Smash Your Comfort Zone

Bruce Springsteen has been performing for more than 50 years and has sold more than 120 million records worldwide.

So, chances are he’s probably pretty chilled out before he heads on stage, right?

Wrong!

The Boss gets the willies every single time.

Gerry Lopez was already a big-wave surfing legend when he tackled the notorious Hawaiian wave Peahi for the first time.

But seeing it up close, Lopez was so scared that he didn’t think he’d even be able to surf.

And who could blame him?

Peahi

Eventually he told himself “I guess this is a good day to die“, and went out anyway.

Talk about a big pair of brass ones.

OK, what about a certified badass like Floyd Mayweather – 48 professional fights, 48 wins.

He’s got to have this fear thing dialed.

Don’t you believe it.

As world champion boxing trainer Cus D’Amato put it:

“…at no time does fear disappear. It’s just as bad in the hundredth fight as it was in the first…”

Rock stars, big-wave surfers, and boxers raking in millions per fight.

How is what they do even relevant to us?

Well, think of your comfort zone as being like a muscle – if it’s not worked, it shrinks.

Every time we take a pass on something that’s intimidating or hard, our future capacity to deal with that stuff takes a nosedive.

So the next time we face something challenging, we’re even less well-equipped to deal with it.

From there it’s a downward spiral.

Before long, doing anything outside of our normal routine takes almost Herculean effort.

The comfort zone now clings like a strait jacket.

That’s why so many folks:

• Endure jobs they can’t stand

• Take a pass on any new opportunity that comes along

• Put off doing anything where failure is a possibility

Anything to avoid feeling out of our depth.

But, like Springsteen, Lopez and Mayweather, we’d better start getting comfortable being uncomfortable.

The more we push our comfort zone, the bigger it gets.

Remember, it works the same way as a muscle.

Not that fear disappears altogether, you just learn to deal with it better.

As D’Amato said:

“The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear… while the coward runs.

It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do with it that matters.”

So say “yes” more often.

When your buddy asks if you’d like to sign up for a 5-mile fun run, say “Yes!”

Even if your first reaction is “Hell, no!

Or if the yikes-meter goes off the scale when you see yourself naked in the bathroom mirror, say “Yes!” to finally losing a few pounds of fat.

After all, losing weight really isn’t that hard.

Take the t’ai chi class, the Spanish class or whatever you’ve been meaning to do but have been putting off since… forever.

Make the call, send the email, join up, sign up, get going.

At Super Fit Dads we recognize that the only person who fails is the person who fails to try.

And if you make a few mistakes along the way, so what?

Just learn from them and keep going.

As they say here in Japan, “七転び八起き” (nana korobi ya oki)

Fall down seven times, get up eight

I’m sure Springsteen, Lopez and Mayweather would all agree.

– Tim

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Images: Bigstock,  Jeff Rowley – Jeff Rowley Big Wave Surfer Jaws Line-up 2 Peahi Maui

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