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out of comfort zone

11 tested ways to get out of our comfort zone

I’ve run two marathons, completed an Ironman, and I put everything I had into them. My best time was a respectable 3:21 and that was running six days & fifty miles a week with speed work. I kept track of every run and reviewed it the other day; it was intense.

I’ve also done ultramarathons and a  Tough Mudder.

We get nowhere until we get out of our comfort zone.

Mental Toughness is not just physical. Most relate mental toughness to physical tasks because we can measure it and it is indeed difficult. However, we all can improve our mental toughness.

We just need to get uncomfortable.

 My 4th book on mental toughness was published specifically for parents. I wrote every single morning for 1-2 hours. It is uncomfortable and some days are worse than others. But, my belief is that they don’t give bestsellers away.

1. Want to vs. have to…

If we are not doing what we love to do, what’s the point? Not many people get better at things they don’t enjoy. Our mental toughness is aligned with our passion, perspective, and gratitude.  If we dwell on the things that we don’t have, we are operating from a viewpoint of scarcity instead of abundance. Remember, we focus on negatives in the darkroom.

2. Start with the hardest…

One of the PGA Tour players that I worked with taught me tons about mental toughness. Before Scot Stallings won his 1st PGA Tour victory, we were at an event that changed the way I approach life. He had to complete a putting drill in order to leave the course. There was one putt that was unreal and I figured he would save the toughest putt for last. He pointed at the Rasputin of holes and said,“ I’m starting with that one!”

Tracy Thorsell graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the Naval Academy and speaks five languages. She took Chinese in High-school because it was the toughest.

Too often we start with and only want the easy tasks. Get uncomfortable and build our mental toughness by starting with the hardest task.

We get confidence and get momentum from accomplishing the most difficult first.           

3. Sit in a different seat & go a different route…

When I was a University professor, I had no seating arrangements, but people sat in the same seat every time. We seek comfort and we are creatures of habit. That is why we congregate around the same area and drive the same route. Go a different way is a simple way to engage the mind and get out of our comfort zone.

4. Be Honest…

I was once asked if I had seen a certain movie. I actually lied that I had because I wanted to be in on the conversation.

Honesty with others is tough, but honesty with ourselves is way more difficult. Changing for the better is a good thing, however, it requires honest self-assessment. Not many people can be honest because it makes them vulnerable.

5. Connect with others…

Mushrooms and negatives grow in the dark. It takes little mental toughness to isolate. But, our condition changes with the books we read and the people we meet and interact with. Get out of the comfort zone by meeting one new person a day.

6. Suit up & show up…

A boxing coach, Jason Minnick, told me that the boxers who are mentally tough are the ones that show up… after a beating.

The toughest part is indeed showing up. Too often we allow one mess up or mistake to define us. It doesn’t matter how bad we messed up, learn from it, and get back on the path.

7. Don’t complain…

John Wooden said, “Don’t complain, whine or make excuses, your friends won’t need them and your foes won’t believe you.” Life without complaint means responding to situations and people, not reacting.

8. Face the fear & do it anyway…

I wrote NO FEAR: A simple guide to mental toughness because FEAR is the biggest thing keeping us from our goals.

Everything we want in life is on the other side of that fear. The story that we tell ourselves either lifts us up or tears us down. Everyone is afraid, but few addresses it. Get out of the comfort zone and just do it, whatever your “it” is.

9. Trust others…

My friend Keith Tyner took his family on an R.V. trip out west. For every person he encountered and had a conversation, he simply gave them a little book reading light. Do you know how many people struggled with taking that small gift?

I hate trusting others because it means I may get hurt. I hate asking for help because it means I’m stupid.

That’s the story I tell myself that brings me down. The better story is I need to trust others because we can help each other. The odd thing is that no one wants to ask for help, but everyone wants to give it.

10. Pray & pray again…

Get uncomfortable by surrendering the things we cannot control. If prayer doesn’t’ work the first time, then pray again.

11. Trust your gut…

Our gut is our in-born smoke detector. It’s our GPS. However, it’s a tough choice whether we listen to it or not. I am convinced we are right more often than not when we trust our gut. However, we will still be wrong on occasion, we just can’t let our mistakes to dictate how we operate. When we trust our gut, it simply reflects that we are confident.

ways to get out of your comfort zone

 

 


dr rob bell

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent books on Mental Toughness-

your mental toughness

This Element Will Make or Break Your Mental Toughness

Growing up, I was always told that I was a mudder. A mudder in horse-racing is a horse that does better in adverse conditions! 

As an athlete, I loved the slop, poor conditions, and built-in adversity! Poor conditions level the playing field for everyone, no matter the talent level, so I conditioned myself to welcome tough conditions. The worse, the better! The truth is- every element can make or break your mental toughness. In extreme heat, I’ve bonked so hard in races, that I’ve been on the side of the road, throwing up. ( but, I still finished).  

But, This lesson in mental toughness has to deal with another element, WIND! 

Wind is the most powerful element and it will make or break your mental toughness. It impacts all of the other elements, from the spread of a wildfire to a hurricane, and even the windchill factor. In athletics, the success of sailors and golfers hinge on the wind. 

The wind will make you or break your mental toughness! Here’s where I re-learned it! 


On a 10-mile training run, there was a windchill of 38 degrees, it was windy, and raining. 

On my 5 miles out, there was a STRONG tailwind at my back. It felt good, but I also recognized it and was thankful for it.

In life, we need to PRAISE THE TAILWIND!

Too often in LIFE, we don’t even recognize the tailwind. If the wind is ever so slight, we still need to be thankful for it. We did nothing for it, but it is helping us.

It’s only after we experience the headwind that we realize how much the tailwind was there. I would much rather face the headwind early to experience the tailwind later on…

On the way back of this training run, when I made the turn at mile 5, there was the STRONG headwind. It was brutal! At least I was able to prepare for it, so I became thankful for it! I cheered it on.

In life, we need to CHEER THE HEADWIND! 

The tailwind was there to assist me, but the headwind was there to improve me.

The headwind is what made me better. It forced me to push through, focus, and work harder.

I don’t see too many people cursing the tailwind in life! If we are going to cheer on the tailwind, we must also thank the headwind, we can’t have it both ways.


A study in the bio-dome in the 1980’s revealed an amazing discovery for scientists. It was a perfect environment for everything to grow, especially the trees. However, when all the trees reached a certain height, They all TOPPLED OVER!

Scientists were baffled why would this happen. 

The Bio-Dome lacked the element of wind! Without it, the roots system didn’t get any stronger!

Can You PRAISE THE TAILWIND & CHEER THE HEADWIND!

We need the adversity and difficult conditions in life. It’s the ONLY way that we grow and improve! 

That’s why this element will make or break your Mental Toughness.


top mental toughness coach

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent books on Mental Toughness- 

Parents & coaches.This book will build your child’s Mental Toughness.

You can check out all of the media on the book here.  

OR buy it here— Don’t “Should” on Your Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness


 

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent book on Mental Toughness- Don’t Should on Your Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness