I think I'm naturally an anxious person anyway but I think I'm in a much better place mentally than I used to be so I don't like to refer to myself as having anxiety as there are people out there with it much worse. I think old anxiety ridden Stacie would tell new brave boss babe Stacie to shut the hell up if I was still using the 'It's my anxiety' line. 

I wouldn't say I'm cured but I'm a lot better and all that has honestly come from a simple trip to London. Now I bloody love the place. Can't wait to leave Plymouth every time. 

Friendships and relationships

I think it's important to push yourself out of your comfort zone with friendships and relationships for many reasons. 

Friendships are hard to make at my age. I'm 26 and I don't go to college or after-school clubs or places to meet new people. I have my work buddies and that is about it. All my other friends are from Wolverhampton or Wales where I have lived previously. 

It's hard. It's all very well having friends on social media but a lot of the time, that's all it amounts to. You don't meet up and actually do anything and your social life becomes attached to a computer rather than out in the fresh air. 

I definitely think social media is a great way to strike up a new friendship but just be sure to push it past that. Suggest you meet for coffee and actually go! I can't even count the amount of times I've said 'Ooh we should do this' and then we never do it. 

Even if it's easier to strike up an old friendship. Someone you haven't seen in ages because you just never found the time to but know that once you're there you'll feel in your comfort zone, it's asking in the first place that takes the courage. 

Start light, just send someone a message, old or new, compliment their selfie, ask them a question about somewhere they have been and if they would recommend it, keep the conversation going. Don't try and force a friendship but just make some more time to socialise and see where it leads. 

Relationships... this is a big one. It's very easy to get trapped into a comfort zone when it comes to being with someone. I'm a bit of an idiot for this. I think it's very easy to compare new relationships to old relationships. For example, I was once in an awful relationship with an awful person who is now in prison and he shaped my views on men a lot, I was very untrusting in my next relationship. Sometimes I look back at that, when I was a naive 16 year old girl and I marvel at how far I've come since then and how I got away from that way of life. 

I once dated somebody who fancied my friend. I'm over that now but at the time it was bloody awful and so when I got in a different relationship, that person wasn't allowed to meet my friends, which is unfair, but I didn't trust that he was any different, he proved me wrong though. 

I once got told I was too clingy and that was a very big thing that passed onto my next relationship because I was completely unattached. I wasn't affectionate. I wasn't intimate. I wasn't loving. I wasn't complimentary. I was stone cold with him really and that pushed us apart. I didn't realise it was my doing until I had lost everything and I think I was trying so hard not to be clingy Stacie, I hadn't realised I had turned into this unloving person who made them feel shit. 

Now, I like to think I would be past that. It took me to lose something to realise what I had done and I've learnt from my mistakes. if I want to be clingy, I'll be clingy. What's wrong with showing someone that you love and care about them. And if it's too much for them, stuff them! 

That would be an example of me pushing myself out of my comfort zone because I would be so petrified of scaring them away but then I need to learn to be myself and hopefully my partner would understand and appreciate that. 

I think it's easy to go for the same type of person that you're comfortable with but don't let what you see as someones flaws put you off, you might find yourself in the happiest relationship ever if you just let it happen and stop staying in your safe place. 

Lifestyle choices

I am a free spirit, I will just get up and go. I will quit my job. I will move to a different part of the country and I'm quite notorious for it, My parents have given up even trying to stop me now. They know what I'm like but it's ok because I'm always happy with my decision and each year that goes by my life gets better and better. I've never regretted any of my spontaneous decisions. Plus I'm 26. I'm old enough to make my own decisions anyway. If I mess up, it's my own fault.

I currently live in a place that is my safe place. My comfort zone. My next step is to leave it. I don't where I will go. I don't know when. Maybe next year, maybe in ten years. But I do know, it's not where I want to be forever. I moved there with a partner to settle down, get married and have kids.  It seemed the perfect place to do the whole family thing and honestly that's the main reason I moved there, to have this idealistic happy life with my partner.

It didn't work out that way and I'm no longer with that person but that's ok. Now I wonder, why am I here. I'm not doing the marriage and kids thing. So now it all seems a bit pointless. All I ever wanted was marriage and kids, a happy home. Life doesn't seem to want me to have that so what's next?
I'm in a place I feel happy and safe, and I have great people around me but what am I working towards? Going to work everyday, coming home to my lonely flat and praying for my next week off?

I'm still young and have my whole life ahead of me and although I'm not really sure what I want to do, I know I want to spend some time figuring it out. The only reason I'm still here is comfort, fear of the unknown. I'm excited to see where life takes me next. Who knows. Maybe I'll do the career thing. Maybe I'll get a dog. Maybe I'll break a Guinness world record. Watch this space. 


I hope this post has maybe inspired you to try something new or something you wouldn't typically want to do but I think the reason this past year has been so life-changing for me is because I've pushed myself so so far out of my comfort zone that I'm learning a lot about who I am and how I work as a person. I really would recommend it to anyone. I've come on leaps and bounds because of it. You just need to be open to it. It won't just come naturally. I'm not saying it's easy. 

I hope this post helped. I hate to see people stuck in a rut. 

Speak soon, 



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