How to Break Out of the Comfort Zone

Most people by now would have heard about David Goggins. If he is new, I suggest you stop and go watch a few of the Youtube Interviews he did with various podcasters before you go buy his book, Can’t Hurt Me. To me, he is the epitome of breaking out of a comfort zone, although more extreme than some people can bear.

One thing I solidly believe is that you only get to do something well when you have started to do it, even if it is imperfect at first. Then you simply don’t stop. Take blogging, for example. I remember getting my original WordPress site up and running for years in the early days of WordPress, then it got hacked several times and I lost a lot of my content. It felt like I was in a rut.

Similar things happened more recently. For instance, I was preparing a really nice article about the NLP Meta Model (the central pillar of NLP) when the browser logged me out of the system. Boy was I pissed! Fortunately, that blew over pretty quick and I got myself out of it relatively quickly and went on to do something else. Content will never run dry where I’m concerned.

David Goggins built himself a mindset to accept where he was, in order to change things the way he wanted. It takes an incredible amount of courage of slow down the wheels of momentum that are taking you in the wrong places. But once you have that, you need to change the standard of your benchmark. One example he mentions in his book is about losing 173 pounds to get into the Army. And he did that by changing out his routine. One of it was to get fit, even though he could not run farther than 500m at a time. So he simply went as far as he could, then a little more.

This is a very poignant image in my mind. I know many of us want to achieve more, but we don’t push ourselves to do more. If you can create a blog of 1,000 articles, then you can do 10,000. At the most basic level, it is all about doing an article at a time. 10,000 is basically 10 articles per day for 3 years. Remember the quote from Bruce Lee.

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.

I think we can take this attitude into account. Each action, however, needs to render something better, faster, more valuable, more improved.

So contrary to popular belief, getting out of the comfort zone is NOT about just stretching outside the comfort zone. It has three key stages.

Stage 1: Slowing Down the Momentum through Acceptance and Courage to Admit your Limitations.

The unconscious mind has an uncanny way to make you do things on being triggered. You can create terrible or exceptional habits by triggering them off, if you knew the NLP Swish Pattern. In truth, we already do terrible things like amplifying negative voices in our heads. We even embed bad days by ruminating through bad feelings and thoughts. This is the unconscious momentum I speak of. What is your knee jerk reaction to someone stealing your business? How long do you stay there? Is that what you really want?

Stage 2: Creating Benchmarks Through Consistent Action.

I’ve come to understand why the power of routine is so important. The terrible browser failure that took place yesterday wiped a good piece of content and effort. I also wasted the better half of the day trying to get another piece done, but the state was all flustered. When I realized this, I thought to myself, hmm – there ought to be a better way to benchmark and routinize this. So, here I am at 5.30am in the morning after my workout, capitalizing on a good state to do this. I’m even measuring how fast I do this, so that I can raise my benchmarks in the future. I might take an hour today to write this, but I might take just 40 minutes tomorrow because I am applying the Theory of Consistent Discomfort.

Stage 3: Define Your Choice Intentionally.

Fleeting choice is as bad as no choice at all. In fact, it might be worse. If you have always said to yourself, ‘yeah, I really need to work out’ but never really did, it’s because you did not make it intentional.

By continuing with unconscious blaming, complaining and excuse-making, you simply propagate that, and I fear the person who knows how to blame, complain and make excuses in 10,000 ways – you’re simply going to be a mental-emotional-physical wreck, and that’s not how anyone needs to live!

Here are some ways to make a ‘choice’ intentional.

  1. Write it down.
  2. Brainstorm the exact steps to do it.
  3. Talk yourself through it.
  4. Talk to a coach about it.
  5. Share this with others who are also struggling with it.
  6. Do something about it immediately.
  7. Replicate how you made the same choice in your mind, body and feelings.
  8. Reconnect with the purpose of your choice.
  9. Consider how bad things will be, or how much it will cost you to NOT be intentional.
  10. Consider how great things will be, or how people who are intentional about this choice make their future great.


I believe that the idea of ‘massive action’ and ‘breakthrough’ is a bit of a misnomer.

A great orator never started off great.

A champion bodybuilder never started off having defined muscles.

An elegant chef never began cooking great dishes all the time.

Likewise, if you want to grow your business, great relationships and a life that you want, remember that you AND the people around you are always work in progress. Progress in general, as I mentioned in prior articles, leads to happiness. Play the long term game of happiness and not just the short term gain of achievement. The short game is easy, but it is like a drug. It also misinforms you that just because change can be instantaneous, that all change has to be so. In reality, it takes much longer for you to create something powerful and meaningful. Just like a diffuse laser cuts slowly, intentionality and a long term view will bring you to a sharper focus so that it cuts through faster.

Revisit your beliefs about moving forward. Go through the three stages intentionally. Let me know when you experience your breakthroughs!

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