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7 Reasons To Have A Painful Habit

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painful habit

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:

1It 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.

So what are you going to challenge yourself with? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Matt Kramer used to get bullied by death’s evil twin every time he spoke in front of a group, now he loves it. Overcoming the fear of public speaking has changed his life. In less than a year since he has competed and won 3 separate public speaking competitions, wrote a book about how to overcome the fear of public speaking, and spoke at one of the top universities in southern California (SDSU). His focus is to help you overcome the fear of public speaking so you can build the belief to go after your dreams. Join him at TacticalTalks.com/blog

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Tim Denning

    May 7, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Pain for me means that I am growing and doing what 99% of people are not prepared to do. Greatness requires pain and it requires you to go beyond your limits. Thanks you Matt for this reminder.

  2. Mauro D'Andrea

    Mar 25, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Hi Matt, great post, I loved it!

    For you it was running, for me it was going to the gym…I guess physical exercise challenge lots of people 🙂

    The strange thing is that I have been a very active person since I was 15 or so…I just couldn’t go the the gym (tried a couple of times just to give up after less than a month from the start). The time it took to go to the gym, feeling my muscles exhausted and doing repetitive movements….I just couldn’t handle it.

    This till I decided that I wanted to push my limits and joined a gym in September 2015. Since that, I’ve committed to go to the gym regularly and now I can’t skip a training session! And it isn’t just for health purpose, it’s also for the challenge and the reasons you just explained.

    • Matt Kramer

      Apr 6, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      Thanks Mauro! Definitely. The fitness part is a nice bonus 🙂 And keep it up! It’s not always easy to do, but it’s worth it in the long run.

  3. Tim Denning

    Mar 12, 2016 at 2:36 am

    I think the best painful habit to have is exercise. There are so many benefits and it’s a great way to start your day.

    • Matt Kramer

      Mar 15, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      I agree Tim. We don’t need any outside resources to do it. The health benefits are a nice bonus, too 🙂

  4. addicted 2 The Grind

    Mar 7, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Hey matt it also tests you. It tests how much you can endure. It also highlights your strengths and weaknesses, definitely great for self awareness.

    Great article

    • Matt Kramer

      Mar 7, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Great points! It definitely tests your endurance (physical and mental). Thank for bringing those up.

  5. Matt Kramer

    Mar 7, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I completely agree Stefanie! Your mind definitely has a six-pack with all those challenging habits 🙂

  6. jenny

    Mar 7, 2016 at 11:22 am

    No pain, no gain.

    • Matt Kramer

      Mar 8, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      Right on Jenny! I pictured Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice as I read your comment.

  7. Stefanie

    Mar 7, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Hi Matt, thanks for this great article! Love the topic. I share this point of view, your willpower and mindset are like a muscle. You can train it by continuously making challenging (but not too tough) habits part of your life.
    I do rock climbing which many times is both a huge physical and mental challenge. I do public speaking. Instead of going by car, I go to work by bike (16 miles from Monday to Friday), even in winter.

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