Become Bulletproof: The Benefits of Stress and Discomfort for Personal Development.
Becoming bulletproof is an exciting goal for many people who are interested in personal development. In this article, we are going to explore just how much stress and discomfort can help you become your best self and get closer and closer to becoming the superhuman version of you.
We often give up on our goals the moment we are outside our comfort zones and then we self-sabotage. We as humans are programmed to seek comfort and tend to avoid uncomfortable situations, including exercise. That is one of the reasons why it is difficult to stick to an exercise programme. But personal development does not happen in your comfort zone.
How Stress Can Help You Become Bulletproof
Believe it or not, if you want to become bulletproof, and for the sake of general personal development, your body needs a bit of discomfort and stress, but not the kind you are thinking about. While work stress is bad for your health, there is a beneficial type of stress, called hormetic stress, which is stimulated through things, such as exercise, fasting, eating certain foods, cold temperatures, and even heat. One of the benefits of this type of stress is that it improves stress-resilience.
It is like resistance training. When you lift weights, for example, you cause damage to your muscle fibres and stress the muscles. This triggers the repair process, and your muscles will become stronger. When you expose yourself to a bit of stress, you are training your body to handle stress.
Heat stress, triggered by exposure to hot temperatures during hot yoga, sauna use, hot baths, etc. stimulates the release of heat shock proteins, which help protect your muscles, lower inflammation, and benefit your brain, and have a wide range of other benefits.
Fasting is another form of hormetic stress that has an array of benefits that include an increase in human growth hormone levels (HGH), improving mitochondrial functioning, stimulating fat loss, and promoting longevity. You do not need to fast for days at a time. You can fast for 14 hours a day and eat within a 10-hour window (if you eat breakfast at 09:00, then you will stop eating at 19:00). In their quest to become bulletproof, some people prefer to fast for 16 hours a day, while others only fast one day a week, but do not eat for 24 hours. It depends on what will be easiest for you to incorporate in your life. Personal development is just that: personal.
Exposing yourself to hormetic stress when trying to become bulletproof has other benefits as well. Think about this: if you are in a challenging yoga pose or running a marathon, pushing through to the end can condition you to follow through in difficult situations in normal life. It becomes easier not to hibernate in your comfort zone and to actually follow through on your goals.
As you can see, there is a good kind of stress and you can easily stimulate it through exercise, heat exposure, fasting, etc. to help you become bulletproof.
The Power of Discomfort for Personal Development and Becoming Bulletproof
Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable if you are after personal development. We tend to avoid things that bring discomfort like doing an intense workout, speaking in front of crowds, or changing our diets. Why? Because it is too uncomfortable. If you have been living on a diet of processed food and sugar, quitting sugar and going on a whole foods diet will be very difficult.
When you realise that highly processed foods are addictive, it makes sense that your body will go into a state of withdrawal. When the discomfort becomes too much, we often give in.
You can learn how to not be as affected by discomfort and will then be able to advance further in life and go through more demanding situations with ease. It takes a lot of discomfort to ultimately become bulletproof.
What is interesting is that the more you do something, and if you manage to push past the initial state of unease, then eventually you will reach a state of flow, which can be described as the peak point of performance. This applies to everything from writing, to physical activity, and even making healthier choices. The more you do it, the easier it becomes until you start to flow through it.
Know that any change, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable, will get easier and ultimately become second nature. That is one of the keys to personal development.
Move Outside Your Comfort Zone to Become Bulletproof
We as humans are programmed to seek comfort, and when things start to feel a little uncomfortable like when on a diet, starting a new workout programme to help you become bulletproof, or even trying to start a business, we don’t like it. When the discomfort warning signals start going off, we usually retreat back to our comfort zone.
With this approach, you can happily stay comfortable for the rest of your life, but you will probably never grow or achieve the things you truly want to.
To become bulletproof, you need to push yourself to just further than you are capable of and to where the discomfort starts to set in. That is where growth happens. If you push yourself too hard before you are ready, the discomfort can become overwhelming, and you will struggle with personal development. The sweet spot is just outside your comfort zone.
You can choose to challenge and change yourself, but you have to be realistic. How far do you think you are capable of pushing before it all falls apart? Negotiate with yourself and come up with the best strategy for you that will allow you to start taking the steps necessary to reach your goals and to start moving out of your comfort zone.
Personal development and becoming bulletproof does require work, and you will have to get uncomfortable from time to time. But on the other side of discomfort is the superhuman or bulletproof version of you.