How To Get Outside Your Comfort Zone – And Succeed!

I just got back from the RKC in Philly at 1am Monday morning. It’s hard to believe it’s already Friday morning and we’re gearing up for the Pavel/Dan John workshop.

I know it’s a little delayed, but a big hearty “Congratulations!” to all the newly minted RKCs and a shout out to my Team – Great Job!

I really love RKC weekends. The major reason, besides getting together with close friends, is that I get to watch the transformation of people from mediocre kettlebell users to skilled kettlebell users and high quality instructors. The RKC Candidates literally become different people right in front of our very eyes.

That got me thinking – Why do these individuals succeed?

Here’s why I think.

  1. They challenge themselves.
  2. They’re open to learning.
  3. They’re not afraid to fail.
  4. If they do fail, they see it as part of the process of success.
  5. They don’t quit. Ever.

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

1. They challenge themselves.

It’s said that if you’re not growing, you’re dying. The RKC candidates all wanted to become better at the very least, at using kettlebells. At most, they’re expanding their abilities. They’re not sitting still. When you sit still, your world shrinks. You become less of an asset to yourself and to your world, or sphere of influence.

2. They’re open to learning.

Many of us, get set in our ways. We close down our minds and stunt our intellectual and physical growth. This upcoming weekend, I get to be a student of the physical game again. I’m going to the Pavel/Dan John workshop in Philly. And I’m really looking forward to learning new ideas and concepts in a workshop setting. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been a student. I am only too aware that I don’t know everything but it doesn’t stop me or stunt me.

And it didn’t stunt the RKC candidates this past weekend. They showed up and wanted to be better. Whether they passed or failed, each individual took something new home with him or her – something new about how his or her body moved (or didn’t) and how to best use a kettlebell in many different situations.

3. They’re not afraid to fail.

This is a biggie for getting outside your comfort zone. You can’t be afraid to screw up. It’s part of the learning process. You have to know what you’re doing wrong in order to do what’s “right.” Just because you fail, does not mean you are a failure. Yes, there was probably about the usual 30% failure rate at this weekend’s RKC. It’s a hard, demanding course. But these people aren’t “failures.” Each one learned something new and has the opportunity to still earn his or her RKC status.

4. If they do fail, they see it as part of the process of success.

This is the easiest way to get outside your comfort zone and succeed. Yes, it takes a radical mind shift for some of us, but as long as you get there, you’re fine. Again, failure is necessary for success. In case you missed this in the previous point, you absolutely must know what is “wrong” as part of knowing what is “right.”

Thomas Edison was asked how he felt about failing at making a light bulb 1000 times. His response was something along the lines of “Now I know 1000 ways not to make a light bulb.” It was all part of his mind set.

5. They don’t quit. Ever.

Ok, here’s a personal story. I’m not getting any younger. I’ll be 38 at the end of this year. I’m enamored with the sport of Olympic Weightlifting. It’s just plain amazing to me. The speed, strength, and sheer athleticism displayed in this sport is phenomenal. I’ve been chasing success in this sport since 1995. I’ve tasted small victories but still long for more. I’ve spent the past 8 years rehabbing various injuries. This year has been a great one – I’m injury free and making rapid progress.

Now certainly I don’t share any of that with you to brag, but rather to share with you a long process in case you’re facing lots of setbacks. Getting back to Thomas Edison: After his workshop burned to the ground, he was asked by a reporter what he was going to. His answer was “Rebuild it of course!”

The greatest thing about RKC weekends is seeing a bunch of sore, tired, aching candidates who keep going and succeed. And, it’s usually a long term process. Many candidates train between six months and a year to be able to complete their RKC.

What’s Holding You Back?

Take a good look around at your situation. Things may not be going right for you. Things aren’t optimal. Circumstances, I find, rarely line up for a “perfect time.”

Challenge yourself to do what you really want to do. You’ll be uncomfortable. And you’ll probably fail. But who knows, you could be the next Edison – the inventor of the next lightbulb.

13 comments… add one
  • Liz Gilinger Sep 24, 2010 @ 8:27

    Very well said! Always love a challenge!

    • GEOFFN Sep 28, 2010 @ 14:13

      Thanks, Liz!

  • Smitty Sep 24, 2010 @ 11:55

    Geoff is cool!

    Great post bro.

    • GEOFFN Sep 28, 2010 @ 14:13

      Thanks, Smitty. You’re cool too. 😉

  • Matt Sep 24, 2010 @ 17:27

    So inspiriational…thank you Geoff. Everytime I train I think about becoming RKC. It’s not a goal for me yet but it just got closer to being one.

    • GEOFFN Sep 28, 2010 @ 14:14

      You should go for it, Matt. It’s a great weekend and you’ll be part of a phenomenal community. The best professional decision I ever made.

  • Anthony Sep 24, 2010 @ 18:17

    What I think; is that you have a great insight into this.

    All the best


  • Franz Snideman Sep 24, 2010 @ 19:22

    Geoff, this is fantastic my friend! I needed to read this! Thanks brother!

    • GEOFFN Sep 28, 2010 @ 14:14

      You bet, bro. Glad it helped.

  • Nancy Hallock, RKC Sep 25, 2010 @ 17:51

    I had the privilege of being on Team Neupert last weekend for the RKC in Philly. The knowledge, integrity and patience that you shared and demonstrated with all of us was fantastic. When I first realized I’d be on your team I was intimidated, but it soon became clear how lucky I was.

    Being a member of the RKC community feels like coming home. It’s so important to have mentors and partners like you who share a passion for training with and teaching others this superior strength and conditioning tool! Thanks Geoff!

    • GEOFFN Sep 28, 2010 @ 14:15

      Nancy, that “RKC” looks great after your name. Not sure why you were intimidated by me, but glad you got over it. It was a pleasure having you on the team.

  • jennifer Sep 26, 2010 @ 14:53

    as always, inspiring..
    I had to laugh out loud when you talked about being 38. You see I am 39, facing 40 in a few weeks..
    but as I spend the last few days at 39, I will be at the RKC in Orlando.
    It is my hope ( coupled with just a bit of trepidation) that I have the honor of meeting and working with you there..
    Thanks Geoff!

    • GEOFFN Sep 28, 2010 @ 14:16

      Jennifer – Glad to hear you’re going to RKC Orlando. Unfortunately, I wont’ be there. Here’s to getting better with age!

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