SEALS Believe There Is Value In Being Uncomfortable

I am Ron White,  two-time USA Memory Champion. I would like to share with you some lessons on moving out of our comfort zone I have learned while working with my friend and former Navy SEAL, T.C. Cummings.

We are creatures of habit. We tend to do the same things at approximately the same time every day and get into a routine. This is your comfort zone, and you like living there. The problem with staying in your comfort zone is that you get into a rut, and there are no surprises. What happens when something happens to jar you out of that comfort zone?

Animals often utilize cover that may be uncomfortable to them – like rabbits in a briar patch. The rabbit has learned to adapt to the environment, although uncomfortable, knowing it is the safest place for him to be. If a hungry animal, who likes to eat rabbits, envisions a rabbit dinner, he may think it worth the risk of getting poked by the briars. The predator took himself out of his comfort zone in order to fill his stomach. The rabbit was content thinking he was safe, so remaining in his comfort zone cost him is life.

Remaining in your comfort zone may seem safe, but there are always predators out there who will risk injury in order to get what they want. If you are not always on the alert, and taking yourself out of that comfort zone occasionally, you could get gobbled up.

Our comfort zone operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, where there are no risks. Highly successful people, as a matter of routine, step outside their comfort zones in order to accomplish what they wish. To step outside a person’s comfort zone, they must experiment with new and different conditions that will stretch them.

T. C. Cummings relayed a story about how he and several other SEALs used the comfort zone of their enemy to their advantage, even though it took them out of theirs.

It was a cold and rainy night, with winds blowing out of the north off the Mediterranean Sea. When it is cold and wet, the average military person would go inside to stray dry, or if they couldn’t they would huddle up in rain gear around a fire, with the wind against their back. This is their comfort zone, and most would remain there.

Navy SEALs, knowing this would normally happen, scaled the boulders along the north side of the enemy encampment, and while the guards were huddled up around the campfire trying to stay warm the SEALs were able to get into camp, stay low and to the north in order to take pictures and count of the troops and whatever else they needed to do, and get out without being undetected. They were comfortable knowing human nature, and took themselves out of their personal comfort zone in order to do what needed to be done.

The key to moving on or upgrading our comfort zone is to re-evaluate our own self-image and or expectations. In doing this we will find opportunities that are available to make your goals reality. Are you happy with everything going on in your life? What are you doing to make sure it stays that way? If unhappy, what are you doing to make the changes? Is being in your comfort zone more important than taking risks in order to achieve what you want?

We are in charge of our destiny, and we provide the self-fulfilling prophecy. If we dream we will be successful in business, and then work toward it, then we have fulfilled our prophecy. If we are unhappy, and find reasons why life kicks us down, we will stay down. Our attitude guides our success, or failure. If we were to clearly and vividly imagine ourselves being and having the things we truly want, we must create a new picture of ourselves. We will find the old comfort zone doesn’t serve us anymore, and will then establish new comfort levels.

  • Imagine the change you want to affect
  • Build your expectations to meet that change
  • Visualize what it would be like when you have that change

When we have our mind ready, we will be able to make changes. As has been repeated many times, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

You will find the lesson in discipline and leaving your comfort zone among many available on the training CDs “Mind of a Navy SEAL,” and in our training “Think Like A U.S. Navy SEAL” workshops.

 

 

Sources:

Mind of a U.S. Navy SEAL workshop

Wikipedia – Comfort Zone: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_zone

Elements of Motivation – Analyze Your Comfort Zone: http://www.motivation-tools.com/elements/comfort_zone.htm

Stepcase Lifehack – How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/how-to-break-out-of-your-comfort-zone.html

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