What Doesn’t Kill Us...
My editorial column in the July issue of D.O.M. magazine, What Doesn’t Kill Us, discussed the benefits of stepping out of our comfort zones. You can read the editorial column on our digital edition HERE.
I got the idea of the topic after listening to an interview with Scott Carney, an investigative journalist who’s book, What Doesn’t Kill Us, discusses the Wim Hof method of cold exposure and breathing exercises to improve overall health. Wim Hof says that we as humans have gotten used to being comfortable. We keep our homes and cars air conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter. We have plenty of ways to stay warm in extreme weather conditions. Hof says that we have lost our ability to adjust to changing conditions like our ancestors did because of this.
Hof’s philosophy is to get comfortable being uncomfortable. By regular exposure to cold, we are able to hack our bodies and better tolerate extreme conditions.
The same goes for our careers. If we continue to do the same things we are comfortable doing, we won’t grow as professionals. As Kryia Shortt said in our April issue of D.O.M. magazine, we need to get comfortable being uncomfortable!
I have since bought a copy of Carney’s book What Doesn’t Kill Us and finished reading it a few weeks ago. I have even started practicing the Wim Hof method, and have been doing it for three weeks now. As part of following the Wim Hof method, I have committed to taking cold showers every day. I have witnessed first-hand how amazing it is that our bodies can adapt to changing conditions. I started out by taking a regular warm shower and then turning the hot water off at the end and staying under the cold water as long as I could. The first time I did this was excruciating! I don’t think I lasted 30 seconds before I turned the water off – I was miserably cold. Now, three weeks later, I take my entire shower with just the cold water on. My showers typically last five minutes. I don’t get out because I can’t stand it any longer – I could stay in longer, but I feel guilty about wasting water. What at first seemed impossible has become my new normal.
We can apply this theory to a lot of things in our lives. For example, if we want to be a better public speaker, we need to start speaking in front of people. We will never become comfortable with public speaking if we don’t do it because we fear the anxiety and discomfort often associated with public speaking.
I’m not suggesting that you need to follow the Wim Hof method. But why not consider expanding your horizons by stepping out of your comfort zone from time to time?
Remember – what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!
Thanks for reading!