A nice cold shower shall do the trick.

An awkward conversation, an important presentation, a rigorous workout, a complicated business task, a tough answer, a change in lifestyle are all things we avoid- and this is standard protocol. We are always in a frenetic search to simple “be happy” and avoid any uncomfortable situations. So I began wondering, what can we do to confront such situations; how can we develop the courage to act despite being scared or uncomfortable.

I have learnt a lot about my life to date, and one thing that is clear to me is my avoidance to confrontations. To say it simply, I “let go” of a lot of things. Maybe I am scared of the outcome of the confrontation, maybe I fear what others will think, or maybe I don’t have the stomach for it. Either way, I must alter my mental approach. Despite being scared, with full conviction I need to decide and have the courage to do what I must do, say what I must say, and bear what I must bear.

The ancient samurai warriors used to pour buckets of cold river water on their heads every morning in a Shinto practice called Misogi. This was a purification ritual on a spiritual level. They believe that it cleansed their spirit and helped start a new day & new adventure fresh. But beyond starting your day fresh, cold showers affect your mentality and way of thinking.

So the trick is, a nice ice cold shower. Very simple I know. But you need to be quite bold to do this. The idea behind cold shower therapy is to take a cold shower first thing in the morning as a means to change your mentality. As soon as you turn on the faucet, the first few seconds will be excruciating no doubt. But once you endure that initial pain/ experience you start to adapt. You are no longer afraid of the cold water. You are aware that the water isn’t going to get any colder. The trepidation that you had before the shower is gone. You don’t have to fear what it’s like anymore, because you know first-hand what its like and this feeling becomes familiar.

What the cold shower therapy ideally teaches you is that this thing called “fear” is a weak emotion. If you have the stomach for it and the tenacity, you can overcome it.

The thing is, when you initially look into the faucet and visualize the feeling of cold water, you build up fear inside you. You build up this feeling of avoidance. But if you stick to your guns, you soon realise that something being hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible; and being afraid of something doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stay afraid. You embrace the cold water, you embrace facing your fear and you challenge yourself to remain in that uncomfortable situation.

So once you have conquered and endured the cold shower that morning, you apply the same principle to your daily routine. You begin to recognize the hesitation of completing certain tasks, the same way you would have hesitated looking up at the faucet. Then you tell yourself, if you can handle a cold shower then you can pretty much face any other fear you may have.

So ask yourself what “cold showers” are you avoiding in your career, relationships, and personal growth etc… then simply wake up and take a nice ice cold shower.