Do One Thing That Scares You
Do you want to transform your life? Here’s a challenge for you:
For the next week, take a cold shower first thing each morning.
If you’re anything like me, the very thought of a cold shower will make you flinch with dread. In fact, the idea for this challenge came from a book I read a number of years ago titled The Flinch, by Julien Smith. The book is about stepping into those situations that evoke fear in us and doing them anyway. Smith calls it “flinching forward”.
I took the cold shower challenge at the time, and here’s what I learned:
- It’s just cold water, not hydrochloric acid!
- The discomfort doesn’t last; my body adjusted quite quickly.
- I’d decided that taking a cold shower would be dreadful, without ever having tried it. How many other experiences have I made this decision about?
- When I got out of the shower, I felt on top of the world, not only for having gone ahead and done it, but from the invigoration of the ice-cold water on my body.
How many times do you hold yourself back by flinching from the things that scare you? Whether it’s taking a cold shower, striking up conversations with strangers, learning a new language, starting a business, writing a book … whatever. For as long as you allow that instinct that wants to protect you from failure, disappointment or heartbreak to win, nothing will change in your life.
- What scary thing can you do every day that pushes you beyond your comfort zone?
- How would doing it help to move you closer to your dreams?
- What’s the worst that could happen? (It probably won’t.)
- What’s the best that could happen? (This is where you want to focus your attention.)
I challenge you to do it! Start with a cold shower – it will motivate you to do the really scary stuff.