How Much Discomfort Can You Handle?

Posted on: May 08, 2014

Categories: Goal Setting

DiscomfortThe path to success isn’t comfortable.

That’s because growing and changing and challenging yourself is, by nature, uncomfortable. For every inch of growth, there are growing pains. For every change, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every challenge, there is the pain of overcoming it.

But successful people don’t get through all of the discomfort, reach a level of success, and then stop.

Rather, successful people continually seek new ways to challenge themselves, even though it may feel like they’re just looking for ways to make their lives harder.

Recently, I’ve observed as my wife, Elle, has assigned herself with a number of challenges.

It started several months ago, when she created a 50 in 50 Challenge for herself, determining that she would make 50 appearances or give 50 performances in the next 50 weeks.

Each appearance has represented different levels of discomfort for Elle. In one appearance, she stood up in front of 450 executive women and gave the opening portion of my keynote. In another appearance, she played her guitar — which she has only played in public a handful of times since childhood — at a networking event she hosted. In another appearance, she taught a class on presentation tips and made her first-ever PowerPoint, just to challenge herself to learn the software.

She’s made a number of other appearances over the past few months, and every time we both know the truth: she doesn’t have to do this. No one is forcing her. No one made her pick up her guitar or figure out PowerPoint. She did.

Elle has been an amazing example to me of someone who isn’t satisfied to just seek comfort in her life. Rather, she is constantly seeking improvement, even though it’s hard and it means forcing herself to do things that are out of her comfort zone.

But the truth is, we all need to do this, because as soon as we get comfortable, our competition will take our market share.

What can you do to make yourself a little uncomfortable?

Whatever it is, don’t get caught in the complacency of comfort. Remember: no one on their death bed ever said, “I wish I’d spent more time on the couch, dreaming of the possibilities.”

*Image courtesy Jeff Rowley

What’s one way you’re going to make yourself experience a bit of discomfort today?

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