This past weekend, I spent some time down in Coronado, CA. I was apprehensive about going. I was nervous. I was scared. I was excited. I was also terrified. I was going to a retreat.
Now, don't get me wrong. I LOVE myself a retreat. In fact, this is the 8th year in a row that I will be hosting my own annual women's retreat in Moab, UT. But I rarely attend them as a participant, and that was the scary part. See, my personality tends to "retreat" or withdraw internally when things get tough or scary, boring or unknown. It would have been easy for me to stay home and go about business as usual. But true growth doesn't happen unless you step outside of your comfort zone, and no matter how much I know that, it is still a tough action step to take.
In an effort to get outside of my comfort zone this year, I joined a mastermind group with Todd Durkin, to improve my fitness business skills and continue to grow my Trainer In Your Back Pocket (TBP) program to impact even more lives around the globe. So, while our mastermind group is virtual, thanks to the internet (ie: non-scary and within my comfort zone), once per year, everyone gathers in one location for RETREAT.
As a newbie in the mastermind, I really had no clue what to expect. Would the people I meet be cool? Would they judge me? Would they think what I'm doing is enough? Are they so much more successful than I am? Am I worthy of even being there? Would they accept me into the "tribe?" See, all these worries, thoughts, and questions (unvalidated), made me quite anxious. But I knew that I needed to go. There was a little voice in my head about a month ago that told me I needed to suck it up, get out of my comfort zone, and go. I tried to rationalize that the cost of travel was too high. That I wasn't able to make enough money to pay for the trip, that my husband was just getting back from his deployment that week, etc. etc. etc. I tried to talk myself out of going. But that voice kept telling me that I needed to be there.
See, this past year, I was beginning to lose my spark. My light. My fire. This is partly why I chose the word "Light" as my guide word for 2017 (see previous post). But since I chose that word on January 1, it never seemed to fit. I was simply missing my light, my fire. Until this weekend.
This past weekend, as I stepped out of my comfort zone to be vulnerable, to dig deep into my dreams and goals for the TBP, the fire was lit. I came out of the retreat with quite a long list of "to-do's" to help make the TBP program even better, but more important than that, I came out of retreat with a network of amazing, fit pros who are now my friends, and a fire in my soul. (and the flint to continue lighting the fire if/when it burns out again).
The experience of getting away and attending a retreat gave me room to breathe. To grow. To get ideas to help break of the stagnation of "real life." Having the fire lit up again in my soul is worth every penny it cost to get me there. I am so grateful that I listened to that little voice in my head that told me to go, when everything else (rationality, cost, fear, intimidation, unworthiness, etc) told me to do what was easy and not go.
It is true that we don't grow unless we step outside of our comfort zones, and that is what I did this past weekend. I grew. I learned about myself, my business, my tendencies to "retreat" into myself instead of expanding out into growth. I got out of my comfort zone, and I grew, and for that, I am kind of proud of myself.
Is your fire burning out? Are you in need of a retreat? Come light your fire with me and some amazing women at my 8th annual Well-Weekend, this year in Moab, UT! I have 4 spaces available, and would love to help you spark your fire, your passion, your zest for life again. Don't let unvalidated fears hold you back from what will be a life changing experience, like I almost did.
Abby Malmstrom M.S. is an exercise physiologist, certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, wellness coach, and "real food" nutritionist. Her life as an active duty military spouse takes her all over the world, allowing her to influence, teach, and connect with folks in communities she never even dreamed of reaching. Life's an adventure, so stay tuned for the ride! It's time to "Eat Well, Move Well, Think Well, Be Well."