Bear Grylls became a member of the prestigious Special Air Service (SAS) on his second try at selection. During a free-falling training mission in Africa, Bear had a near-fatal accident where he broke his back. Eighteen months later he climbed Everest. He was twenty-three.
This is Bear Grylls’ advice on getting out of your comfort zone:
(It also happens to be where I got the name for this blog.)
The thing is about a ‘comfort zone’ is that it sounds, well, too comfortable. I call it a comfort pit because a pit is somewhere you want to get out of as fast as possible.
Pits are not good places to live in, if you want to soar like eagles.
The longer we spend in one place doing the same things over and over, the more of life we are missing out on – and the harder it becomes to change our ways.
Like water running over rock, you start to gouge out a little groove for yourself. Over the years, that groove then becomes a deep gorge, and it becomes harder and harder to change its course.
It takes guts to get out of ruts.
But when you decide to try something new or attempt something bold and ambitious, the rewards are yours for the reaping. You start to feel alive. You start to notice the possibilities all around. And you get that thrill of discovery as you remind yourself you are capable of doing so much more.
People get nervous when they try new things, yet the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
The trick is not to let those nervous feelings stop you from going for your ‘impossible’.
It’s totally normal to feel a bit fearful, shaky and unsure. I feel those feelings often before a big climb or before dropping into a harsh jungle. But butterflies in your stomach don’t mean that you should keep things as they are: they are the tell-tale sings that an adventure is about to begin!
So whenever you feel too comfortable, look around you, raise your eyes, and get climbing before the pit becomes too deep.
To reach great heights will always require us to feel a healthy amount of trepidation. Get used to it. It is a feeling that all champions must learn to embrace.
A Survival Guide For Life by Bear Grylls