On my drive to work this morning I was listening to Lewis Howes’ School of Greatness podcast and he shared a quote about fear from a recent Will Smith movie. Today, also marked the first day back to school for my oldest daughter who is starting first grade. This had me even more emotionally open than usual and got me thinking about fear, which made the Will Smith quote more meaningful.
Facing a new school year is scary and exciting and inspiring all rolled into one. At least it was for me.
Completing school shouldn’t end your learning.
The idea of fear also had me thinking about placing yourself in situations outside your comfort zone. I continually look for ways to challenge myself in areas that on the surface don’t really blend in a cohesive picture, but when you zoom out you can see the pattern I’m following.
For instance, just over a week ago, I spent the weekend in Michigan at a TacFit certification. At face value it is fitness seminar. Yes, it requires a high level of physical preparation to pass this particular certification. However, the real test is being able to coach the system.
TacFit is a brilliantly constructed fitness system that uses training protocols to stimulate neuro-endocrine adaptations to develop the body’s ability recover from physical and psychological stress. Basically, the system helps you train your body to regain tactical decision making as fast as possible.
I’m not a solider or even a first responder, so you may be wondering why would I want to become a certified TacFit instructor??
Go back to the idea of being able to coach this system. Every day I’m placed in stressful situations and required to make decisions that although aren’t dangerous, do impact my community and the patients we serve.
Further look at the idea of your overall fitness on how it positively impacts your life.
“Exercise increases gray matter volume in brain regions associated with memory processing, cognitive control, motor function, and reward” ~ Thanks Wikipedia
Making sure my body responds well to the stress is important, but also the carryover of being able to coach my direct reports improves with stress training. This comes from the idea of Neuroplasticity, which is that our brains are continually adapting, improving, and pliable.
Just like my daughter starting back in school will shape her brain, so will learning new things shape mine.
Developing new skills creates new neural pathways which flows into multiple other areas of my life. Yes, completing the TacFit certification gave me a boost in self-esteem, but the training will also improve my ability to lead my staff both from my improved stress response and increased resiliency.
Give it a try and face your fear
Do you want to dip your toe in the water of neuroplasticity training? Simply try taking a different route home from work. But I challenge you to find other ways to step outside your comfort zone.
Maybe you already have a practice of trying new things and facing fears…
What do you do to step outside your comfort zone?