You all know that I love a good challenge! Well let me tell you that a few weeks ago I definitely challenged myself. Along with 4 other badass athletes, we participated in the Oahu Pentathlon, which is a race that circles around Oahu via 5 different modes: swim, run, paddle, bike, and my portion was an 11-mile run carrying a 40 pound sandbag. I knew I'd be able to finish my portion, but I decided to challenge myself by seeing if I could go the entire distance without setting the bag down once. I was able to do it, but believe me, there were plenty of times when my mind and body screamed at me to put that damn bag down!
I'm not telling you this to brag, I'm telling you this to help you understand that when you challenge yourself, (not saying you need to carry a sandbag 11-miles) you learn that you're capable of so much more than you think.
Life is a series of ups and downs, challenges and triumphs. While it may be tempting to seek comfort and avoid difficult situations, there is immense value in stepping out of our comfort zones and embracing hard things. Whether it's pursuing a new skill, taking on a daunting project, or overcoming personal obstacles, the act of doing hard things can lead to personal growth, resilience, and a sense of fulfillment.
Growth and Development:
When we challenge ourselves, we push the boundaries of what we thought was possible. Hard things often require us to learn new skills, acquire knowledge, and develop problem-solving abilities. By engaging in difficult tasks, we foster personal growth and expand our capabilities. Each challenge conquered becomes a stepping stone towards a more confident and capable self.
Resilience and Adaptability:
Life is unpredictable, and it often throws curveballs our way. By willingly embracing hard things, we build resilience and adaptability. Challenges test our perseverance and teach us to bounce back from setbacks. The ability to navigate difficult situations with resilience not only helps us overcome immediate obstacles but also equips us to handle future challenges with greater ease.
Stepping out of our comfort zones exposes us to new experiences, perspectives, and ways of thinking. Hard things often require us to interact with diverse individuals, explore unfamiliar territories, or confront our own limitations. Through these encounters, we gain a broader understanding of the world and develop empathy and open-mindedness. This expanded perspective enriches our lives and allows us to connect with others on a deeper level.
Accomplishing something difficult instills a sense of triumph and boosts self-confidence. When we take on challenges and overcome them, we prove to ourselves that we are capable of more than we initially believed. This newfound confidence spills over into other areas of our lives, enabling us to tackle future endeavors with a renewed sense of self-assurance.
Discovering Hidden Potential:
Often, we underestimate our own abilities and limit ourselves based on fear or self-doubt. By willingly engaging in hard things, we unlock untapped potential and discover talents we never knew we possessed. Stepping outside our comfort zones allows us to explore new passions, uncover hidden strengths, and redefine our own limitations. In doing so, we expand the boundaries of what we thought we could achieve.
Where to Start?
Alright Jono, so where do I start? I'm not saying you need to sign-up for the next extreme event, you can start with small challenges throughout the day. Here's a few examples:
- Take the stairs, even if its up 6 flights
- Turn the water to cold when you take a shower
- Park in the farthest parking spot as possible and walk into the grocery store. Then carry, yes I said carry, your groceries back to your car instead of using a cart
- Try to fast (skip breakfast and lunch) for an entire day. Feel what true hunger is like
- Sit and do nothing for 15-30 minutes and just be in your thoughts (this is by far the biggest challenge for me!)
- Take a walk during the hottest time of the day, or when its raining. It's ok, you won't melt.
While it's natural to seek comfort and avoid challenges, embracing hard things is essential for personal growth, resilience, and self-discovery. By venturing beyond our comfort zones, we cultivate valuable skills, broaden our perspectives, and develop a sense of self-confidence that permeates all aspects of life. So, let us embrace the discomfort, welcome the challenges, and embark on a journey of growth and transformation, for it is in doing hard things that we truly find ourselves.
Need help getting started? Join my online Masterclass "Breath Strength Mind" where I teach you all about how to get over your fears, embrace discomfort, and use your breath to improve your performance.