Micael Widell

The Flinch

Today I read the short and free e-book The Flinch by Julien Smith, which I stumbled upon a couple of weeks ago.

The book describes a very important concept when it comes to self improvement. I would say that making a habit out of going against the flinch is one of the deepest and most important habit changes you can make.

So what is the flinch? To me it is that little threshold of resistance that you feel right before you are to do something that you know that you should do, but don't feel comfortable doing. That bump of resistance you feel when you are about to go outside your comfort zone.

It could be going out for a run. The flinch tells you to stay inside and maybe plan to go for a run tomorrow instead. It could be quitting your job to fulfill you dream to start a business. Many people have this dream but they let themselves be stopped by the flinch. It could be striking up a conversation with a stranger on a five hour bus ride – you know that the ride will be very boring if you don't, but the flinch holds you back. It could be saying yes to holding a speech in front of a group of people, even though you know you will be very nervous.

I have fought the flinch for several years. In the beginning it was not very often I would win. But after years of gradual habit change I can now frequently use it to my advantage the way the book suggests. As soon as I feel the flinch I use that energy inside me to go against it. Developing this habit – to feel encouragement and excitement about going slightly outside my comfort zone every day has changed my life so incredibly much, and I am very thankful for that. Just knowing that "this is just the flinch, I will feel fantastic when I walk right through it" makes it so much easier.

This is still something I need to continue working on. Today I win over the flinch in maybe 60% of the cases. I want to get nearer 100%. But I am very happy that I have not only learned about its importance myself, I have now also found a good text on it by somebody else who discovered it.

Read the e-book (PDF here) and try for yourself.

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