Several months ago, I read an article about Tony Robbins which detailed his morning routine. There were some unsurprising habits like taking time to write down all of the things he is grateful for, eating well, etc. But the one thing that stuck out to me was that apparently every morning, Tony takes a cold plunge to re-set his body and mind by shocking it out of its current state to prepare for the day.

I have deep respect and admiration for Tony Robbins and his teaching, so I was naturally drawn to experimenting with his routines. The gratitude journal is something I’ve practiced already in addition to mindfulness meditation, so I decided to give his cold plunge a go.

We do not have an actual cold plunge pool at our home (we do at the gym but I felt it needed to happen before starting the day). So, each morning for a couple of months now, I start my day jumping in a freezing cold shower. For real.

Not going to lie to you, it stinks. I dread it. I sometimes procrastinate. I can’t stand the idea of going from my warm comfy clothes I wore to bed to freezing myself in cold water – especially as winter begins to set in. Just awful.

However – once dry, I feel more energized than any cup of coffee could deliver. I feel fresh, and ready to tackle the day. I truly do feel fantastic, much better than if I stayed in my comfy warm clothes.

That said, I’ve found something much more valuable in this habit than just a mental and physical re-set.

Jumping into the freezing cold water every morning from a state of pure warmth and comfort has taught me the skill of forcing myself do something that is uncomfortable – and this, is the key to growth.

It is impossible to grow personally or professionally without stepping out of your comfort zone. We must stretch ourselves in order to achieve any success beyond what we currently have. Whether it be picking up the phone and cold calling a client, putting out an information product that other people may judge, speaking in front of a crowd – we are faced with the choice of staying comfortable or breaking ourselves into discomfort in the name of growth on a daily basis.

Just yesterday I was preparing to do a video shoot for a new product I am releasing. It meant I had to get on camera. I’ve been behind the camera for a decade, so this isn’t something in used to. I hit a wall, hard. I didn’t feel good about the outlines I prepared, I was pacing, trying to figure out what to do.

Then it hit me. I was procrastinating because I was uncomfortable getting in front of the camera. It was exactly what I’ve done in the morning to avoid the icy daggers awaiting for me in the shower.

Literally in an instant my mindset was transformed. Once I connected the dots of the mindset it took to get into the cold water every morning was the exact same as it was going to take to jump in front of the camera, I just began.

I kept an outline nearby, but just started recording and went from my heart. We recorded 6 videos and I only had to do a second take of 1.

Turns out I knew the content well enough to talk for hours. My delay was not from the content being wrong, but from my own discomfort with speaking on camera.

So, thank you Tony Robbins for sharing your crazy habits with the world, I have learned one of my greatest life lessons through the power of intentional discomfort.

This daily habit of self torturous awakening has become one of the most important things I have ever done. Maybe a cold plunge is not for you, but I urge you to do something that makes you uncomfortable every single day so that you can pull from your own experience and continue to grow to your full potential.