Practice being outside your comfort zone.

Discomfort in social situations is a resource that can be learned; and triathlon can be a venue for practice.

Tim Ferriss often talks about doing things outside of your comfort zone just to get comfortable with doing things outside of your comfort zone. In his book The 4-Hour Workweek, he provides a series of different exercises to achieve this such as spontaneously laying down in a busy area and then standing up and acting as if nothing just happened, or asking for a discount on your morning coffee – without smiling and without giving any reason for doing so. I forget his precise example, but asking for $1 off, or asking if you can get 2 for 1 would do the trick.

I am sad to say that I have done neither of these. I would like to and should (the next time I travel, doing it in my small town is too big a step for me).

But I have been doing a number of things outside of my comfort zone in the last couple of years – and I can report that it does get easier. (I practice that vulnerability a little bit every day when I hit ‘publish’ on these posts.) I think triathlon can provide this in many ways for different people. Perhaps you are comfortable with one sport, but you are forced to practice and compete in two others that may feel less comfortable. Or perhaps the sport gets you training with others that you wouldn’t normally, or maybe it’s being seen in public in a trisuit!! These things may seem mundane, but I think there is value in flexing the discomfort muscle that will help in other aspects of life. Keep testing; it will pay off.

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