Discomfort is often something we avoid. We work hard to eliminate uncomfortable situations from our lives so we can live in peace. This seems like a sound strategy in the short-term, but over the long haul this can be dangerous to our overall success and fulfillment.
Discomfort is associated with growth. If you aren’t experiencing some discomfort on your journey to success you are not moving forward. You’re stagnated. In short, your dreams are dead.
I had a nice job. I was paid well. I put money aside for savings. I wasted money on gadgets and toys. I was well respected within my organization.
And I hated it.
Why? Because I was comfortable and bored. Yet, I remained at the same organization in the same role for a couple years when I should’ve left much earlier. The temptation of comfort was too strong.
I had a cushy job, I’d be crazy to rock the boat or go elsewhere right? Changing things up would ruin this nice situation I had created for myself. I started feeling ungrateful. A lot of people would love to be in my position and here I was pouting because I wasn’t fulfilled, whatever that meant.
Overcome with guilt I started living a lie. I told myself there was something wrong with me. I pretended I didn’t have higher aspirations. I wouldn’t admit to myself that despite a good run, I’d simply outgrew an organization that had treated me well over the years. I tried to drown away these discomforting thoughts with craft beers.
Life sucked. I woke up angry. I sat at work angry. I came home angry. I was making life uncomfortable for my family. Something needed to change.
I decided to work for another organization. One that was growing. One that would offer me more opportunities. I took the plunge and applied for a position. The weeks leading up to my formal acceptance of a position were soul crushingly hard and uncomfortable, but I got through it.
While I was excited about my new position I also felt the pangs of regret.
I was leaving a situation with certainty. I know if I had remained at my old job, I could ride into the sunset in a really good spot while putting forth little effort. I had mastered my role and position there.
In my new job. I had to start all over and re-establish myself. I had to relearn a lot of things. I went from a master to a novice. That was quite a blow to my ego. Suddenly, there was a lot of uncertainty in my life.
This drop from expert to the bleary eyed new guy impacted my confidence. I found myself being reluctant to dive into things. I limited myself and held back. I was suddenly uncomfortable and hesitant.
In order to succeed I had to embrace the discomfort.
Six months later and I’m really enjoying my knew job. I’m earning respect, the trust of my colleagues and enjoying some success. My confidence came back in spades. This new positive energy has even spilled into my personal life.
How did this happen? How did I move from regret to fulfillment? And how can you transition from comfort to discomfort so you can grow and experience a better life? I followed the steps outlined below and I’m sure they’ll work for you.
- Seek Opportunities
- Allow Yourself to Fail
- Enjoy The Adventure
As you go through this uncomfortable transition throw yourself out there. You may find a comfortable sanctuary in the shadows but should a new day be one of overcast skies? Heck no! Get out there in the light. Build new relationships and learn. These are two things that will only occur if you get involved in things.
You got this new opportunity to grow, it’s counter productive to shrink away.
Allow Yourself To Fail…
As I transitioned into my new job I lacked confidence and was extremely hesitant to move forward on things. I became a hindrance to my own success. Things were not going well and my confidence sunk.
I needed to remove my ego. I was the superstar at my previous job, here I started off barely competent. I was facing a pool of uncertainty and I would be stuck until I dived in and attempted to swim.
I ripped off emails to the wrong people. I misunderstood workflows. I looked like a bumbling idiot in all honesty. But I learned so much. I was corrected. I was put in contact with the appropriate person. I made mistakes and learned from them. I asked questions and got answers.
Little by little my confidence increased along with my knowledge.
Enjoy The Adventure…
Have fun. We lose sight of this far too often. Everything brings the end of the world in our office spaces.
If you’re stumped, look at it as a challenge you will overcome and learn from. If you realize you are misinformed don’t beat yourself up, realize you’ve uncovered a another piece of the treasure map.
Monday may suck, but by Friday you’ll be riding high. You can’t solve every problem in a single day.
Stumbling is still progress. Don”t give up on the path before you find your stride. Things will get better as long as you remain positive.