There are just some people in life who seem to exude success and high performance. It is as though it just comes so easy to them, nothing seems to challenge them. In reality, these people, who seem to have luck on their side, work hard – damn hard. They challenge themselves and the status quo around them regularly. They are comfortable being uncomfortable.
Willingly seeking out the uncomfortable is hard. But success and high performance starts and ends with you, and the secret to your success lies in the very things you’re avoiding. Do you keep doing what’s always been done, or challenge old assumptions and try new approaches to problems? Do you proactively seek new challenges or just manage those you already have?
“Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you’re doing something others are unlikely to do, because they’re hiding out in the comfortable zone” – Seth Godin.
If you’re truly pushing yourself to improve, in any capacity, you are uncomfortable. So what is discomfort, really? Discomfort is an absence of ease – being uneasy or feeling hardship. Think about it, how many things were once uncomfortable for you, which you now accept without difficulty? Walking up a flight of stairs, learning your craft, standing in high heels for long periods of time (I’ve definitely done that many times!). We do uncomfortable things every day, yet when it comes to growing our performance, it is often easier just to go with the path of least resistance.
Unfortunately, many people avoid discomfort. They do everything they can to avoid it. They are just too comfortable to be pushed or bothered to make a change or improve their lives.
This is perhaps the biggest limiting factor for most people, and if this is you, high performance is not in your future.
Learning to be comfortable with discomfort is one of the most important skills you can to create high performance and to live a truly fulfilling life. Trust me, embracing and staying with discomfort doesn’t come naturally to many people. However, if you learn this skill, you can master pretty much anything.
So what can you do to rewire the brain about being uncomfortable?
- Seek out discomfort. Be deliberate about doing things that push your limits. If you want long-term success, stop avoiding what’s hard, and embrace it now.
- Commit to the uncomfortable. It’s so easy to confine yourself to the comfort zone where no one challenges your ideas, asks tough questions or pushes you to question your decisions and improve. This is fine for anyone wanting to stay in the same place for the rest of your life. If you want to grow – personally, professionally, your business, your team, anything – welcome and encourage challenges, don’t avoid them.
- Repetition expands your comfort boundaries. As they say, practice makes progress. If you practice your discomforts enough, with different activities, your comfort zone and resilience will expand to include many things that were once uncomfortable for you.
Think of the mind as a muscle that naturally tightens up over time unless it is consciously worked and trained. Your personal growth significantly depends on new challenges and activities. Tackle the fear that has kept you from living a life of high performance. If everything is too good, easy and comfortable, that’s a sign that you could challenge yourself more. And as you conquer these challenges you become more and more awesome. And we all have the ability to be more awesome.
As coaches, our role is to help challenge you, and get you comfortable with being uncomfortable. If you want high performance, come speak to us.
If you’d like to find out more, join the conversation in our next open workshop.