Discomfort is a great thing. This may sound harsh, but if you look back over your shoulder you will find out that the strongest and most memorable lessons came from failures and negative experiences. And, if you consider them to be a limiting experience, from these events excuses can form, like...
”I’ve pushed my limits already.”
”It sounds hard.”
”I’m too tired for it.”
I have heard these comments several times from people who thought their lives were good enough. The thing is, deep down inside they know they are not satisfed. They are scared. They are scared to push their limits, to be the strongest version of themselves. They are scared of failure and discomfort and they live their lives half powered.
Our brain is a tricky creature – whenever you try to do something different from your daily routine, it says STOP. An invisible handbrake pulls in your mind and you continue to repeat your routines - not changing your life at all.
Scientists calculate that the odds of being born with the DNA structure you have is 1:400 trillion. Yes, all of you who are reading this are unique uncut diamonds. These odds mean that you were born for a reason, and you shouldn’t waste your time sitting home, waiting for miracles.
I believe that it is possible to learn to ignore this handbreak. It is an acquired skill. All you need is practice, repetition and persistence to overcome stopping yourself.
Here are some methods I used in order to push my physical and mental limits.
1. Go Running or Get Some Other Serious Exercise
This may sound weird, but your physical limits reveal your mental limits. I realized this when I started running one year ago. I usually stopped after 2 kilometers, not because of being physically tired, but because of my mind pulled the handbrake and said ”It is enough for today, you are not used to this. This is just a waste of time”. When I found this out, I started to keep running beyond the ’handbrake’ point. I kept running more and more, not because I became physically stronger, but because my body remembered physically and I knew mentally that I could reach longer distances.
2. Take a Cold Shower
Your skin is burning, you are screaming, and you have goosebumps at the same time – probably this is how your first ice cold shower will look like. So why would you do it? Believe it or not, cold showers have several benefits:
- improves immunity
- increases testosterone
- speed up muscle recovery
- it refines your skin and hair
- increases alertness
- it builds strong willpower
In my opinion the last one is the greatest of all. When you dedicate yourself to cold shower therapy, you will have a battle every night (or even every morning!) between your will and your body that literally wants to escape every drop of icy water. I started to have cold showers after physical exercises – nowadays I can’t even go to bed without cooling myself down. I truly believe that this is one of the best ways to train our skill called ’willpower’.
3. Live with the Five Second Rule
This is courtesy of Mel Robbins, a life coach and motivational speaker. The rule says that you must take action in less than 5 seconds when you have an idea to do something uncomfortable or challenging, othwerwise your brain will come up with the worst excuses and convince yourself there are valid reasons to not take action. Every one of us had this situation: You set the alarm clock, but when you had to wake up you just kept pushing the snooze button go back to dreamland, several times. Using the Five Second Rule analogy for your life, you must throw off your sheet. This will physically force to get out of bed and start your day, to talk with someone who intimidates you, to try to climb that mountain, to go for it. Hesitation will come if you don’t act as soon as the idea comes.
Remember, whenever doubt tries to pull you down keep pushing yourself to the top. You now have three simple tools to prove your power to yourself. Do not be the one who sets limits on yourself. As proof of how this can work, go take an ice cold shower and reflect on your greatness!