Its been just over a month since I returned back from my epic trip to Peru (I know, only a month!) and it feels good to be back. Peru was without doubt one of the most amazing yet challenging experiences of my life. Not just physically but mentally too. The lack of oxygen due to high altitude meant that I wasn’t able to think as clear as usual and I felt completely out of character. This was a massive mental challenge for me. What was also mentally challenging for me was the fact that I was living in a tent for five days with a lack of working toilet facilities and home comforts and surrounded by a big group of absolutely lovely people but people I didnt know. Now, I never thought that I was someone who needed their home comforts and space but it turns out now that I do!
The physical challenge came in the shape of trekking for up to 11 hours in varying temperatures and varying altitudes and the fact that on some mornings we had to wake up at 4 am! Again, something I was not used to doing, surprisingly!
The reason I am telling you all this is because whilst in Peru, high up in the Andes, I felt, for the first time in a long time, completely out of my comfort zone, my familiarity. It wasn’t possible to just pop to the toilet whenever it was needed as for the most part on the trek there wasn’t one! It wasn’t possible to make yourself a cuppa when required as this could only occur at set times when we stopped for food. It wasn’t possible to call your mates when you were in need of a bit of reassurance and encouragement because If you did you would end up with a mammoth phone bill! I was completely out of my comfort zone and feeling like I was going to drown!
But, in order for me to raise £3,000 for the charity Action Medical Research, it had to be hard. It couldn’t be an easy walk in the park, a holiday; as that wouldn’t have been fair to all those who had sponsored meand were due to sponsor me. I had to suffer so that young children with disease and disability wouldnt have to. And in some ways, I am ok with the fact that I suffered. The act of suffering strips away all the fineries and comforts you are used to and brings you back to basics, dealing with things that aren’t so pleasant or so nice. And what you come to realise is that once these issues are dealt with, its not the end of the world. Every hard thing can be overcome. I cant begin to describe to you how good it felt when we all saw Machu Picchu for the first time through The Sun Gate! All that hard work paid off within that instant and the suffering was no longer an issue. After suffering must come relief so fear not. And this is crucial. Fear limits and hinders you especially when you are not in your comfort zone. So in order to deal with this fear, give love. To yourself and to whoever or whatever is causing you to fear and in so doing, the fear will evaporate. As Oprah Winfrey says ‘Think to yourself, what would I do If I didn’t have fear’ and do that. Love is always the answer.
I have since noticed that certain other situations cause me to feel out of my comfort zone. Having to give presentations of material that I have only just seen to a group of judges causes me to become nervous and panicky. Often shopping causes me to be nervous (I know, this is weird for a girl!) I have also just started working at a fantastic charity called Fight for Peace, in North Woolwich and I absolutely love it. They do Muay Thai, Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts and I am still plucking up the courage to actually participate in one of the classes because I know how out of my comfort zone I will be if I do and how hard and intense it will be! Even doing more than 10 sit ups is pushing me past my comfort zone!
But what I have learnt from all these things is that by doing things that are out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself just that little bit harder you become able to achieve things that you didnt think were possible and within your capabilities. We are all amazing, wonderful individuals capable of so much but often our self doubt and fear limits and hinders us for achieving our full potential. Just like in the film ‘Limitless’ we are all capable of learning to speak new languages, be fit, have the body of our dreams, be confident, go to far away places and visit the sights we see in magazines and films. This is all within our reach and possible for each and every one of us but too often we get caught up in excuses or negative talk so we don’t allow us to reach our full potential or live the lives we were created for. Nothing is impossible if you believe that you can achieve and nothing is impossible if you give yourself the permission to really live rather than just do what you always do so that you get the results that you always get.
So, the moral of my story is this. Allow yourself to step one foot out of your comfort zone often so that you can realise how powerful you actually are and that there really isn’t anything for you to be scared of other than fear itself and the thoughts telling you that you ought to feel scared! Push the boundaries just a little bit to prove to yourself what you are capable of and do something every now and then that scares you. My next goal to achieve, which is something that most definitely scares me is to pluck up the courage to join Fight for Peace’s Muay Thai class!!! I will let you know how that goes 😉
If, after having read about my plight, you want to sponsor me and give money to an awesome children’s charity you can do so by clicking on this link http://www.action.org.uk/sponsor/michellemovesmountains
I have £200 left to raise by 30th November. Even if you can only sponsor me £5, I would be most grateful.
I am in talks with someone to create a programme for young people to help them realise their power, potential and purpose. Get in touch to find out more 🙂 I look forward to hearing from you :):):)