What takes you out of your comfort zone?

Last week saw Davina McCall achieve her challenge ‘Breaking Point’ (says it all!) for Sport Relief where she swam, cycled and ran from Edinburgh to London in 7 days. I watched (occasionally sniffed!) her journey on You Tube and was inspired and in awe of her tenacity and determination to get to the finish line.

Before she started she said ‘I cannot run, I am not built to run’- however she found a way. Through intense training she taught herself HOW to run.

Here are 5 take aways I gained which I thought you would be useful to share.

The challenge

1) The challenge was clear- she knew what she had to achieve. The route was clear and she had a detailed plan of what it would look like. Sometimes we are very vague with our goals and say ‘to be thin’ or to be ‘happy’- however these are difficult to measure, how do you know when you have achieved it? The goal could be talked about as a 7 day challenge but I’m sure breaking it down into individual days and taking the ‘one day at a time’ mentality helped the challenge to feel less overwhelming.

The move

2) She moved from ‘I can’t run’ to taking action and doing it. There are many things we think we can’t achieve or feel too scary or out of our comfort zone. Often it is easier to not do them. However Davina knew she wanted to achieve the challenge so started running and taught herself the skills.


3) The importance of a buddy/ support group. Through the wind and the rain and sheer exhaustion, I’m sure her running buddies and coach helped enormously when she thought she ‘didn’t have anything left’. The feeling of being part of a team and being supported can make you dig deep and achieve amazing things. You also have the ability to help others in your team or partnership to achieve the impossible. We all have days where we can’t seem to find a way or the answer so reach out to others, there is always a way you can move forward.


4) Reframing. Davina talks about ‘reframing the situation’ and looking at an alternative view to make the situation look better. So often, it is ourselves that stand in our own way with our limiting beliefs. ‘I can’t do that’ ‘I’m not very good at that’ ‘I am so tired, I can’t do anything else’- however a small shift of perspective can dramatically effect what follows. Reflecting on what we have achieved so far and breaking down the process into manageable chunks can make the difficulties a little more digestible and spur us on to the next stages.

Your Why?

5) What is your Why? Why are you doing this? Knowing the ‘why’ can boost your success rate hugely. When times are difficult, it is a point of reference to tap into and reconnect with all aspects of your challenge. Davina wanted to raise lots of money for Sport Relief and had the images and projects she had witnessed in the forefront of her mind. She also made a decision not to wear her wedding ring during the challenge- she didn’t want to lose it in the midst of the challenge. She asked her husband to have the ring on the finishing line when they were reunited.

What could you do? What you would like to achieve?


Start jotting down ideas- keep writing, don’t edit. Even if they feel scary- often these are the best ones.

Now start to ask others, do some research and then just start. Many of the ‘hows’ and the answers won’t be apparent at this stage. Don’t worry these answers will reveal themselves along the way.