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The Comfort Zone Challenge ft. Alys Journals

In the photo: Personalised Yoga Notebook from Papier / Random Notes of Encouragement from Bread&Jam / The Crumpet of Courage Postcard from Paperchase.

I was really excited when Alys from Alys Journals sent me an e-mail to ask if I wanted to do a collab with her. Yes please! I’ve followed Alys since forever, we share a love of travel, photography, journalling, creativity and so much more, plus we are both studying with The Open University. How cool! Her series conversations with anxiety is so relatable and I’m always in awe of her photography skills and inspired by her healthy vegan recipes. We have so much in common, it didn’t take us long to decide on a topic: stepping outside of our comfort zone.

Our challenge for the month of May was to find ways to push ourselves to try new (and scary) things and blog about our experiences. For my challenge, I wanted to improve my confidence, be brave and put myself in unfamiliar situations. As I was already a member of the gym, I decided a good place to start would be booking myself onto fitness classes I had never done before. And in the first week, I signed up to a class had never heard of called “Barre Concept”. Make sure you head over to Alys’ blog to see how she did with the comfort zone challenge too!

Lesson #1: The awkward feeling never really lasts long. 

Booking classes from the comfort of your own home is all good fun until you actually have to go to them. I admit, I was feeling apprehensive about this one, considering all I knew was that Barre Concept is a mix of ballet, Pilates and yoga. To make things even scarier, when I arrived, all the women were in a tiny room, surrounded by bright pink bouncy balls, all chatting and laughing like they had known each other for years. Yikes. I plucked up the courage to go in, found a little spot at the back, stood there awkwardly for what felt like forever (actually 2 minutes), until our teacher came in and the class started. I soon relaxed into it, and naturally I really enjoyed it. Proud comfort zone moment right there.

Lesson #2: The things we worry about don’t actually happen. 

The following week was yoga. Now, I already know a bit about yoga having practiced from the comfort of my own lounge using Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. But this is a comfort zone challenge after all, so I needed to go get out there and find my fellow local yogis. On the day, I was half-tempted to cancel the class, as it was at 12:30 and I was hungry and paranoid about my stomach rumbling in the silence of savasana (the quiet chill out pose at the end). But, I pushed my anxieties to one side, grabbed my mat and forced myself to go. Yes, the class was good, and no, my stomach didn’t unexpectedly rumble. It’s funny what we worry about.

Lesson #3: Embrace the unexpected.

This week I was expecting to try a nice jolly Zumba class, and even though dance moves aren’t my strong point I wasn’t feeling too worried about this one. That was until about five minutes before it was due to start. Outside, I casually asked one of the ladies if this was the right class, in which she replied “Zumba has been cancelled for two weeks, instead it’s a workout called Insanity” Me: “Oh okay, is it hard?” Lady: “Yes, last week people even walked out”.  I could have bottled out there and then but knowing I was doing the comfort zone challenge I felt I needed to go through the door. There were only six of us in the class and it was an high intensity workout (think: squats, push ups, planks, burpees, you name it). But, I sweated through and survived and actually felt super proud of myself afterwards.

Lesson #4: New challenges can re-energize you.

I took a week off trying new classes as my energy was low and I wasn’t feeling particularly courageous. I felt like I was in some kinda slump but couldn’t put my finger on why, so to shake things up again I booked myself onto Zumba Strong. I thought I would ease myself back in gently to the comfort zone challenge with a bit of hip shaking and Latino dance moves. Oh, how wrong was I. Zumba Strong is pretty much a bootcamp in a rock club. It’s almost identical to Insanity if not a bit harder as every move is synced to the beat of the song. It was an insanely tough high intensity workout with an awesome soundtrack. After the workout, I was buzzing and had the most productive day. My energy had returned and I felt ready to push myself again. It’s amazing how leaving your comfort zone can make you feel. 

It’s now the beginning of June and officially my Comfort Zone challenge is over. However, each experience taught me something new and I want to continue developing my confidence, so I guess the Comfort Zone challenge is never really over. I hope you enjoyed reading and make sure you head over to Alys’ blog to see how she did with the comfort zone challenge too!

