Off the Couch | Into the Deep End
18 June 2018
If honest, it is only when looking back and processing the last few years of my life and journey, that I am able to pinpoint some of the pinnacle turning points. Those standout ‘steps’ that set an epic journey in motion and which have profoundly shaped the direction of my life, now allowing me to share so much with others. At first, I admit it was more of a ‘shuffle’ than a clear commitment to change my lazy couchy ways, but then rather suddenly and out of character, that series of shuffles came together and I found myself committed to my first major leap from comfort – an attempt to swim from Robben Island to Blouberg beach. A 7,3 km stretch of icy cold water – I had absolutely no idea if I was capable and it was terrifying!
The first step was possibly the toughest, yet sounds the most simple – getting off the couch to join a swimming squad!!: a whole bunch of people who were 10 times better, faster, fitter swimmers than me… I dropped myself in the deep end so to speak and that’s a really uncomfortable place to be. When one joins a squad, there’s naturally some kind of comparison, a sense of healthy competition and it requires one to push beyond what would have happened if training alone. But the beauty is that it immediately facilitates the next required step in the process to move away from comfort – going back again the next day!
I was so exhausted I wanted to vomit after that first squad session, but something made me go back and so a new process begins. The funny thing about swimming is that you set your own pace and any novice will find the first 4 to 5 laps easy – a false sense of ability sets in. But then you have to keep your pace to hold that position in your lane…and you quickly realise the error of your way-too-fast ways. You either have to push yourself to save face, or concede your lane position.
And in a heartbeat, the first extremely simple goal is set – ‘don’t lose face! Get fit!’
Out of the business comfort zone
This is the kind of stuff I love speaking about – helping people get out of their comfort zone in all areas of life.
In my sales business, it’s very much looking at the different opportunities out there. In the past, for example, there might be an account I really wanted but I’m a small sales team often competing against powerful teams of 20+. So why try?
Now my mindset is: why not try?
Pitch for it! Often I lose for the very reasons I feared. But sometimes I win. And EVERY TIME I learn!! If you stay inside your comfort zone, you will not learn new things. And when you stop learning, you simply can not grow!