Genetically we’re programed to seek comfort. From prehistoric times, to everything we do in our modern lives, our behavior is geared towards increased comfort.
If you surveyed 100 people, asking why they’re working hard today, 99 would say something tied to increased senses of comfort tomorrow.
A bigger house so the family is comfortable.
A new car so the commute to work is more comfortable.
A raise so there’s more room in the budget to make us more … comfortable.
It’s all about being comfortable.
So what? What’s the problem with wanting more comfort …?
There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable.
The problem is that we don’t like being uncomfortable. In fact, we’re becoming really shit at it!
In some cases, we’re paralyzed by the thought of discomfort.
And it’s costing us big time!
Not just us. Our families, our community … heck, even our planet!
Here’s why …
The planet debate can wait for another day. Today I want to discuss why it might be jeopardising your personal growth or success.
From personal experience, most personal growth requires a certain level of discomfort. Whether it’s making changes to your routine and current lifestyle, or having to throw yourself into something completely new altogether.
These scenarios start out being uncomfortable.
Another extremely uncomfortable thing is change.
And change ALWAYS requires a level of discomfort.
Take changing your body for example.
Improving strength, mobility, flexibility or body composition always requires some alteration to the way we move, the way we eat … in some cases, even the way we think.
And all of this is going to be uncomfortable. At least in the beginning.
Trust me … change is uncomfortable!
But the biggest problems with our inability to be uncomfortable lie with lost or missed opportunity.
Usually opportunity comes and goes quickly.
In most cases you have an extremely short amount of time to react before the opportunity is snapped up by someone more ready to take action.
In fact, many great opportunities are completely overlooked because the action required is so far outside one’s comfort zone that we fail to even see it!
This is a big problem.
Because we’re missing out on opportunities to change, grow, and to become more successful. These opportunities can be little … and they can be really big.
They might require massive action, or only small behavioral changes.
But as we’ve discussed, action, and change are usually uncomfortable. And sucking at being uncomfortable holds us back.
So how do we overcome discomfort?
It’s actually quite easy.
Practice being uncomfortable!
Daily doses of discomfort develop a level of conditioning to discomfort itself.
Just like anything … doing it regularly makes it easier.
Seriously, small daily doses of discomfort will lead to the bigger discomforts being less uncomfortable. (I hope that makes sense …?)
Or put differently … little daily doses of discomfort will slowly prepare you for bigger discomfort.
And eventually, it will strengthen your ability to take immediate action without hesitation in times where moving forwards requires you stepping outside your comfort zone.
So what can you do to exercise your discomfort muscle …?
The obvious answer is to start doing the things that make you feel a little uncomfortable.
Now before we go any further … here’s a quick disclaimer.
Don’t kill yourself! I’m NOT suggesting you put yourself in harms way to overcome fears or practice being uncomfortable.
I’m talking about little things … like confronting conflict situations to resolve issues that bother you, instead of avoiding them.
Or, if you hate sales … arrange to do sales calls for a while.
If you hate eating veggies, then start eating more veggies.
If you’re stiff and inflexible, then start stretching for 10 mins every day.
If you don’t like exercise, then start exercising more.
You get my point …?
To continue challenging myself I recently started to take cold morning showers. I mean … tap on cold. No hot or warm water at all.
This was something I’d read about previously for a myriad of great health benefits.
But I’d procrastinated for ages. After all, cold showers first thing in the morning is a horribly uncomfortable thing to do … right?
But recently I was reading about a guy called Wim “The Ice Man” Hof. Wim first caught the attention of scientists when he proved he was able to use meditation to stay submerged in ice for 1 hour and 53 minutes without his core body temperature changing.
Wim has a very simple technique for achieving amazing feats of human endurance. He practices being very uncomfortable regularly.
Introducing myself to his work was the final inspiration I needed to get into the cold water. I use the word cold water carefully. According to most experts, I need to submerge myself into water below fridge temp. Roughly 4 or 5 degrees celsius.
Unfortunately my shower doesn’t cut it.
But roughly 12 degrees is enough to make me bloody uncomfortable.
Since taking the cold showers I have felt a definitive increase in energy and vitality in the morning.
My productivity has also increased and I’m definitely achieving more every day.
There are many more great benefits to cold therapy that I’ll let you ask Google about if you’re interested. For now I want you to embrace one simple concept.
Aim to get a daily dose of discomfort!
Because if you’re the ambitious type (like me) … you’re going to need to get used to discomfort. And there’s no better time to start practicing than first thing in the morning!
P.S. If jumping under cold water is not your thing (which is understandable), my next most powerful suggestion is 100% to stretch for 10 minutes every day. You may not know this … but mobility is directly linked to morbidity.
Being inflexible dramatically raises your risk of dying young.
So I would recommend that daily doses of stretching is a great place to start stepping outside your comfort zone. Because let’s face it … most people are NOT really comfortable stretching!
If you don’t really know how to stretch or improve mobility don’t stress … we’re working on the perfect solution. My brother Rad, has been working extremely hard to create a new online mobility and flexibility program.
We’ve used this exact mobility circuit to increase the flexibility of heaps of our clients and trainers. It works amazingly well. And the best part is … it only takes a few minutes everyday to get huge improvements.
I’ll be revealing more in the coming days.
P.P.S. When you are ready, here’s the best 3 ways I can help you get lean, strong and healthy:
- Health Summit – My one night lifestyle workshop. Where I share the 3 most effective keys to health I’ve discovered during my 15 year career.
- Health Kickstart – My 30-day health kickstart program, where I teach people how to get lean, strong and healthy the right way.
- The Health Tribus – My 12-month intensive lifestyle transformation program. Not your average health and fitness program. For people with BIG goals wanting BIG results!