I was having a conversation with Kelly Bonomo, our Business Development Manager, about getting outside our comfort zone and doing something different. What’s that definition of insanity? “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” Well, she was encouraging me to push out of my comfort zone and one idea of hers was to read Jesse Itzler’s book “Living with a Seal: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet”.
Thanks to having lived across the street from a Navy Seal and loving the stories he would tell, it was a book that once I picked up, I couldn’t put down. The backdrop: Jesse Itzler wanted to shake up his life and try something new; as he says “I like routine, routine can be good… but routine can also be a rut.” A long time and avid runner, Jesse become fascinated with a stranger he witnessed running an ultra-marathon – solo. Of course, this person came to be known as Seal and the book chronicles their story of living and training together for 31 days during one of New York City’s worst winters. As the Seal emphatically imprints on Jessie, “every day do something that makes you uncomfortable”. I was uncomfortable just reading about some of their workouts, both physically and mentally. I have to tip my hat to both of them; it certainly appeared to be an amazing 31 days.
While I’m not certain Kelly was advocating me to hire a Seal and learn to do 1,000 push-ups in one day, I do think her recommendation applies to our thinking, or more pointed, our comfort zone, at work. Too often, we enable ourselves to fall into routine and are satisfied, or accept, the results of that routine. What results could we achieve if we pushed ourselves, if we got outside our comfort zone and got comfortable being there?
I once had a soccer coach require that when he was speaking or demonstrating or engaging us, we had to sit Indian-style, back straight (no slouching), with our soccer balls in our laps, making eye contact with him. His reasoning was simple, it put us outside our comfort zone and challenged us to be better.
I look at my routines, both personally and professionally, and agree, it’s time to pattern interrupt them and do something that makes me uncomfortable – every day. I don’t think it matters what it is – cold calls, warm calls, client socials, marketing content, process adherence or even receipt tracking – just get outside of my comfort zone. What are the comfort routines you have in your life? Is it worth changing them?
As Jesse says, “…research shows that stepping out of our routine in life is great for the body and spirit, the brain too, mix it up, do the outrageous, think out of the box, life is short, why not?”
So, I did it. I did 1,000 push-ups in one day. It wasn’t fun, but check off the goal of 1,000 push-ups in one day. Starting on 11/21 with 150 and ending on 12/15 with 1000, it was a “fun” three week challenge. I’m glad it’s over and while I’m not ready for a SEAL to live with me, it definitely got me out of my comfort zone.