Have you ever tried a comfort zone challenge? Or have tried Barre Concept, yoga, Insanity or Zumba Strong? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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54 Comments

  1. June 4, 2018 / 7:31 am

    Loved this post! Reality revealed…and yes we always live in a fear of uncertainty..You faced it and therefore you are confident..I am getting married this year, I really need to work on it..To get out of my comfort zone..I am laughing here, thinking of how I will manage..
    Indeed an awesome post!
    Beautiful as usual..
    Aditi

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:12 pm

      Thanks so much Aditi 💖. That’s so true, glad you enjoyed the post. I’m sure your wedding will be such a beautiful day and you will feel amazing and confident 😍 xx

  2. June 4, 2018 / 2:58 pm

    Love this so much! I’m starting out the summer in a new city (interning and staying at an intern house)…and it is a little intimidating at first because most people already know the ropes/already have friends. But I just jumped in and did it and I’ve already met so many amazing people + had so much fun! I totally agree that getting out of your comfort zone totally pays off!
    Love this post!
    -Kate // http://www.classyandkate.com/how-i-keep-my-skin-healthy-in-the-summer/

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:33 pm

      Thanks so much Kate! Glad you enjoyed reading 💖. Wow, you are so brave to move to a new city to be an intern! Go girl! I’m glad you have had so many positive experiences already, that’s so awesome and inspirational 😘 xx

  3. June 4, 2018 / 3:02 pm

    I absolutely love this! I think sometimes it can be easy to hold back and stay with what is comfortable and easy, but going outside of your comfort zone and taking that leap of faith always pays off. THanks for sharing, girl!

    -Emily | http://www.TheEmilyEdition.com

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:42 pm

      Thanks so much Emily, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! 💖 It definitely pays off to step outside of our comfort zones even if it is scary at first 😘 xx

  4. June 4, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    Loved reading both posts about this! Well done for going out of your comfort zone. Can I borrow some of your courage?!

    Saying that, blogging was one giant leap out of my comfort zone and the rewards have been huge! So, you’re right, it’s worth doing if you can manage it. x

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:44 pm

      Aw thank you so much Ruth 💖. I’m glad you enjoyed both of our posts 😍. Blogging is definitely something that takes courage and the results are amazing 😘 xx

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:45 pm

      Thanks Cora! 💖 Yoga is such a good thing to do, I always feel so much better afterwards too. Glad you enjoyed the post lovely 😘 xx

  5. June 4, 2018 / 4:17 pm

    This is such a great post! I have this huge fear of leaving my comfort zone but since I’m moving out for my final year at Uni I’m aiming to challenge myself more! I’m even going to do two language classes which I’ve been wanting to do!

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:47 pm

      Thank you lovely! 💖 Wow, moving out for uni is such a brave thing to do, go girl! That’s awesome you are learning two languages too, that’s such a great way to challenge yourself 😍 xx

  6. June 4, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    I need to read this post again and again when I’m in a rut, you write so positively! I watch Yoga with Adriene almost daily and absolutely adore her, she’s been a real motivator for me and I can’t go a day now without doing some form of yoga 🙂 x x
    Ellis // http://www.elliswoolley.co.uk

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:48 pm

      Thanks so much Ellis! 💖 Yoga with Adriene is awesome isn’t it, she is such a fantastic teacher 😍. I’m glad you enjoyed the post lovely xx

  7. June 4, 2018 / 4:26 pm

    Great post and very inspiring to push people out of their comfort zone. Love what you say about the things we worry about never tend to happen. Find that point in particular so true!

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:49 pm

      Thanks Faisal! 💖 Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for the kind feedback 😘 xx

  8. June 4, 2018 / 4:27 pm

    I totally get what you mean with the awkward feeling not lasting long. I went to the cinema on my own a few months ago and was so nervous. After about 15 minutes I was totally fine! Definitely going to look for new things to stretch my comfort zone!
    Sophie | sophierayne.com
    Xx

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:51 pm

      Thanks Sophie! 💖 I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Going to the cinema alone is such a brave thing to do. I’d love to try that too, thanks for the inspiration! 😘 xx

