As I am gearing up to once again compete in the Semi Final round of the World Championship of Public Speaking, I have been working diligently on practicing my speeches.
To do this, I have developed a very unusual routine: every night from 8-10pm, I go to an empty room in my apartment’s gym and practice my speeches, out loud, to myself.
It is essentially me standing in a room alone, talking to myself in a mirror for two hours at a time. From the outside view, this is somewhat close to what a mentally unstable person might do. People will often walk by the room and do a double take.
When I first started doing this it felt very weird. I was super self-conscious that people would think I was not ‘normal’. But soon, it felt ‘normal’ to me and my self-consciousness disappeared.
The same thing happened when I started wearing skinny jeans about a year ago. It felt horribly uncomfortable for the first week. But soon, people just saw it as a part of my ‘look’.
Recently I realized something: creating a ‘new normal’ is exactly what is required to breakthrough to a new level in your life.
To become someone you’ve never been, you have to repeatedly do things that you’ve never done. Often you have to do things other people have never done as well.
Of course, this isn’t an earth-shattering concept. Essentially I am saying that you need to get out of your comfort zone. Then, you need to stay outside long enough to get used to it.
What is interesting is how quickly the world around you adapts to your ‘new normal’.
People are so concerned about what you think of them they often don’t even care what you’re doing. In fact, they don’t even register your seemingly strange behavior most of the time.
Knowing this gives you a lot of freedom to break out of your habits and try something new.
When something becomes just what you do, that’s when you know it’s working for you. When I started running 1 mile a day at the start of this year, it was painful. But now, only six months later, it feels totally normal for me to run 2-3 miles several days a week.
If you keep forcing yourself to do something, eventually your mind accepts it as normal and aligns with you. When the conscious fight is gone, your behavior feels like a natural part of your day and week.
When a weird behavior becomes your ‘new normal’ you know you are on the right track. That’s when you start to achieve extraordinary results.