Doing hard things
I notoriously hate winter and cold and I pretty much do anything I can to avoid it.
I usually drive to Arizona for a month in winter to hike and climb, and then to Mexico for a month to chill on the beach and work.
Most of the money I spend goes towards things to keep myself warm. I have an infrared sauna on my deck. I’m constantly buying new jackets and layers to dial in my warmth on hiking trips. And I just spent $400 on heated socks (and they still don’t keep me warm enough).
I am THAT person.
So, if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my newest winter hobby. And you might be thinking that I am just one of those people who naturally is ok with the cold. One of those weirdos that wears shorts in winter and always feels like a furnace.
Did I mention I have Raynauds?
I. HATE. the. cold.
In case you missed it on Instagram, the reason my new winter hobby is SO uncharacteristic for me, is because it’s COLD DIPPING. Literally the opposite of everything I stand for lol
Everyday, I find a body of water, and I get in it.
Sometimes it’s in the ocean (a balmy 7C).
Sometimes it’s in the lakes and rivers around my house (2.5C)
And sometimes it’s up in Whistler in frozen lakes (0.5C).
I stay in between 2-5 minutes depending on how I am feeling that day.
Why am I doing this?
Because sometimes, I can be a bit of a wimp. I can be lazy. I can be unmotivated. And I wanted to build some mental toughness. I wanted to show myself that I can do hard things. And, truthfully, I wanted to see if it would help me build up more resistance to the cold in other scenarios (update: it hasn’t. I’m still cold all the time).
It ALWAYS sucks right before I go in. I usually don’t want to do it. I’m shivering before even getting wet. Sometimes it’s super windy and my hands are numb trying to get changed. Often my mind is telling me that this is so stupid and I don’t HAVE to go in today, I could skip a day. Or I could just get in and get right back out if I want (I always give myself that permission).
But. after doing this for 32 days, every damn day, I have learned that none of what my brain and body is telling me matters before I get in. It’s trying to throw me off, to keep me safe, because hello – DISCOMFORT.
Instead of listening to it, I put on my neoprene gloves and booties, take a deep breath, and get in as fast as possible without thinking about it and without half-assing it (you know what I mean, how when people touch cold water they put one foot in, freak out, realize it’s going to suck, try to back out, squirm around, and psych themselves out). Yeah, I don’t do that.
You gotta get in fast, and you take deep breaths til it feels ok.
Because I have learned, in building this habit over the course of the last month, that it’s never as bad as I think it’s going to be, and I always feel amazing after, no matter how hard it was to get in.
I personally LOVE gamifying things. That’s the reason I did 30 days in a row. I love to check that box off everyday. And it’s given me the drive to go out even on days when it’s been -10C, even when I had to go at night once on a crazy windy day because I didn’t have time during the day, and even when I would much rather stay in bed.
I fully believe in this approach in business, too, by the way. I think it can work wonders for accountability and for just getting over the fear and the discomfort.
The more you pitch yourself for podcasts, or go on FB live, or tell people about your business, the easier it becomes.
When I was starting my business, I pitched to something like 30 blogs and podcasts in a month. I just went for it, and I got some no’s, and lots of yes’s, but what I really got out of it was building that muscle in myself and not being so scared of it.
If you are new to your business and you haven’t built the muscle of taking action yet, I really can’t stress enough how important it is.
IT ALL GETS EASIER. I promise you, it really does.
The first year of your business is by FAR the most challenging one. It sucks, you’re scared, you’re not making any money or seeing results yet, and you’re half-assed putting one foot in while secretly wondering if maybe you shouldn’t quit your other job after all.
Just like cold dipping, which I REALLY didn’t think I would ever be the kind of person to do, business was the same for me. I never thought I’d be someone who was actually running a successful company. I didn’t think I had what it took. I thought that you had to be a certain kind of person, and I was sure I was not that kind of person.
But what I learned, is that you just have to WANT to be that kind of person enough, that you take the plunge (har har) and just start doing it, without overthinking it.
Get yourself some accountability buddies (I always dip with other people or I would have given up long ago!), and get whatever you need to make it easier (for dips, it’s neoprene gloves; for your business, it might be your fave coffee or tea or some of your best pump-up music), and make it happen.
Future you will be sooooo thankful that you went all in.
PS. if you want see more of my dips you can follow along on IG @rebeccatracey and @theuncagedlife