HOW COLD SHOWERS HELPED MY BUSINESS AND COULD HELP YOURS
Ok, so you’ve started reading even after the heading! This tells me that you’re a business owner that wants to change something in their business, and you’re desperate enough to try anything to make it happen – even to get out of your comfort zone by taking cold showers! Note: I’m not really prescribing taking cold showers to ensure your business success – keep reading!
Think back to when you started your business – and those mixed feelings of fear, and excitement as you started your journey. Each step forward was a little like walking through mud as you hit and overcame each adversity. As you started to get into the swing of things, the business became easier, and the trepidation surrounding the concept of doing new things subsided. The challenges became easier to address and your business starts to flow.
I bet you’re wondering what the problem with this is?
The problem is, when the challenges become easier you can easily slip in to the comfort zone. If you start to wallow in your comfort zone your business will start to shrink. When you shrink, life becomes constricted. That starts a vicious circle. Fear creeps in, business slows down and you stop taking risks. Things that were previously easy become hard and then, let’s be frank about this – anxiety builds and your decision making starts to be driven by trying to stay within the comfort zone.
None of this is a good thing, not in life and certainly not in business.
So how does this relate to cold showers, and why would I do this in the middle of winter?
The cold showers started as a bio-hack. Something that I thought would help heal some back twinges that I’d been having while improving my athletic performance. I didn’t realise the impact it would have on the business until later.
Let me walk you through steps that happen in a cold shower.
It starts with the chattering voice inside your head that insists, “this is going to be so cold… this is going to be awful…. you’re already cold (did I mention it was winter?), why have a cold shower?… remember how nice and warm and comfortable the shower is when it’s hot….” After overriding that voice with the voice that says “yep, it’s cold, get your a** in there”, you step into the cold water.
Shock is the first reaction as the body goes into a series of uncomfortable processes. Your heart starts racing, breathing becomes difficult (think of those times when you jump into a cold pool and you make that “hu hu hu hu” noise as you try to breathe). After you rotate around for a bit, something happens. The body starts to accept the cold, and you begin to relax into the sensation. Breathing becomes normal, your heart slows and the sensation almost becomes enjoyable. Next, there is a soothing sensation as the body acclimatises to the feeling, moving from the flight / fight response to acceptance. Once yo finish the shower every sensation on the skin can be felt. It’s like seeing things that you’ve seen a million times, but somehow seeing them differently. The towel is softer than you previously experienced (and warmer). Your clothes are heavier (and warmer). Your level of cold, becomes less cold. That familiar chattering voice that was warning you at the start returns and says “you know what, that really wasn’t that bad, and in fact, it was sort of enjoyable.”
So how did this help my business and get me out of the comfort zone?
Well, the shower has become a sort of metaphor for me and my business. I’ve learned that everything that we do, is really NEVER worse than what we imagined they would be. The key is to focus on the outcome. Most things that we choose to avoid are nowhere near as bad as we imagine them to be. I now focus on getting to the feeling when the body relaxes into the cold water and the moments afterwards where the body warms up. As with business, focus yourself on getting over the first uncomfortable hurdle and mid-way through the uncomfortable part, you’ll come to realise that it’s not as bad as first thought. To grow and prosper in your business, you, as the leader must consistently put yourself out of the comfort zone because the results always follow. The comfort zone is not safe.
Staying in the comfort zone will lead you to a life unfulfilled and a failing business.
What do you do with this information now?
Leave a comment and tell me the one thing that you’re avoiding doing right now (business or personal). Once you’ve done that, take one step to making that happen.
Just one step.
Once you’ve done that one step, take the next one and the next one. Reflect back from where you are right now, and realise that that thing you’re avoiding is what was holding you back from your future success. Then, think about the next thing you’re going to do to keep outside of your comfort zone?
Tags: Business comfort zone Fear