Jumping Into Freezing Water

Why engaging in daily discomfort will change your life

March 18, 2019

Have you ever taken a cold shower or jumped in a freezing cold pool?

Right before you get in, you have this sort of "flinch" effect. Your body is rejecting your intentions and preparing itself for the cold. Taking a cold shower is relatively harmless. It won't kill you, yet everything in both our bodies and minds make us feel like it will. It's the fear of discomfort that we are feeling in that moment.

But what's crazy is that there have been a lot of studies that show cold therapy as a good thing. Researchers have found that cold temperatures get the body to burn more fat, and help to strengthen your immune system, circulation, and reduce inflammation. 

Yet we still avoid this discomfort regardless of the benefits. 

Which makes me think about how this simple concept applies to other aspects on my life. Have you ever been in a situation where you got that "flinch" effect before doing something you knew would benefit your life? A good example was when I first started my business over 10 years ago.

I was 18 years old working as a cashier for my local store. My job wasn't that bad, but I was a super talented programmer who wanted to own his own business. I worked everyday at it: I setup my corporation, designed my website, created business cards and now it was time to start making money. I needed clients. There was a direct link between getting clients and being able to quit my current job.

So then one day, my mother comes home from an art festival and after speaking with one of the artists there hands me his card. She had spoke with this man about me and told him my story and he was very interested in hiring me to do his website and he told her to give him a call to discuss the details.

Here was my first client, handed on a silver platter and all I had to do was call him. Sounds easy right?

In theory it was, but I had that "flinch". I paced around my room for about 2 hours before calling this man. I must've dialed his number a dozen times before finally allowing it to ring. Nothing about this situation was going to kill me, yet it felt like life or death. Here was an answer to my dreams. The first of many, and yet it felt impossible to do.

I could've easily allowed any of the excuses that popped in my mind to convince me not to call this man. I probably could've even convinced my mom to call him for me (haha). But I didn't. I overcame that discomfort and followed my dreams. I wouldn't be where I am today if I had allowed myself to waiver in that exact moment.

The thing is, discomfort is a good thing. If it won't kill you, it'll only make you stronger. Do something that scares you everyday, like for me is taking a cold shower. If you are able to overcome and embrace the flinch, imagine how easy it will be to tackle life changing opportunities. By taking a cold shower everyday, I'm training my mind and body to grow from opportunities despite how uncomfortable they initially are. 

What's something that makes you uncomfortable to try, but you know it could be life changing if you did it?

(wal•do) — Person
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