Comfort zones…where dreams go to die!


What am I doing?!? Am I crazy? Those are the thoughts that ran through my head as I signed up for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu a few months ago. It was completely out of my comfort zone! I can’t say that it was ever a dream of mine to do BJJ either so why would I do this male dominated sport?

It all started over a year ago when we signed up my 10 year old son, Jaxson after he was being bullied at school. My husband picked BJJ because it’s the martial arts that he would never have to throw a punch with and it doesn’t matter how big the other person is because it’s all about leverage and submissions.

Now let’s rewind even further back to my teenage years. Something happened to me that changed my life forever and that made me very cautious in certain situations. Including going for walks by myself. If you know me at all then you know I LOVE hiking every weekend, being outdoors makes my heart happy and I love going for walks after a long day at the office (which probably also explains why I’ve smiled, danced and sang throughout the entire 40 mile breast cancer walk the last 6 years). Although I love these things, if I don’t have someone to do it with I won’t do it because I don’t feel safe.


Side note: This is my hiking buddy Cindy and I at the top of Mission Peaks a few weeks ago.

So when Jaxson’s coach urged me to start doing BJJ it didn’t take long for me to realize that while it’s totally out of my comfort zone it would make my dream of doing things outdoors by myself a reality. I would finally have the confidence that I could defend myself if needed. If I didn’t do it..well then…I’d stay in my comfort zone and that dream..the freedom of it…would die. 😦

But from watching BJJ over the last year I knew that it was a tough sport. That there were very few women in it and I had never even been in a fight before yet I would need to grapple with men much larger and stronger than I am. As one of my close friends said,  “You’re the nicest person I know. Why would you do that?!?” It was definitely very, very far out of my comfort zone and I’ve done some things that have truly scared me (and guess what…I even survived them…LOL)!


Side note: My coach told me at class today that the triangle choke (shown above) should be my signature move because I’m getting really good at it. 

When I see all my bruises, feel the soreness in muscles I didn’t even know I had and I’m drenched in sweat I am proud of myself for taking the leap outside my comfort zone. I do have to be honest and tell you that every class I take (I go 3x a week) I have to face the nervousness and make myself go knowing I’m going to get more bruises, be in more pain and most importantly learn more skills to be able to protect myself if anything were to happen to me again.


As you can see from my picture above sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone can bruise you physically or maybe just your ego. It doesn’t matter though because you’re becoming more confident, learning more about yourself and growing! Be proud of yourself for that!


Next time you are asked to do something that is good for you AND scares you, I urge you to give it a try. Get uncomfortable, push your limits, learn what you’re truly made of, face your fear and do it anyways. With that comes maximum growth. Making you into the person you were meant to be. The reason you were put on this earth. The more you do it, the less scary it will be and the bigger you’ll grow. Then once you’ve done it make sure you pause to reflect what you’ve accomplished and celebrate it!


CHALLENGE: I urge you to identify right NOW what one thing you WILL do today that’s out of your comfort zone. Then do it! Is it making a phone call you’ve been dreading? Is it setting a sales goal that you aren’t sure you can reach? Is it getting in front of new prospects? Whatever it is don’t overthink it. If you think about it longer than 5 seconds you’ll talk yourself out of it. Just jump!!!


esmee pix of me after makeup Shana Anderson-Nute is the President of Spitfire Advertising, Inc., Co-Host of the weekly show “Fly On The Wall” every Monday at 9am PST on Blab and creator of the 7 Step Blueprint to Skyrocket Your Success. She also loves spending time with her 4 kids, husband, 2 dogs, hiking and giving back to various charities including The Avon Walk For Breast Cancer, Teen Success, I Love a Clean San Diego and many more. If you need help with creative marketing ideas please email her at she’d love to help you.


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