How comfortable are you day to day? Are you learning? Are you developing?
Are you living in your comfort zone or are you pushing the boundaries?
Doing something new is hard. Something you don’t yet know how to do. Something that is difficult and challenges you. It’s so much easier to not do it because when you are challenged and pushed outside your comfort zone, you have to think - you have to concentrate - you have to feel. More often than not these feelings involve fear - it will probably trigger a lot of your insecurities and might sound like this :
“I can’t do it”
“I’m not good enough”
“What if I fail”
“What’s the point”
“I told you I couldn’t do it”
Being out your comfort zone can be scary, terrifying even. But it is also what makes you feel alive. As human beings we want to evolve. We want to grow. I know Some of my darkest periods came from a lack of adventure and excitement in my life. But excitement comes from new experiences and new challenges.
I love putting myself in situations where I can learn - and I try to do this in as many areas of my life as possible, for example :
Physically : for the last half a year I’ve been learning how to box. My sessions with my bro Bobby Harrison are now my favourite part of the week! Also, I love swimming so me and my brother entered the Henley River swim - 1.5km race. 2 things I’d never done before!
Life : after recording an episode of the podcast with the incredible Sam Connife, I reached out to see whether he could meet me as an ‘unofficial mentor’. I leaned so much from sitting down with him and was pushed to think about things I wouldn’t have done had we not met again.
Take FL1GHT : running the Take FL1GHT live event was a massive leap of faith, but one of the highlights of my year and now I can’t wait to push on and do more of these!
You learn a lot from those who have been there and done it. Spending time with successful peak performers can feel daunting and often in these moments of insecurity we feel inadequate. But the truth is, this feeling of the unknown is where all the magic happens. The quote “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room” is perfect!
Other than the event, my biggest lesson from being outside my comfort zone came on my recent trip to the US. I decided I wanted autonomy back in my life. I was tired of having to be in a particular place at a particular time. Typically my diary is full 2-3 weeks in advance and it’s exhausting. So for this trip, I didn’t book any hotels, car hire, internal flights or events at any point during my 9 days - outside of the 3 podcast episodes I was recording. All I knew was I had to be in Santa Monica, then San Diego, then Tampa, but nowhere in between.
I left London, jumped in the taxi and immediately fear kicked in. My internal monologue was : “why are you doing this again. Flying half way across the world on your own.... for what? Putting yourself in these difficult situations, across the table from these really impressive individuals, without even having a hotel to go to after your flight today! Idiot!”.
So I called my dad - and as he so often does, put me at ease with one comment when he said :
“FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BRAVE”
While I was on the phone driving from my flat to Heathrow the taxi passed Barnet cemetery. It was an incredibly poignant moment, that for me confirmed I was doing the right thing. Interestingly, one of the guests I sat down with on my trip, ex pro NFL player / super bowl winner / fitness influencer - Steve Weatherford, spoke at length about considering the amount of books, businesses and possibly even medical cures that have gone to the grave because those individuals weren’t Bold or brave enough to act on their dreams and fulfil their potential.
The trip brought a lot of ups and some downs. One evening I was sat on the phone for 2 hours trying to book a last minute internal flight. Airlines are ridiculous! When I called they couldn’t figure out that I was English, with a UK address, but was in the US trying to book a flight. Almost like it had never happened before. I promise I kept my cool the majority of that chat.... that time was definitely a down. But 2 minutes later I got an upgrade on my hotel room and the restaurant were giving me free drinks at dinner! Still not sure why!?
There were so many other examples of great things that happened. I got a serious car upgrade! It was huge and had its own WiFi! I got more hotel upgrades, free drinks in restaurants, the best tables and more. All these moments stemmed amazing conversations with incredible souls I may have never met otherwise.
The flexibility during my time away allowed me to find some real clarity and has been one of the best things I’ve forced myself to do in a long time. I’m now making this an annual routine. Each year I’ll go away for a week to 10 days solo and just see where I end up.
I now firmly believe that if we all become more comfortable being uncomfortable, new and exciting opportunities will present themselves - whether you decide to take hold of these opportunities is up to you!