How can I win: push yourself outside the comfort zone

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There are things we can accomplish within our comfort zone. We get things done and move on – do the next thing. We know we can do those things, like the walk in the park.

However, real taste of victory is experienced when we achieve something which seemed impossible earlier. When we struggle despite of our fears, tears and sweat – and succeed, those are the real moments of victory.

These moments are not just important because we accomplish something and get some utility out of them. You can go for a walk in the park but for most of us that is not a victory.

A moment of victory transforms us. At the core, we are all scared, cynical, always ready to give up and live in a state of resignation. There is a part of us always ready to escape at the first sign of difficulty. That part of us often wins over our ambitions and goals from time to time. That is how we are dragged down to our personal hell, inch by inch – one giving up at a time.

That’s why these moments of victory, achieved outside our comfort zone, are so important. That is how we climb out, one inch at a time. When our body and mind protests, when the fear centre in our brain is going nuts, when blood is pumping like it is the end of the world, and you might as well collapse – your consciousness refuses to give up. You will succeed at any cost, nothing will stop you. Then comes the moment of victory, as you push a little bit more with all your strength and will-power. Our horizons of possibility expand and that transforms our body and mind.

You can experience it right now. More often you experience it, the better. Go for a run and keep running till you are panting, till it feels like you can go no further. Then run another kilometre. Then another. Keep pushing, till you are incredulous at your own ability. Until you are amazed by how much you managed to run. You can do it, because human beings were born to run, and that ability is innate in you.

The ability to win, the craving to taste victory is innate in us too.

I remember the first time I ran 5 kilometres. It was unbelievable. Until then, I ran 2 kilometers at a time, and thought of that as the personal best. I could not even imagine myself running more than that. Then one day, I went running with a more experienced runner. He said he runs at least 5 kilometer every time. So I went along despite the protest in my mind that I can’t possibly do it. And then it happened, the transformation. When I realised how ridiculous I was in thinking I can’t run more than 2 km, I kept testing how much more I can run. And running a half marathon became possible. Now I know I can run a marathon, it is now possible for me – even though I have never done it. Yet.

It is the same in business, career, education – everywhere. We have not pushed out of our comfort zone, we have not tasted those moments of victory – so we don’t even imagine what is really possible. We live in a small world defined by our comfort, fear and limited ambitions.

When I was planning to create this course, I was meeting a mentor. He asked me how will I find the first 10 students for this course. As I kept quiet and kept searching for an answer, he asked me another question. How will you convince 100 people to take this up? I had no clue. I could not even imagine what I needed to do to get 100 people to pay 20,000 each for an online course. I was confused and scared. Then I took the plunge, because I was not letting my confusion and fear win. I did everything I thought would work, and then did some more. My team kept pushing. We convinced one person at a time, and committed to give them a great educational experience. And then we had the moment of victory in 2 months – we had the first 100 students signed up. We went to a café next door to celebrate – and looked at each other. Here was the moment of transformation – if we can get 100 students, we can get a thousand as well!

Once you take the first baby step, you realize that it is so easy to break that spell of fear and comfort and step into a new world of possibilities – you can’t even imagine how easy it is once you are on the job. It is painful, it is exhausting and scary – but it is simple and easy as well when you take action. You just have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Then your comfort zone will expand – so then you push a little more.

It’s a time for transformation. In the moment when your whole being is trembling to make that little more progress that was impossible so far, you will change. You will stop being mediocre. You will become strong, bold, creative, incredible – and a source of inspiration for everyone else.

Keep taking baby steps regularly and you will continue your journey in the world of transformation as you get hooked to the positive changes introduced by the transformation. Slowly, it becomes a habit and you take bigger steps to design your life like an architect. Stop taking those steps and you will recede into a mind which pulls you back into a resigned state that no change is possible and the world will stay the same.

Tell me about some of the moments of victory you have experienced in your life. Tell me even if you have never experienced one. What is your comfort zone? How are you going to push past it? What’s going to be your next baby step?

I am looking forward to hearing from you. I promise to push you a little further if you respond to this email with your baby step. Your stories, your resolutions and your effort will inspire me in my own journey to be extraordinary as well.

About Ramanuj Mukherjee

Ramanuj Mukherjee is former corporate lawyer and an alumnus of National University of Juridical Sciences. He co-founded iPleaders, a startup that is making legal knowledge and education easily accessible to everyone. You can follow him here: https://twitter.com/law_ninja or connect with him here: in.linkedin.com/in/ramanujm

One comment

  1. really inspiring post 🙂 thanks

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