Why does growth, or any kind of change for that matter, have to be associated with discomfort? The fact of the matter is that the discomfort I’m talking about is often what keeps people from changing because it almost immediately becomes something that we want to avoid. Discomfort = bad, scary, unwanted,.. (all of the above). Yet, true high performers live in this space; quite literally looking for ways to make themselves feel uncomfortable. This is what sets apart the high achiever from the high performer. Their perspective on discomfort, change, and growth makes all the difference.
This is where the saying, “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” comes from. If we want to grow and develop as human beings, entrepreneurs, athletes, etc. we have to accept discomfort and disruption in our lives. We have to be okay with the fact that we are going to feel uncomfortable and uncertain at times. What makes this feeling easier is developing a healthy understanding of what it truly means.
The most basic part of our brains tells us that change–feeling uncomfortable or unsure of ourselves in any situation could have grave consequences. It’s as simple as this to our caveman brain: change = uncertainty = death. Sounds a little dramatic, right? But this is how our brain functions at its most primal level, it’s only job being to keep us safe and alive. But, given that we no longer live as primal beings this is an instinct that we have to challenge. No longer primarily concerned with staying safe and alive, finding food, etc. but focused on becoming better, more efficient, happier, etc.
Our needs have changed, so our perspective must do the same. The discomfort associated with change is a sign of growth. Therefore, discomfort is often a positive thing. Of course, there are times that we have to acknowledge if our level of discomfort is too high. For example, if we try to grow in an area of our lives but we do not have the necessary skills or confidence to do so, the risk vs reward ratio falls. In this case, the signal is not to quit and resign ourselves but to invest some time and energy in building those necessary skills.
The beginning of the New Year is a great time to think about what changes we want to make, where we want to grow and develop. Don’t let the idea of potential discomfort keep you from going after that growth.
– Coach Lauren