The miracle of your life is hidden in the discomfort zone that you have never been to

How do you feel when you are about to take an important exam? How do you react when you are faced with the challenge of a new project at work? When you have to make a choice related to the direction of your life, how do you decide?

Ahead is a place you've never been before, a zone of discomfort that makes you feel terrified, wondering what to expect, are you going forward or backward? Do you dare to step in without hesitation?

During the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the performance of several athletes perfectly explained how they entered the uncomfortable zone to challenge themselves.

In the final round of the freestyle women's ski jumping competition, 18-year-old Chinese athlete Gu Ailing successfully completed the action and won the highest score in the competition, surpassing the French player and finally winning the championship.

But you must know that the big platform is not Gu Ailing's main event, and the formal training is only one year. The last round of jumping to the left turns 1620 degrees off the axis for two weeks, which is the most difficult action in the current women's big platform competition, and it is also the first time that Gu Ailing has tried and challenged in the competition. "I compete not just to beat others, but to challenge myself and show the world what I can do," she said.

Su Yiming, a 17-year-old Chinese player, won the silver medal in the men's snowboard obstacle course final, creating the best result in the history of the Chinese team in this event and breaking the monopoly of European and American athletes on medals in this event. And won the gold medal in the snowboard big jump. Before he became a professional skier, he was actually an actor who had participated in many film and television works.

Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu challenged the difficult figure skating action Axel quadruple jump (4A) many times in the competition. Although he failed to complete it perfectly, it also affected the score of the competition and did not win a medal in the end, but he still used it. Continuing to persevere in pursuit of goals has also won people's respect and love. Olympic medals are no longer his goal, challenging himself and breaking the limits of human beings are his ultimate goals.

These athletes are constantly breaking through themselves, not afraid of failure, and constantly challenging themselves in new areas. They bravely stepped into the discomfort zone, taking the risk of possible failure and experiencing heavy pressure, but in the end they all made breakthroughs and improvements through constant attempts and challenges. The once uncomfortable area has gradually become a familiar area that they can control and dominate.

Noel Deitch came up with a "comfort zone theory". People's psychological cognition is divided into three areas: comfort zone, learning zone, panic zone.

In the comfort zone, we are in an environment that we are familiar with, doing things we are familiar with, and feeling relaxed and comfortable.

Learning zone and panic zone can be called discomfort zone. In these zones, we have to face unfamiliar and unfamiliar things. There are many unfamiliar, novel and even scary things, which make people feel pressure. Huge, severe discomfort, and the possibility of collapse and withdrawal.

Although the comfort zone can make us feel comfortable and comfortable, it is difficult to grow and progress. Only by entering the uncomfortable zone and accepting new challenges and new exercises can we grow up, stimulate our potential, and discover our new abilities and more possibilities for life development.

However, because there are many difficulties and challenges in the discomfort area, it is easy to cause people's "discomfort paralysis", that is, stage fright. For example, a leader asks you to come on stage to give a speech, a client makes a difficult business request, and you encounter an unstudied topic on an exam...

At that point, did you suddenly go blank, unable to think, and not knowing how to respond? Maybe turn around and run away if you can.

Indeed, our body will feel uncomfortable and painful at the moment of encountering difficulties and blows, and the whole person will not be able to respond and act, resulting in a sense of fear and turning away. This makes many people withdraw and give up, preferring to hide in the comfort zone rather than entering the discomfort zone to face new things.

A scholar once said that when faced with difficulties and obstacles, people generally have three common thoughts and reactions:

1. Obstacle evaders: When they see difficulties, they turn around and leave immediately. They don’t want to or dare to try. This is the instinctive reaction of many people when they encounter difficulties. While this can save you from experiencing pain, it can also lead to disorientation and ultimately nothing.

2. Obstacle accusers: Some people cannot accept their own failures and deficiencies, and shirk the responsibility of inability to solve difficulties and failures on the head of obstacles. This makes me feel relaxed and I don’t have to take responsibility, but it can’t really solve the problem, and it’s hard for me to really change and improve.

Just like in this Winter Olympics, the Korean players put the blame on the unreasonable reasons such as poor ice surface and unfair referee after losing the game, but they were unwilling to admit that their skills were inferior to others.

