4 lessons learned from playing paintball

April 4, 2014

Last week I went paintballing with my colleagues of Media Injection. It was a beautiful day, nice weather and lots of excitement. When I was later looking back at it, I realised there are a couple of lessons I learned from this experience.

1. Keep your head cool
As soon as the startsign is given, everything becomes a big chaos. Chaos on the field and in your head. The adrenaline rushes through your body and you have to be continuously alert. At that moment it’s a challenge to keep your head cool. The same thing can happen when you’re in business and have to manage multiple things at the same time. When deadlines are approaching and your inbox is flooding, it can be a challenge to keep your head cool. From my experience there are a few things that can help: take a deep breath and focus on the moment. Then make a list of priorities and start with the most important tasks ahead.

2. Momentum
At the end of the day we had to push a big army truck a few meters forward. Normally that’s not so hard if you’re with a big group, but this truck was stuck in the dirt. We had to push it and then let it roll back and push it again until it rolled out of the ditch and was in movement. From that moment it was easy.
Sometimes it’s the same thing in life, especially when you start something new. You have to make small steps and accept eventual fallbacks, but just keep on going until you have momentum. As soon as you’re on a roll, things will get easier, but especially in the beginning it can be falling and standing up again.

3. Get out of your comfort zone
The first two games I was mainly defending and during the break I realised that was not as exciting as I wanted it to be. So I decided to do it different in the second half. Instead of defending I moved further forward with more excitement as result. If you want to be awesome and do awesome stuff, you have to get out of your comfort zone and do things that might scare you. If you do that, you’ll have victories and you’ll grow. When you’re stretching yourself, you’re actually expanding your comfort zone. So the things that might be challenging for you now, will soon be part of your larger comfort zone and you have grown. Then you can start getting out of your comfort zone again.

4. You can achieve better when you have cover
In the game where I had decided to go more to the front, one of my colleagues (Mette) was covering me. She was standing in the back overviewing the area, keeping an eye on approaching people. Since we had headphones, I was warned in time and could safely crawl to the front. Just knowing that I had back-up was an awesome feeling and empowered me to do more than I could have done if I was alone. Whatever challenges you have in life, it’s essential that you have people supporting you and covering you when you might fail. Surround yourself with people that believe in you and want to see you move forward in life.

Paintballing can be a lot of fun and great for teambuilding. I can really recommend it and I hope these lessons are helpful for your too.


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