It’s not exactly the stuff of dreams, is it?
Yet, believe it or not, these are the things that make major waves in your life.
Comfort is familiar, it feels safe. It’s like pulling on your favorite pair of jeans. It sounds good, but there’s something else that comfort can be – deadening. It blunts your ambition and stifles your creativity.
Perhaps most importantly, it stalls your personal momentum. Conversely, discomfort can do the opposite for you.
You might make more mistakes than you do successes. But, as you embark on such a journey, you will notice small changes about yourself. First of all, embracing discomfort forces you to think differently. You act with courage, you are convinced that constraint would hold you back and limit you. Yet, it frees you from your paralysis and allows you to embrace creativity.
Likewise, failure seems like it’s something that will crush your self-esteem. That could be true if you allow it to. However, failure will also provide you with valuable insights, into both the situation you are in and into yourself as well. When you force yourself through periods of discomfort, you will unlock your true potential.
This may surprise you, but your body isn’t just built to cope with difficulties. It thrives on it. With that in mind, here are a few ways to create brief discomfort to leverage to your benefit.
The anxiety to failure is real and it’s something that influences many of us. It’s the type of anxiety that stops us in its tracks and holds us back from chasing our passion and purpose. We would rather not try something because if we don’t try it, then we can’t fail. You can’t succeed either. There is discomfort in failure and when you possess this fear, you are going to miss out on major opportunities.
Look, when you go bold or try something risky or radical, there’s very little information. You have to dive in headfirst and with that, you accept that there’s a high risk of failure. When you experience failure, you just have to ask yourself why? Until you know exactly where it went wrong. Use that to propel yourself forward.
Your palms are sweaty, your heart is beating rapidly and your stomach is flip-flopping like a fish out of water. All of these are by-products of fear. You experience those same things when you’re excited.
Yet, the moment you recognize it as fear, you run the risk of being frozen in place. If you tell yourself that you’re excited instead, then you will feel challenged by the situation. Those same physical reactions can spur you on or they can paralyze you. So,rewire fear.
Do you have a personal project? A creative one? It could be something you thought of 10 years ago but haven’t gotten around to yet. Perhaps, it’s a book you started writing, you finished 75% of it, but you can’t bring yourself to write the rest. It’s time to slap a constraint on it.
Yes, you are going to use the discomfort of constraint to propel yourself forward. You now have just two weeks to finish that book or one week to paint your next watercolor. Put yourself under some pressure to perform and watch yourself flourish.
It isn’t easy to swallow home truths. We spend our entire life building an idea of who we are or who we think we are. When you seek feedback, what you are seeking is truth. It isn’t easy to hear. However, it’s the only way to accelerate growth. So, set a specific time for yourself each month to gain feedback from the people closest to you. You should have a clear idea of what you’d like to know.
You want to make it as easy as possible for people to share their truth with you. So, asking them what you’re like when you’re stressed out is far too vague. Change the phrasing! ‘I’m concerned that I may snap at people when I’m under stress, what do you think?’
Actively listen when others are offering you feedback. It will be uncomfortable, but don’t let that put you off. Setting yourself up for discomfort once a month is the least you can do for yourself.
It sounds too much, but there isn’t a single experience in life that is just discomfort. As with everything in life, there’s nuance. So, asking for feedback is uncomfortable. It’s not nice to sit and listen to someone criticizing you, even if you asked for it. The discomfort isn’t the only aspect of it. From your discomfort, comes an opportunity for growth and the insights from this feedback can propel you forward.