by Michelle Montoro
Oftentimes, we get stuck in our comfort zones. It’s a natural occurrence and it’s completely understandable to want to stay within the confines of what makes you comfortable. Because, well, it’s comfortable. And who wants to feel uncomfortable?
But I have learned that nothing great comes out of comfort…except, of course, comfort. But if we manage to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones that is where great things can happen. And this carries through just about every aspect of life that I can think of from the everyday mundane things like our clothing to the bigger and scarier things like huge life goals.
When I was a competitive swimmer in my younger years, I remember my coach teaching me this exact lesson. He would tell me, “You will never swim faster if you stay inside that comfort zone. Fast is supposed to hurt. Push yourself outside of what is comfortable.”
I can definitely attest to the truth of this. Fast does hurt. But when you push yourself into the realm of discomfort and pain, eventually that becomes comfortable, too. So then you push even further. And the further you push yourself, the faster you would become. And essentially the only limits to what you can do are the limits you set for yourself.
Ask any superstar athlete or really any dedicated athlete at any level of competition. Or any successful entrepreneur. Or musician, actress, artist. Anyone who has achieved any kind of success has experienced discomfort at one time or another (probably many times) in their journey to their respective successes.
Successful people all know that your mind and the limits you set for yourself are your toughest competition. Your worst enemy, really.
Years after I had hung up my swim suit, I coached a high school swim team. And I remember teaching this same lesson to them. I had them watch the video of the 1982 Hawaii Triathlon where one competitor, Julie Moss, literally crawled across the finish line, dehydrated and covered in her own feces, because her body completely shut down on her. But her mind refused to accept…