I have a confession to make: I think burpees suck. They hurt like hell, they’re no fun, and everyone looks at you like you’re crazy when you announce it’s time for a burpee break.
So why do I talk about them so much? It’s simple. They work.
Not long ago, I challenged myself to do 400 burpees a day for 60 days. I wanted to see what would happen. Would my legs buckle? Would my arms collapse? Would my head explode? What would happen to my body if I pushed it to its limit for 60 days in a row?
It was terrible, but I did it.
When my 60 days were up, I challenged a friend to race up a mountain. Had I done so a few months before, he would have blown me out of the water. He’d have reached the top of the mountain, showered, and made dinner by the time I caught up. But this time was different.
I crushed him. Of course, I knew there was only one logical explanation. It was the burpees.
They never get easier, but they always transform your body.
That’s the thing about transformation, whether you’re trying to change your mind, your body, or both. You can’t do it without getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.
When something feels intimidating, it’s a sign that you should probably do it. It means you’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and working toward being better.
I’m not saying dive into a shark pit without a cage or jump out of an airplane without a parachute. I’m talking about taking small steps every day that get you closer to your goal.
If you want to start mountain climbing, you won’t summit Everest tomorrow. Or even next week or next month. But you might next year. Start small. Find a peak and conquer it. Then move onto the next one.
Likewise, you want to get better at public speaking, don’t volunteer to give a keynote in Vegas. Start by speaking up in a team meeting or giving a talk to the local Chamber of Commerce. As you feel more comfortable, challenge yourself to longer talks in front of larger crowds.
You’re going to be scared. You may even fail. But like burpees, failing won’t kill you—but it will make you stronger.
Who’s ready to face their fears with me? Go bungee jumping, give a speech, run a marathon, ask your boss for a raise, speak your mind. Whatever you do, get out of your comfort zone, and I guarantee you’ll be on your way to greatness.