By: Sandra Stanford
One of my favorite episodes from the “I Love Lucy” show is when Lucy is attempting to dance with a group of professional dancers. She goes left when the other dancers go right. It’s hilarious. Recently I found myself feeling like Lucy in that show. It came from my decision to begin exercising again. My friend Robin had been slimming down and one of the reasons is her commitment to an exercise class where the ladies dance to Latin music. Seeing her success, I decided to go with her one night.
“It can’t be that hard”, I thought.
Much to my surprise, I quickly realized how difficult it was to keep up and follow the instructor. My brain would not work as quickly as I wanted in telling my feet and arms what to do. Like Lucy, I found myself going right when I needed to go left. I felt conflicting emotions. On the one hand, it was frustrating. On the other hand, I found myself laughing at how silly I looked.
I realized I had danced into a dis-comfort zone. There are many times this zone happens to me and it usually begins when I decide to make a change in my life. This is a topic that I also talk about with my clients. Change can be frustrating, hard, overwhelming, with feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, and uncertainty. It can also feel scary. Yet, at the end of that dance class I felt empowered. I did it! I did not have moves like the instructor, but I didn’t care. Sweat was on my face, and I knew that my body had worked hard.
The counseling process challenges clients to become aware of comfort zones that are not healthy. Once they are recognized, goals are set and steps put into place to move toward a healthier life. In each step, discomfort is a probability. It’s the same feeling I get when I put on a new pair of shoes. They can feel tight and uncomfortable. But as I wear them regularly and begin to break them in, there comes a day I can’t imagine my life without them!
This summer I will be leading 2 groups that will help people step outside their comfort zone. The Gifts of Imperfection women’s group and Intimate Encounters couples group will meet on Sundays in June and July. Call 407.894.5202 for more information.
I’m proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone to try something new. It’s a great feeling to be able to laugh at myself and to believe I can change and do better for me. It’s just like I tell my clients, “Lean into the discomfort and change will happen.” The process is challenging, but the rewards of a healthier life are priceless.