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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!

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  • @seachangeproject #MyOctopusTeacher #Netflix #Conservation #oceanconservation #singleuseplastic #WWF #SASSI #sustainability #sustainablefishing #SeaChangeProject" > @seachangeproject #MyOctopusTeacher #Netflix #Conservation #oceanconservation #singleuseplastic #WWF #SASSI #sustainability #sustainablefishing #SeaChangeProject" />Can you watch The Octopus Teacher and still not want to do all you can to help protect our ocean and it's incredible, mysterious, peaceful tenants?This Documentary really touched me…I can't compare to Craig Foster, but I’ve been so blessed to swim with so many beautiful Ocean creatures – from mammoth whales and smaller ones too, countless playful dolphins, plenty cheeky seals, weird anti-social sunfish, penguins and yes, sharks too.I have even had yellowtail fish follow me for kilometres when I was swimming between continents, Europe to Africa’s Gibraltar Straits. They would inquisitively look directly into my goggles with their big round, penetrating eyes. When you share each other’s space in this way, something creeps into your core, into your soul and you’ll intuitively know you’ve been tasked by the creatures of the sea to help them. Follow -> @seachangeproject #MyOctopusTeacher #Netflix #Conservation #oceanconservation #singleuseplastic #WWF #SASSI #sustainability #sustainablefishing #SeaChangeProject
  • Laying down audio books today at @blackhole_studios with @chris_tait_saLaying down audio books today at @blackhole_studios with @chris_tait_sa
  • Another epic swim camp run by @bigbayevents in Langebaan 🤟🏻Another epic swim camp run by @bigbayevents in Langebaan 🤟🏻
  • When it comes to the prism of possibilities, I’ve learnt that the real limit or “IMPOSSIBLE” is definitely not where your mind tells you it is. There is always significant margin on the other side of this ‘safe’ limit which is where the magic starts to happen. I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to help audiences to Push Past Impossible – not anyone else’s impossible, but rather their own.The space or MARGIN between those two lines is where you start to get a concept of how much more you are capable of. It’s not a comfortable space, it’s the definition of being outside your comfort zone – but that’s where you’re going to learn something.I think people know what their impossibles are, deep down… The first step is to identify those moments where there’s a choice to make: you can follow this path because you know you can deliver a nice steady performance, learn nothing and achieve a reasonable goal. But at the same time there’s another potential path: a way to do something differently, or better. Why didn’t you choose that? Because it was a risk, and you thought you could fail. Once you start challenging things on a small level, you can keep growing.When it comes to the prism of possibilities, I’ve learnt that the real limit or “IMPOSSIBLE” is definitely not where your mind tells you it is. There is always significant margin on the other side of this ‘safe’ limit which is where the magic starts to happen. I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to help audiences to Push Past Impossible – not anyone else’s impossible, but rather their own.The space or MARGIN between those two lines is where you start to get a concept of how much more you are capable of. It’s not a comfortable space, it’s the definition of being outside your comfort zone – but that’s where you’re going to learn something.I think people know what their impossibles are, deep down… The first step is to identify those moments where there’s a choice to make: you can follow this path because you know you can deliver a nice steady performance, learn nothing and achieve a reasonable goal. But at the same time there’s another potential path: a way to do something differently, or better. Why didn’t you choose that? Because it was a risk, and you thought you could fail. Once you start challenging things on a small level, you can keep growing.
