Step out of your comfort zone
That old pair of slippers. That same classic hairstyle. The usual Chinese take-away. As we go through life, it can become increasingly tempting to stick to what feels safe and familiar – to stay within our comfort zone.
But is feeling comfortable always the best thing? What if actually embracing the things that make you feel uncomfortable could help you get more from your life? After all, nobody ever discovered something new by sticking to the same old routine.
Is your comfort zone holding you back? Find out below…
Do you keep your multiple sclerosis (MS) private because it’s easier than the alternative?
Having more open conversations with those closest to you, could help them better understand what life with MS is really like for you, and what kind of support you really need – be it day-to-day or support in having open and honest conversations with your neurologist.
Click on the orange pinpoint to reveal more
Publishing her deepest, darkest secrets in a book about life as a mother with MS, is something Barbara never thought she could do. But taking that step and opening up to the world has helped her achieve more from her life with MS.
"Stepping outside my comfort zone was so hard. Before I hit 'Publish', I took a deep breath, felt very brave and pressed it. To bring the realities of life out into the open has been refreshing, terrifying and exhilarating in equal measure. I've never looked back."
Living with MS
Do you shy away from leaving the house because you’re worried about your MS symptoms?
If you feel uncomfortable leaving the house because of your multiple sclerosis, speak to your neurologist. Together, you could find a way to step out of your comfort zone.
In a survey of over 1,000 people living with relapsing MS,*
1/3 said they don’t go out as frequently because they worry their symptoms are embarrassing.
You should never have to compromise the things you love doing, or the places you love going because of your MS.
If you feel uncomfortable leaving the house because of your MS, ask a friend for support. Not only could they assist if you struggle with symptoms such as foot-drop or fatigue, having someone you trust by your side could give you the extra confidence needed to step out of your comfort zone.
It’s also important you talk openly and honestly about these issues with your neurologist. It might not be easy, but if they understand just how much MS is currently impacting your daily life, they can work with you to make sure they’re doing everything they can to support you.
Explore our Discussing treatment with your neurologist article for more information and useful tips on how to talk to your neurologist about anything that’s important to you.
Do you try and avoid discussing uncomfortable issues with your healthcare professional?
You’re not alone!
The idea of opening up about your multiple sclerosis might make you feel uncomfortable. But being more honest with your healthcare professional will help make sure you’re receiving the best possible support and treatment at every stage of your MS journey.
More than 40%
of respondents living with RMS are hesitant to talk about their challenges with MS because they do not want to be seen as complaining
Click to read Hannah’s story
Hannah was struggling mentally with her MS diagnosis, but found it easier to say nothing. However, when she finally found the courage to open up to her neurologist, he was able to reassure her and put her in touch with a counsellor. In the end, it meant Hannah became a far more positive person and was able to deal with things much better.
"Before I stepped out of my comfort zone I felt awful, I was nervous and worried in case people thought I was being ridiculous or wouldn’t take me seriously. But when I did, everything changed."
Living with MS
Settling into your comfort zone is easy to do, but it doesn’t mean you have to stay there.
If you feel you need a little push forward, here’s how you can start taking those first few steps…
It’s natural to feel nervous trying something new
Building confidence in yourself can help you to start taking those first steps.
Set goals for yourself so you know what you’re aiming for
Setting personal goals is a great way to know what you want to accomplish and by breaking them down into manageable, measurable steps, you’re far more likely to see them through.
Sharing your goals with your neurologist is also a great way of opening up and giving them a greater insight into your life – which they can then consider when making treatment decisions to ensure you’re managing your multiple sclerosis in the best way possible for you.
Stay focussed on what you want to achieve and keep pushing yourself.
Life with MS can feel overwhelming, which can make you lose focus on the other things that are important to you.
Techniques like mindfulness can help you maintain focus and clear your thoughts, particularly at work where it can be especially hard to concentrate.
And remember, you don’t have to do it all alone!
Talking to your healthcare professional and the people closest to you or even an MS support group about what you want to achieve can be the first step towards leaving your comfort zone. Their support can be invaluable in helping you live the best possible life.
Ask yourself, is it time you started stepping out of your comfort zone?
Why not challenge your MS perceptions with a Truth, or step outside your comfort zone by selecting a Dare with our Truth or Dare activity.
The global vs.MS survey asked 1,075 people living with relapsing remitting MS and 580 care partners about the impact MS has on their lives.
- MS global survey of people living with relapsing MS (RMS) and RMS care partners. 2015.
Discussing treatment with your neurologist
Explore practical tips and advice on how to approach discussing treatments with your neurologist.
Talk to Your Doctor Guide
Create a personalised guide to help you evaluate and discuss your MS at appointments with your neurologist.
Setting goals in MS
Learn about the importance of setting goals and how to set the right ones for you.