3. Those who magnify obstacles: some people will have a huge sense of fear when they see obstacles, further magnify the obstacles, and imagine catastrophes.

These three kinds of performance in the face of problems, I think everyone can take a seat and see which one they belong to. This can also help us see what our uncontrolled instinctive reactions and behavior patterns are when facing difficulties, discover what our own problems and inner fears and anxieties are, and how we can adjust and change them.

Stull believes that difficulties are not as bad and persistent as we think, but fleeting, and that difficulties do not weaken us, but empower us, and that everyone can endure short-term change and pain. As long as you can face and endure this short period of pain, you can overcome difficulties, bravely step into the discomfort zone, and adapt to new challenges.

Stull has also experienced the moment of "discomfort paralysis" caused by entering the discomfort zone many times, which she calls a "brief moment of discomfort" (BMD), and proposes a "BMD method", which is to endure short-term pain. , a way to get used to discomfort, to take on new challenges.

There are three main steps to implementing the "BMD approach":

Step 1: Acknowledge your fears and step into the discomfort zone bravely.

Gu Ailing once said that she "falls in love with fear", which is a manifestation of bravely admitting and facing fear.

In the face of obstacles, we do not evade, shirk our responsibilities, and do not hide our vulnerability and fear. This can help us see what the obstacle fantasy is, what is behind it, and what kind of goals do we have. Only in this way can we control our fears , rather than being controlled by fear.

Step 2: Identify your uncomfortable moments and be able to feel comfortable there.

There are two kinds of comfort, one is "dead comfort", which is gradually numb in the environment of familiar habits. The other is "dynamic comfort", which is to stay positive and energetic in difficult situations, try to adapt and solve problems, and gradually adapt and feel comfortable.

Identify your feelings, psychological reactions, and behavioral patterns when you are uncomfortable, find a state that you can accept, and find and feel new comforts.

Step 3: Reimagine the difficulty and give it a positive meaning.

People often think that stress causes a breakdown and is a bad, scary thing. But in fact, there are experiments to prove that appropriate, controlled stress can make people's mind and body respond positively, become an effective motivation, promote people's success, and even work miracles.

In the Winter Olympics Freestyle Skiing Women's Slope Obstacle Skills Final, Gu Ailing can quickly adjust her mentality, change her strategy, and re-challenge difficult moves even if she loses temporarily. The final score overtakes her opponent and wins a silver medal. "Gu Ailing's big heart" also quickly climbed Internet hot search. This is a kind of performance that bears enormous pressure, is not afraid of difficulties, and faces challenges with a positive attitude. Not only did the pressure not overwhelm her, it also became a strong driving force for her to break through herself.

When facing pressure and unknown challenges, reconstructing our understanding of pressure, re-imagining difficulties, and giving them positive meanings, and transforming suffering can help us face challenges with a positive attitude and adapt to uncomfortable moments.

Specifically, the goals can be adjusted, and the long-term big goals can be divided into short-term small goals, and then achieved one by one.

A vision of how future goals will be achieved, and how a problem will be solved, the author calls a “montage”—like playing a video in your head. This kind of imagining is also a kind of psychological rehearsal, in which the details of the whole process are conceived in the mind, such as what kind of situation you will encounter, and how to act and solve it.

This kind of positive imagery drives our brain and body to produce a positive stress response. Many athletes go through the performance of the competition process in their minds before the competition, which can help them perform better in the actual competition.

We can also write down the problems, which can not only relieve pressure, but also sort out and analyze difficulties to help ourselves improve. And to actively interpret the difficulties, find the meaning of struggle, and inspire yourself to have the courage to walk into the uncomfortable zone.

Many people develop PTSD after being severely hit, and we often think that being hurt can only lead to bad outcomes.

But we can also transform suffering into "post-traumatic growth." In the face of pain and injury, how we understand and respond with our mentality and actions determines whether we will be injured and slumped, or will change and continue to grow.

If you are hesitating in the face of life choices, if you are resigned in the face of difficulties, if you do not know how to overcome difficulties, if you want to find a way to improve and move forward, you may as well muster your courage and break into the discomfort zone , maybe you can unleash your potential in difficult situations and create miracles in life.

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