My mind is always going. I’m constantly trying to figure out why people struggle becoming successful with both business and fitness and what I can do to help them. Strangely enough, I do most of my thinking in the shower and then something suddenly clicked the other day. I reached for the squeegee to clean off the glass and it wasn’t where it normally was. After I used it I went to put it back in the old spot, but the holder wasn’t there anymore, it was in the new spot. I stopped for a second because for some odd reason I became a little uncomfortable. It was different, it was change that I now had to adjust to. Then my mind began to race and I started thinking about how much this exact situation is a great example why people can’t succeed. Why? People don’t like to continue doing things that they aren’t used to, that they aren’t comfortable with. They don’t give it time to become a habit, to become comfortable.
In the example above, I could have easily just put the squeegee holder back in the old spot, but instead I purposely left it there. I knew that it would take time for me to get used to, take time for it to become a habit. Over the next few days I still reached for the old spot, but then started catching myself, and eventually I stopped reaching for the old spot and went right to the new spot. The more I did it, the more comfortable it became. I then started thinking about another situation where this played true in my own life, a longer example, and several popped into my head, but there was one that really stuck out, and it has to do with my baseball career. It was the time that I decided to become a switch hitter.
I am a natural right handed hitter, I always have been. It’s the way I hit when I first picked up a bat when I was just a little boy. It was comfortable for me and for years and years I was strictly a right handed hitter. I never thought about becoming a left handed hitter too until one day an instructor of mine challenged me. I was about 15 years old and was at a hitting camp held by a very well known travel baseball coach. The entire group was sitting in a large circle surrounding him when he said, “Raise your hand if you can come up here and hit 50 balls off the tee without hitting it once.” You have to remember that my work ethic was ridiculous and I hit about 750 balls off the tee every night, so I was confident that I could do it and raised my hand. After looking around, though, I realized that I was the only person with a hand up, so of course he called me up and told me to do it. I walked up and hit 50 balls off the tee without hitting it once. At that point he understood my work ethic, could tell that I loved a challenge, so he then told me to switch over to the left side of the plate and do the same thing. I was nervous this time, though, because I have never hit left handed before, but I switched to the other side and did it. It was unbelievably uncomfortable, but I managed to do pretty decent with it. The instructor looked in my eyes and said, “Son, I’m turning you into a left handed hitter.”
You better believe I accepted the challenge, but I knew that I had to work incredibly hard every night to master my left handed swing. For months and months I went down in my basement and hit hundreds of balls from the left side of the plate, but it was still so damn awkward. If you want to know what it felt like, just pick up a bat and try swinging from the opposite of your natural side and you will quickly understand. I struggled, I hit the tee, I got frustrated, but I still kept doing it over and over and over again because I knew that it was the only way I was going to get better, the only way that I would become comfortable with it. After getting fairly comfortable with it after about a year of hitting off the tee, I knew it was time for the next step, and that’s to hit live pitching. Talk about uncomfortable, I felt like I was swinging left handed for the first time again. My form was there because I practiced so much, but my timing was so incredibly off. Again, I knew I had to do it over and over again to become comfortable with it, so that’s what I did, and it got to the point where my left handed swing was just as comfortable as my right handed swing, but that was about 5 years later, 5 years of an insane amount of hard work and practice. I got a scholarship to play ball in college, and my junior year I decided to stop hitting right handed and just hit left handed full time. My junior and senior years were my 2 best years of baseball in my entire life. I ended up winning numerous conference and regional awards, and even a National Championship.
It would have been so easy for me to stop hitting left handed because it was uncomfortable for a lot of years, but I didn’t. I didn’t because I knew the importance of hitting from the left side of the plate with my right eye being my dominant eye. I could pick up the ball a lot quicker and easier than I could from the right side. On top of that, I was a step closer to first base than I was from the right side. So many people would have given up the first few weeks of hitting left handed off the tee because it wasn’t natural for them, it wasn’t part of their routine, it wasn’t something they were comfortable with. Whenever the majority of people begin to make a change in their life, they give up so quickly because it is well outside their comfort zone. It’s like a constant nagging feeling that just won’t go away, and instinct is to go back to the old lifestyle because that’s what they were used to, what “feels good” to them. This is when you have to fight that feeling, especially if you are trying to make a positive change in your life like with your health or your finances. You have to focus hard DAILY on powering through that uncomfortable feeling, and practice whatever it is that you’re doing over and over and over again for it to become a habit, for it to feel comfortable to you.
I made this post mostly for all you Beachbody Coaches out there and all of the people that I coach (make me your coach) through the various Beachbody programs. When you start something new, you have to understand that it’s going to suck at first, it’s not going to “feel right,” and it’s going to take quite a while for you to become comfortable with it. After doing it over and over again for a long period of time, though, you will notice that the more comfortable it will become. The goal is to do it long enough to the point where it becomes habit, where you don’t think twice about doing it, but just go out and do it. It will get to the point where you will be so comfortable with it that it will feel like your old lifestyle, but this time you are doing GOOD things for yourself, making POSITIVE changes in your life! With the workouts and diet, for example, at first you’re not going to enjoy working out every day and it’s going to be tough as hell to eat healthy consistently. So many times will that little voice inside your head tell you to give up and go back to your old, unhealthy ways because it’s what you’re used to and comfortable with, but you have to keep fighting it, keep pushing forward daily towards your goals. The longer you do it, the easier it becomes, and eventually you will get to the point where I’m at, and you won’t think twice about eating healthy and working out every day because it’s now a part of your daily routine. You just have to push through that “uncomfortable zone” long enough to make it happen. The same goes with building the Beachbody Business. Talking to people on social media, out in public, is very awkward at first, but after doing it over and over again it becomes a normal part of your routine. I love going out and talking to people about health and fitness because I’ve been doing it for years, but at first it was well outside my comfort zone. Keep fighting, keep pushing forward, and don’t ever give up.