Hey hey! Welcome back to The Bullpen Sessions! I’m super pumped to cover today’s topic because it’s something that we all need to work on.
To be honest, this episode’s going to be a tough one — what I’m going to ask you to do is not easy, but it’s something that is essential for shifting your mindset and improving yourself and your business. Today, I’m discussing toughening up your mindset by embracing discomfort.
Now more than ever, people have difficulty stepping into discomfort. The fear and uncertainty surrounding this year with COVID-19 and addressing racial injustice have made embracing discomfort exceptionally difficult. Rather than accomplishing difficult tasks to make improvements to their lives, people aren’t holding themselves accountable because they’re already feeling a degree of discomfort. They’re continuously putting off what they need to do day after day and then eventually week after week until it creates even more discomfort in their lives. When those weeks of inaction build-up, it creates anxiety and causes a feeling of paralysis which continues the cycle of inactivity.
Does this sound like you? Have you created a loop of inactivity based on the fear of discomfort and uncertainty? It happens to all of us at times. Tough decisions and tasks build up until we’re feeling overwhelmed and it becomes paralyzing. It certainly happens to me too, but I’m getting better.
Today, I’m going to share with you something that I experienced last week that completely changed my life and helped me overcome the anxiety of taking on difficult tasks. It ultimately taught me the importance of toughening my mindset every day by doing uncomfortable things, and the experience revealed that we are all fully capable of improving ourselves and our businesses if we can force ourselves to embrace discomfort! Let’s get started!
The Daily Cold Plunge
Last weekend, I had an enlightening experience that inspired me to take daily action to toughen my mindset. I visited Wisconsin for a family wedding and met up with my friend Dylan Ali. Dylan is an absolutely brilliant guy, and he’s a master at strengthening people’s minds. If you’re unfamiliar with Dylan’s work, do yourself a favor and check him out on Linkedin and Instagram.
Something fascinating that Dylan does is a daily cold plunge. He has a bathtub in his backyard that he fills with ice-cold water, and he starts every day by submerging himself regardless of the weather.
I met Dylan in a state park known for its cold springs. It has ponds and a creek that are all spring-fed, and the water remains at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. When was the last time you forced yourself to stay in 55-degree water for more than a few seconds? To complete Dylan’s cold plunge, I had to stay in for a full five and a half minutes. It was a challenging and extraordinary experience.
Before I got in, we did breathwork for about 20 to 30 minutes to remove negative energy and bring in positive energy. We sat Indian style with our legs crossed and our backs straight so that we could use the breathwork to pull spinal fluid from the base of our spines, which is where a lot of our negative energy is stored. Breathwork is so important for calming yourself. You can use breathwork to pull the energy from your spine to your head and into your pineal gland to clear your mind.
After some meditation, we walked down to the stream, and Dylan had me do some quick breaths to motivate me to walk into the water. I walked into the water, sat down, and laid myself into the stream. Dylan then submerged my head under the cold water and kept it there. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been in a similar experience, but let me tell you, submerging yourself in water that cold and then having someone else keep you submerged is panic-inducing. There was a moment in the first ten seconds that I tried to come back up, but Dylan kept me submerged.
Once ten seconds went by, Dylan lifted me and leaned me against a rock with the stream coming up to my neck. In the first 30 seconds, my breathing was out of control, and I felt that there was no possible way that I could stay in the stream for five and a half minutes. Dylan instructed me through some more breathwork, which calmed me down.
My breathing slowed, but my body started involuntarily shaking after a minute and a half. My mind was calm, but my body was taking over, telling me that I couldn’t continue lying in that stream. I could have given up in that moment, but through my mind’s willpower, I was able to stay in for the full five and a half minutes. My body eventually stopped shaking. Both my body and mind were calm, and I realized that I could have stayed in the stream for another ten to twenty minutes.
Over the course of just five and a half minutes, my breathing had gone from out of control to completely calm, and my body went from shaking uncontrollably to absolutely still. Both my mind and body were at peace in that 55-degree water. I’ve put my body under a lot of stress over the years, but I had never experienced anything quite like that. I learned so much in that moment, and it completely changed my life.
Change Your Life by Embracing Discomfort
There was a moment just before the plunge where many anxious thoughts ran through my head. I doubted that I could stand the cold water, and I felt tempted to give up and call it a day. At that moment, I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to do it, but once I did, it taught me that I’m capable of so much more. If I can submerge myself in incredibly cold water without getting out, I am capable of improving myself and my business. If I can toughen my mindset to take the cold plunge, imagine what else I can do if I keep strengthening my mindset!
We all have cold plunges that we need to face in our lives. If you can force yourself to do uncomfortable things, you’ll realize that you’re capable of doing so much more. Don’t put off doing hard tasks. The more you let yourself off the hook, the easier it’ll be for you to continue making excuses and avoiding the things that you need to get done.
I urge you to start doing uncomfortable things right now. Three important things happen when you complete an uncomfortable task: 1) You realize that it was actually a very fascinating and beneficial experience, 2) you discover that it wasn’t as difficult as you thought it was going to be, and 3) you recognize that you can accomplish so much more with your life.
What does your cold plunge look like? Maybe there’s a task that you know is going to be incredibly challenging, or maybe you need to start engaging in a healthy habit that you know will be difficult at first. Think about what uncomfortable task you need to do today and actually do it.
I want you to start doing uncomfortable things every single day. My advice for putting this into daily practice is doing an uncomfortable task first thing in the morning. Get into the habit of knocking it out every day so that you can improve yourself and your business. Get into the habit of doing rather than delaying.
It’s incredibly easy to delay difficult tasks and avoid discomfort during COVID-19, but you CAN’T keep putting off your life’s challenging tasks. Many people are delaying and waiting to see how things pan out with COVID-19, but where will they be in three to six months? They’re going to be in the exact same spot and WAY behind those who didn’t delay doing uncomfortable tasks. Diving into discomfort will get you ahead of your competition.
Now more than ever, you need to take on the cold plunge tasks in your life. You’ll calm your mind from mounting stress and anxiety if you force yourself to combat your life’s hard tasks. Don’t let uncomfortable tasks build up around you and cause more paralysis. Start taking on those tasks today. Figure out what uncomfortable things you need to do to grow your business, and do uncomfortable things for personal growth. Maybe there’s an experience that you’ve never done because you were afraid like sky-diving or rock climbing. If you force yourself to do uncomfortable activities, you’ll strengthen your mindset so that you can continue improving yourself.
It was such an amazing experience to go from extreme stress to complete calm during the cold plunge. Now, I’m thrilled to take on the difficult challenges in my life to better myself and my business, and I’m excited for you to take on your life’s challenges!
Why You Should Listen to This Episode Right Now…
Guys, it is crucial for you to do uncomfortable things every single day. Whether it’s a cold plunge or starting a difficult project, you need to strengthen your mindset by forcing yourself to do difficult things. My experience in taking the cold plunge was an absolute game-changer for me, and I know that if you also start taking on the difficult tasks that you think are impossible, your life will completely change too. Stop putting off what you need to do to improve yourself and your business and act today!
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read this Friday Bullpen Session post. Also, don’t forget to listen to the podcast as well, and if you enjoy the show, please head over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe, and give me a 5-star rating. I’m so grateful for each and every one of your reviews. If you think of someone who needs to develop the habit of doing uncomfortable things, share this episode with them and tag me @andy_neary with a screenshot of the episode and your favorite takeaways.
Remember, embrace discomfort. Do uncomfortable things to strengthen your mindset, and start changing your life today!
Until next time, folks!