Do you do any activities for the sole purpose of challenging yourself? I’m referring to any activity that puts a beat-down on you. Perhaps physically, mentally, emotionally, or even all of the above.
There are legions of options out there such as physical exercise, memory games, bikini waxes, trying to sit down for an extended period of time without thinking (meditation), public speaking, cold showers, rock climbing, skydiving, and so many more…
My thing is running.Truth is, I hated running. So boring. Plus, I never wanted to exert myself physically (l-a-z-y). But in early 2014, I did the unthinkable and started running in the mornings. Tuesday-Friday. Every week.
One rule: No walking. I run the entire thing. Every time. That was my self-commitment when I began this painful habit, and I am dead serious about it.
The funny thing is, though, it was never about fitness or getting in shape. It was about proving to myself that I could do it—a personal challenge I guess you could say. I’m grateful because it’s been a life changing habit. It can change your life, too.
Here are 7 reasons to have your own painful habit:
1. It motivates you
Have you ever been challenged by someone? How did you respond? You were probably motivated to prove them wrong, right? Well, this offers you the ability to challenge yourself regularly. Show yourself who’s boss!
“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.” – George S. Patton
2. It puts you in the right mindset for completing tough tasks
If you’re constantly trying to put in as little effort as possible, everything that does require effort will seem insurmountable. Your painful habit will keep you from falling into that trap because you will be used to challenging situations. You’ll assume that everything requires hard work, and that’s the perspective you’ll take with you into every new challenge.
3. You’ll be more accepting of the uncomfortable
Getting used to change or new environments won’t be a big deal anymore. You “train” every day in uncomfortable circumstances, so nothing will seem daunting to you.
Have to network in a room full of unfamiliar faces? No big deal, you just jumped out of an airplane! Or maybe this, the hotel you’re staying at doesn’t offer hot showers. Yikes! But wait…you’re grinning because that’s the only type of shower you take!
4. It will make you solution oriented
The lazy comfort-mind looks for ways out. It doesn’t want to exert effort. The result is you get reasons why everything won’t work instead of ideas on how to make it work. The good news is that your painful habit prepares you for that resistance.
5. Your belief will soar
The more often you endure this painful habit, the more belief gets added to your confidence piggy bank. With belief comes the ability to take massive action. My advice is to make deposits as often as you can.
“There have been so many people who have said to me, ‘You can’t do that,’ but I’ve had an innate belief that they were wrong. Be unwavering and relentless in your approach.” – Halle Berry
6. You’re ready to go at all times
You’re always in a state of “it’s go time!” No longer will you have to spend the majority of time thinking about doing, you’ve been ready. Your habit keeps you on high alert.
7. You can use it to overcome fear
This is a powerful tool that can be used for overcoming unrelated fears. I’ve drawn on my painful habit of running in order to overcome the fear of public speaking. It might sound strange, but it works.
One way it can work for this purpose is by comparison. I’d say to myself, “This morning I felt like I was going to die after trekking up that hill, there’s no way this compares. Bring it on!”
Very effective. There you go, you’ve seen what it can do for you.