  9. June 4, 2018 / 4:29 pm

    I love that they’re all fitness related. I’m definitely one to stick to my comfort zone too so well done for putting yourself out there! I’ve always wanted to try a barre class but they basically don’t exist where I live. I’m definitely not brave enough for zumba in a room full of strangers! X

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:52 pm

      Thanks Sophie! 💖 I didn’t think I would be brave enough either but it went okay, everyone is too busy being exhausted to look around he he 😂🙈 xx

  10. June 4, 2018 / 4:42 pm

    This post is brilliant. I love working out and going to fitness classes but always prefer to go with someone, it’s so nerve-wracking going in allow but I’m so impressed at how well you’ve done! I’ve done an insanity class before, it’s so intense but so good! Do you think you’ll keep any of them up?
    Hels xx
    http://www.thehelsproject.com

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:54 pm

      Thanks Hels! 💖 It’s definitely nerve wracking! Insanity is such a good workout, you can really feel it the next day. I’ve been to yoga and Barre a few times since but I’m still building up the courage to go back to Zumba Strong again 😂🙈 xx

  11. June 4, 2018 / 4:48 pm

    I love this post. Everything is so true! I love zumba! I always feel so intimidated when i start a new dance class but i end up having a blast. It is quite hard to leave your comfort zone but always so rewarding! xx corinne

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:55 pm

      Thanks Corinne! 💖 That’s so true, the classes are always so much fun after the initial nerves. Glad you enjoyed the post 😘 xx

  12. June 4, 2018 / 5:04 pm

    Oh I love the thought of pushing yourself, what a brilliant challenge to take part in! I think I’d have bottled out of the insanity work out, well done for sticking with it! X

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:56 pm

      Thanks Jo! 💖 The Insanity workout was such a tough one, I’m surprised I survived 😂. Glad you enjoyed the post 😘 xx

  13. June 4, 2018 / 6:03 pm

    Bexa I’m so happy you stepped out of your comfort zone and tried new things. Embracing challenges is so healthy and it sounds like you had a successful time. Reading your post has inspired me to try some new things this week, put my fear to the side and learn new things about myself. TFS <3

    Natonya | justnatonya.wordpress.com

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:57 pm

      Yay! I’m so happy that my post as inspired you Natonya 💖. That’s awesome! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for the lovely comment 😘 xx

  14. June 4, 2018 / 6:14 pm

    New challenges can re- energise you! Love this!! Similar thinking to getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Thanks for sharing

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 7:58 pm

      Thanks so much for the comment Michael, so glad you enjoyed the post! ☺️ xx

  15. Sunkissed Scribbles
    June 4, 2018 / 7:33 pm

    Brilliant post, Bexa. It’s always good to get out of your comfort zone and try new things. I’ve never heard of Barre Concept or Insanity but they sound intense. I’m pleased your challenge has had such a positive outcome for you x

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 8:04 pm

      Thank you so much lovely! 💖 I had never heard of them either until this month, they are definitely intense 😂🙈. Glad you enjoyed the post 😘 xx

  16. Shaun
    June 4, 2018 / 7:38 pm

    Well done for getting out of your comfort zone and facing new challenges Bexa 😄. I’ve heard that Insanity is a tough workout, it’s great that you threw yourself in there at the last minute and got through it ☺️. A brilliant post Bexa 😄😍💖😘 xxxx

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 8:05 pm

      Thanks Shaun! 💖 It was a very last minute decision but well worth it in then end ☺️. Glad you enjoyed the post! ☺️😍😘 xxxx

  17. Caroline Venables
    June 5, 2018 / 6:29 am

    Such a good post as always. I love the idea of pushing yourself, I need to do it more. Not in the same league but I did walk a new path yesterday instead of catching the bus. Wasn’t 100% on where the path lead to but it was a nice day and got to where I needed to be. I felt much better for walking than hopping on a bus x

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 5, 2018 / 3:35 pm

      Thanks so much Caroline 💖. Discovering a new path is always so nice, it’s like going on a little adventure and so much better for you than the bus ☺️. Glad you enjoyed the post lovely 😘 xx

