Being Comfortable with Discomfort

Coffee With the CEO Graphic - Dec 7

Coffee with CEO Graphic Being Comfortable with Discomfort

Are we always working to be comfortable, or are we currently fighting the uncomfortable to remain the same? With change there is discomfort. Change is inevitable; we cannot avoid it. Nothing stays the same, but growth is optional. Discomfort is the sign that you need to change. It is the universe yelling “HELLO! How many signs do you need?” If you don’t make a change you will continue to battle things that make you feel this way. We all suffer from this. The good news: you are not alone. Being uncomfortable means that in order to become comfortable, you need to grow. Humans operate better when they are growing or improving.

What does this mean? If you want to grow and keep leveling up you will want to introduce change when you start getting comfortable. I’m not talking about moving the couch to a different location in the family room kind of change; I’m talking about the change that is required because of emotional frustrations or fears in your current life.

I am sometimes uncomfortable, stressed, upset, mad. When I can get to a place where I start to process why I am feeling this way – what am I worried about, what do I fear, is it real, is my mind churning because there is a reason or do I really feel emotionally connected to it and why – this is when change happens. Your mind loves it when you worry, but how can you worry about the past, or even the future? It is unknown. This is what your mind likes to do so it can be in control. If you can get to a place where you understand what you are feeling and why you are feeling that way, you can begin the process of working through the worry, diagnosing what is real, and then begin to create a different outcome. Only through this type of examination can you change. This is, of course, difficult to do by yourself. That is why you may seek advice from a friend or a mentor, but only if you are mindful about the process and intent on change. Once I go through this process I can usually see that it is because I have hit a roadblock and my ego is still fighting change. It’s scary sometimes to do things that are uncomfortable. We have all seen that when you start confronting things that make you feel this way, they become a normal part of our lives. That gives us room to attack the next level of things that we need to so growth will again enter our lives. When I use the term attack, that is exactly how I look at it. I feel the discomfort and explore the why behind it, sometimes gathering additional data to verify or discount those reactions, then I develop a plan of attack to change and grow. Everything I ever did that was hard made me better after I went through it.

My first job after I got married was selling pots and pans door-to-door. You heard me correctly: straight commission selling door-to-door. And the kicker was I was scared to knock on people’s doors. I struggled mightily but if I didn’t sell, I didn’t get paid. There may not be a harder job or a faster way to learn. It was tough, uncomfortable, scary, exhausting, and, at times, depressing. I had to literally force myself to get out of bed in the morning. My ego put up a huge fight every day as to why I should quit, but I didn’t. I knew that it sucked but I started to make a game out of it, getting more creative, listening to the customer, connecting to them, selling me. I got through it and it shaped my future and gave me great confidence that I can do whatever I need to do to be successful. I grew because of it. I knew it was hard, I knew I didn’t like it at all, and I knew I had to figure it out. If I could do that, I would be better because of it. I was mindful of the experience. Knowing my shortcomings, how I felt and why. Creating a plan to improve, change and grow.

Perhaps you have a similar process but have never thought of it this way, or maybe you have never thought about it at all? You may be experiencing frustrations in your life right now. In reality, it is far more complex to me than a few sentences in a paragraph can convey, and it has not been easy for me to get to this point, but I can tell you this: if you want to grow, you need to be uncomfortable.

Cheers to change!


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