My strategy to pursue what scares me or what I believe is impossible has always been the same: Reject it first loud and clear, saying something like “I will NEVER do this, I’m not insane!” (make sure there are witnesses around that hear you). Once you complete this step, go ahead and work towards proving yourself wrong.
I am aware it’s a mind game, but it carried me through some hesitations in life—like bungee jumping, martial arts, or eating olives.
It was July 12, two months after I started practicing the Wim Hof Method. At this point my initial 20 painful seconds of cold showers extended to 5 minutes and I was ready to take it to the next level. I was ready to dip one toe or maybe two into the ocean for the very first time.
Was I ready? I wasn’t sure, but there was only one way to find out.
It felt intimidating and I was quite anxious to walk into the cold water of the Bay without a wetsuit. But as it often goes, it never is as bad as the catastrophic scenarios we so vividly paint in our heads.
I met with a group of Wim Hof Method enthusiasts who gather regularly for a weekly group dip into the Bay. They were encouraging and convinced that I can do it before I even agreed to try. I took a deep breath and followed them into the water. I rushed in up to my waist to minimize the initial shock but to my surprise, there really wasn’t one. It was just fine.
I ended up fully submerging that Sunday afternoon and even swimming for 10 minutes. It was an unexpected accomplishment I couldn’t even imagine that very morning. I felt ecstatic on my way home while still shivering.
It was that day I opened new doors to possibilities I never thought I had. The doors we all have access to, it just takes some of us an extra time to open them.