I fully believe that how we grow is to be uncomfortable, and the only way to do that is through change – we grow through change in training routines, daily habits, new job roles and even through tough times like a break up. The problem with this, however, is that people don’t like change. Change is scary, and in some cases it’s trying and difficult. But I think we can condition ourselves to be more ok with discomfort by adding in small changes here and there to eventually allow us to be confident enough to make the big changes like applying for that new job or moving cities.
Sometimes we are so set in our ways that we don’t even consider switching things up, and that’s how we get stuck in a rut – but sometimes all it takes is a small change to shake the cobwebs off our thinking patterns and create room for growth.
Here are 3 of my ways to create small changes that keep you and your mindset on your toes, challenging you to grow:
Switch coffee for green tea in the morning
If you are an avid coffee drinker, you might be surprised as to how difficult this can be. I’ve personally started doing this a few times a week and was surprised as to how much this coffee-in-the-morning habit was ingrained in me and how stubborn I was at first – “Why shouldn’t I have my coffee in the morning?” I asked myself. “There’s nothing wrong with it!”. Well, my initial reaction showed me that there might be – I had become dependant on coffee to start my day off well.
Switch up your training
I’ve mentioned before that doing this is a great way to keep up your motivation but it’s also a fantastic way to change things up and be uncomfortable in your routine again. Go to a group class if you usually train alone, or try training at home alone if you usually train in a group. Again, this forces us away from routine and challenges us to try something new! It’ll grow your mind and your body. Changing your training routine could also get you to eventually start making other routine changes in your life – like waking up earlier to read something interesting or going out for your lunch break instead of eating at your desk.
Talk to yourself
A lot of people are uncomfortable with the ideas of positive self-talk or affirmations. When you start, it can seem silly to tell yourself “I AM POWERFUL AND STRONG” when you really don’t feel like you are. But the proof is there to prove that people who have strong affirmations make change in their life. Get comfortable with talking to yourself and having positive conversations.
Talking to myself during intense workouts really taught me to believe in myself more and to talk myself through downward spirals or moments when I felt scared or demotivated. This is a tool that is really great for when you start making big changes – because no-one is going to be there for you like you can!
So why should you switch up such small, meaningless habits? Well, for one, to start getting yourself comfortable with situations where you might not have that one thing you rely on – what if, one day, there is no coffee? If we know that there is no dependency on that one thing, it can’t throw us off track when we don’t have it. (Think about how panicked you get when you don’t have your cellphone for the day, for instance). What is one thing that you feel you absolutely “can’t live without”? Challenge yourself to go a day without it!
It also grows our confidence in unusual or new situations. The more you know that you got this no matter what, the more likely you will be to change this up and chase new opportunities or adventures.
All these tips might seem silly on their own, but these small challenges build our confidence in ourselves to be uncomfortable and go for new things and opportunities. Train your mind to seek challenge and seek change, and you’ll be amazed at your transformation – whether it’s your body or your mind!
Here’s to small changes leading to big ones-