  • Please think twice before you buy, take a straw, eat with a plastic fork 🏻️ #strawssuck #reuse #recycle #singleuseplasticPlease think twice before you buy, take a straw, eat with a plastic fork 🏻️ #strawssuck #reuse #recycle #singleuseplastic
  • #Repost @tmpublishers・・・A piece from Ryan Stramrood’s chapter, You Are All Extreme Adventurers, in THE BOOK EVERY BUSINESS OWNER MUST READ …“Every time I have jumped into cold water, be it an uncomfortable 16 degrees Celsius, a brutal 5 degrees Celsius or a deadly minus 1 degree Celsius, without fail, while I am swimming and trying to achieve my goal, the overriding emotion and belief is that this will never end. At many points it will feel impossible to reach the shore I am aiming for. The pain and the discomfort are often way too daunting to process at that moment, and the distance still to cover way too far. At some point my mind will do its best to convince me that I will die if I do not bail from the challenge. Quit. I look for excuses to fail, not for reasons to finish. And I spend a lot of time beating myself up for voluntarily putting myself in this position.But while all of this is certainly true, the overriding truth and the lesson here, is that every time I complete the challenge and slow the shivering, it is only minutes before all that pain, discomfort and doubt during the challenge disappears into the abyss and it is only the learnings that remain. … And it will be the same, as we mop up our businesses and our lives.”Available in all good bookstores countrywide, and as a Kindle on Amazon: copy link in comments.#Bookstagram #books #newrelease #southafrica#Repost @tmpublishers・・・A piece from Ryan Stramrood’s chapter, You Are All Extreme Adventurers, in THE BOOK EVERY BUSINESS OWNER MUST READ …“Every time I have jumped into cold water, be it an uncomfortable 16 degrees Celsius, a brutal 5 degrees Celsius or a deadly minus 1 degree Celsius, without fail, while I am swimming and trying to achieve my goal, the overriding emotion and belief is that this will never end. At many points it will feel impossible to reach the shore I am aiming for. The pain and the discomfort are often way too daunting to process at that moment, and the distance still to cover way too far. At some point my mind will do its best to convince me that I will die if I do not bail from the challenge. Quit. I look for excuses to fail, not for reasons to finish. And I spend a lot of time beating myself up for voluntarily putting myself in this position.But while all of this is certainly true, the overriding truth and the lesson here, is that every time I complete the challenge and slow the shivering, it is only minutes before all that pain, discomfort and doubt during the challenge disappears into the abyss and it is only the learnings that remain. … And it will be the same, as we mop up our businesses and our lives.”Available in all good bookstores countrywide, and as a Kindle on Amazon: copy link in comments.#Bookstagram #books #newrelease #southafrica
  • Some artsy captures of my 110th Robben Island Crossing by @candicebakerwhiskygirl 🤟🏻Thank you @bigbayevents  #pushpastimpossible #pushpastimpossible️ #freedomtoswim #robbenislandSome artsy captures of my 110th Robben Island Crossing by @candicebakerwhiskygirl 🤟🏻Thank you @bigbayevents #pushpastimpossible #pushpastimpossible️ #freedomtoswim #robbenisland
  • Hello to “The New Normal” I can now present my keynote from my dining room 🏻 I am digital conference ready🏻#pushpastimpossibleHello to “The New Normal” I can now present my keynote from my dining room 🏻 I am digital conference ready🏻#pushpastimpossible
  • "The time for different is now." When @tmpublishers reached out with a request for me to contribute to a new release: "THE BOOK EVERY BUSINESS OWNER MUST READ" I jumped at the opportunity to feature among some of SAs most brilliant business thinkers.Thanks to the glorious rain and cold weather in Cape Town, I am halfway through this book and literally inhaling the knowledge and insights on every page. As the title says, it is certainly the book every business owner should read right now, although I feel it's highly relevant for ANYONE in current circumstances of overwhelm and uncertainty.To quote from the @BonangMohale chapter, an expression passed down from his Grandmother that I simply LOVE: "Behold the turtle - it only makes progress when it's neck is stuck out!" Copies are still available on Loot - link in bio#TimeForDifferent #PushPastImpossible #RecommendedReading #BookRecommendation"The time for different is now." When @tmpublishers reached out with a request for me to contribute to a new release: "THE BOOK EVERY BUSINESS OWNER MUST READ" I jumped at the opportunity to feature among some of SAs most brilliant business thinkers.Thanks to the glorious rain and cold weather in Cape Town, I am halfway through this book and literally inhaling the knowledge and insights on every page. As the title says, it is certainly the book every business owner should read right now, although I feel it's highly relevant for ANYONE in current circumstances of overwhelm and uncertainty.To quote from the @BonangMohale chapter, an expression passed down from his Grandmother that I simply LOVE: "Behold the turtle – it only makes progress when it's neck is stuck out!" Copies are still available on Loot – link in bio#TimeForDifferent #PushPastImpossible #RecommendedReading #BookRecommendation
  • Yesterday I became the record holder for the most Robben Island Crossings ever completed, a goal I have been working towards for many years 🏻 Being my first RI swim since lockdown restrictions, and very little training, my support crew reckon I broke two records that day, the second record being my “slowest” crossing to date  Not entirely correct but very close! It was tough, but it’s done. Dedicated to the late Theo Yach, who held the record previously and set the bar so high 🏻Yesterday I became the record holder for the most Robben Island Crossings ever completed, a goal I have been working towards for many years 🏻 Being my first RI swim since lockdown restrictions, and very little training, my support crew reckon I broke two records that day, the second record being my “slowest” crossing to date Not entirely correct but very close! It was tough, but it’s done. Dedicated to the late Theo Yach, who held the record previously and set the bar so high 🏻