"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results" - Albert Einstein I've seen this quote thrown around for a long time and I used to push it to the side thinking it didn't really apply to me. For whatever reason, the last time I read this quote it sat with me and made me think. How often have I been stuck in the same routine every day, looking towards the future and thinking change will come? The answer is all the time. I was stuck in my routine, never appreciating the present, always looking to the future. When you're stuck in your comfort zone, what is memorable enough that it can ground you back to the present? For me it wasn't a whole lot. So I knew I had to do something everyday to remind myself where I am - almost to humble me.
So what did I do? I started taking daily cold showers.
Why Cold Showers?
Now why would I do such a thing? The answer is simple, it's so extreme, that I have no choice but to deal with it in the present. It focuses all my attention on what I am feeling. Prior to the shower I'm scared and run through a million excuses as to why I don't need it. In a burst of energy I jump in full force and make facial expressions and noises that I didn't think humans could produce. After the shower I feel a sense of accomplishment and am proud of myself. I acknowledge that all I was scared about wasn't really that bad... I was totally fine. The beauty is everyday, this cycle repeats, no matter how often you do it. Everyday you overcome fear.
What makes this routine different is all the emotions I go through in just 5 minutes. In this time I have basically done a morning meditation, self affirmation routine, and a daily confidence builder - the ultimate life hack. My mind is totally clear and calm. Instead of focusing on my breath like a regular meditation session, I'm focusing on dealing with the cold (my breathing is similar to the diaphragmatic breathing done in meditation however). The fact that I did something I did not want to do makes me feel better about myself. Such an intense start to the day also makes the rest of the day seem more manageable.
Overcome Fear and Achieve Your Goals
The most important thing is that if you can overcome this fear daily, why can't you conquer your other fears? Regardless of the fear it's down to you to decide if you want to be okay with being uncomfortable. Are you willing to do the things required to reach your goals? How can you start your own business, talk to that special person, or start changing your life, if you can't take a cold shower for a couple minutes? A few minutes of being uncomfortable in exchange for the tools required to do what scares you seems fair to me. As a personal challenge try to take one.
If you need more of a reason, cold showers also have shown to have health benefits for our skin, they burn fat (for those holiday meals), and reduce depression. If you're interested, check out this TED talk by Joel Runyon who talks about his use of cold showers to get himself in the best shape of his life, quit his job, and start his own business.