Sun Tzu, the great Chinese military strategist used to do this interesting thing.
When his men were out-numbered he would back them up against a mountain range so essentially there would be no escape.
When forced to literally fight for their lives, he would get the best out of them.
The men would have no choice but to give everything they had, because their lives literally depended on it. They would consistently achieve victory, even when largely outnumbered.
To a casual observer, this seems crazy, but there is a method to his madness.
When faced with the option of fight or flight – most would inevitably choose flight as it offers the surest and easiest way to survival.
This makes sense, but it does have its drawbacks if a ‘victory’ is what you’re trying to achieve.
Taking away the route of escape (your plan B) will essentially force you into action.
This could mean:
Quitting your job without a back up plan.
Moving to another city where you don’t know anyone.
Letting go of someone or something and not looking back.
It’s tough to do – but it’s also reflective of the faith you have in yourself to be able to ‘figure it out’.
The 'comfort zone' on the other hand does offer some benefits. It’s safe and it’s secure – but what it doesn’t offer is growth, the conditions and the complexity often required to be able realise your fullest potential.
As I’ve often spoken about, there is only growth or decay, if you are stagnating and not growing, you are essentially in a state of decay.
I don’t mean to sound morbid, but in the natural cycle, this is the beginning of the ‘dying’ process.
So, I ask:
When was the last time you really got out of your comfort zone?
When was the last time you jumped in the deep end before you really knew how to swim?
When was the last time you simply challenged yourself?
When was the last time you intentionally put your back up against the wall and forced yourself to ‘figure it out’?
When you essentially have 'no choice' but to ‘make it work or surely perish’ – you’ll be surprised what you’re capable of.