  18. June 5, 2018 / 6:59 am

    Such a great post! I had never heard of this challenge before but I think the concept is so positive and inspiring! I definitely should take up this challenge. Well done on completing an insanity class and pushing through and pushing yourself, you must be so proud of yourself! I think one of my challenges would be to go to the gym on my own! As I hate going alone. The walk up the steps, I just get so self conscious.xxxx

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 5, 2018 / 3:37 pm

      Thanks so much Lauren! 💖 I know what you mean, the gym can be so intimidating. Glad you enjoyed the post lovely 😘 xx

  19. Shevy
    June 5, 2018 / 10:50 am

    You are so super brave to step out of your comfort zone the way you have, sometimes the anxiety that comes with that is enough to put anyone off. I have never tried Barre Concept but I did love Yoga when I did it a few years ago, now I am falling apart and cannot find the energy to workout but it will come when other things start falling into place 😀 Thanks for a lovely post and well done hun!

    Shevy
    http://moonsomnia.com

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 5, 2018 / 3:39 pm

      Thanks so much Shevy 💖. Yoga is one of my favourites. Glad you enjoyed the post and hope you start feeling better soon lovely 😘 xx

  20. June 5, 2018 / 11:02 am

    Great post, great initiative. Breaking the comfort zone kind of imparts a turbo boost to the confidence and morale.

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 5, 2018 / 3:39 pm

      Thank you! ☺️ xx

  21. June 5, 2018 / 4:35 pm

    That’s such a good idea for a collab and i love that you managed to do things that you wouldnt normally!

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 6, 2018 / 6:38 am

      Thanks so much Ellie 💖. It was really good to push myself and try new things 😍 xx

  22. June 5, 2018 / 5:43 pm

    This was such a lovely post Bexa! I love that you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone for so many different activities. I always feel that going to a class for the first time is so hard, but ultimately everyone is there to work out which is usually a pretty independent activity! Sounds like you managed to have a great time and learn a few things too, hope next time you go to a new class you don’t feel as awkward or nervous!

    Sammy | seekingsammy.com

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 6, 2018 / 6:39 am

      Thanks so much Sammy! 💖 That’s so true, once the initial nerves are out the way, the classes are really good fun. I definitely want to keep trying new ones 😍. Glad you enjoyed the post 😘 xx

  23. June 5, 2018 / 10:27 pm

    Yes, things that we usually worried about always turns out silly, and sometimes, the thing that we thought we couldn’t do might as well be the thing that we’re comfortable doing the most. I’ve been to an event that was out of my comfort zone before and I think I did rather well! Hehe. We just need a little push, that’s all. And well done you! Great post as usual! ❤️ xx

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 6, 2018 / 7:13 am

      Thanks so much Ain! 💖 That’s so true, we can worry about the silliest of things 🙈. Well done on your event, that sounds awesome! Glad you enjoyed the post lovely 😘 xx

  24. June 6, 2018 / 12:39 am

    I definitely relate to lesson 3 and 4. When I set challenges I definitely work harder and feel more energetic. Challenges give life purpose and living life with purpose is so good! It’s like a burst of fresh air after a long day.

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 6, 2018 / 7:15 am

      Thanks so much lovely! 💖 That’s so true, challenges can really energise us and make us feel motivated. Glad you could relate! 😘 xx

  25. June 10, 2018 / 9:00 pm

    Great post, Bexa! It’s good to push yourself sometimes, you did amazingly well!xx

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 11, 2018 / 6:27 am

      Thank you so much Em, glad you enjoyed the post! 💖🌷 xx

  26. June 11, 2018 / 3:42 am

    Wow, such a uplifting and inspiring challenge! I’m definitely one who is worried about the future; simply because my past wasn’t the easiest. However, being able to think of the unexpected as a positive instead of a negative is definitely something that helps the road to my future become that little less scary and daunting. Posts like this are just one of the many reasons I’m inspired by you everyday Bexa!😘 You keep being you Darling💘😊 xoxo

    http://www.beautynbrushes.co.uk

    • Bexa
      Author
      June 11, 2018 / 6:51 am

      Aw thanks so much Emily! 💖 That’s so true, thinking of the unknown as a good thing makes life exciting and interesting (although still scary at times!) 🙈 Thank you for your kind words and lovely comment 😘 xx

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