Your Discomfort Zone

We are all amnesiacs.

To our peril, we constantly forget some of our own best lessons.

Discomfort Equals Progress

I understand the appeal of stories of how guys like Mark Zuckerberg and Sir Charles Branson got out of their comfort zone and found amazing success. We enjoy reading about the success stories of these ultra-successful people but forget our own success stories, likely because they do not measure up to the Zuckerburgs and Bransons of the world.

 

What is helpful is to understand and remember how nearly all our success happened when we got out of our comfort zone.

 

Learning to walk as a toddler was probably not comfortable and going to our first day of school (kindergarten, high school, college, career college) was uncomfortable.  Going into that first job interview was not fun.  And, our first date was nerve-wracking.

 

And in looking back on my business career, I can confidently agree that progress only continues when we are in a discomfort zone.  Making the first presentation, negotiating the first line of credit, and listing our first property all were uncomfortable situations.

 

What happens is once we achieve some level of success, we fall into a comfort zone.  We no longer push our selves to do something challenging and uncomfortable.  Up to this point, everything was a discomfort; our typical state was discomfort.

 

And when our career goes into a state of comfort, everything stops.  There is no more progress.  No more promotions and life becomes routine and dull.  We need to have discomfort in some form or fashion to continue to move forward.

Stay in Your Discomfort

Here are some ideas to continue being dis-comfortable.

  1. Embrace trying new ideas. See this as a motivator and a challenge.  Picture doing something new as a reminder of progressing and that moving forward is good.
  2. Accept that you will have some level of discomfort. Develop methods to cope with discomfort such as breathing exercises, a workout routine and an accountability group to talk to.
  3. Connect with other business leaders to challenge each other and share new ideas that potentially can take your business forward.

The Bible

Every character in the Bible is called to a life of discomfort.  Jesus challenged the comfortable of His day to be uncomfortable and those in discomfort to trust in Him.  Nothing was status quo with Jesus.  He challenged the Pharisees, the Romans, and the Gentiles.  He challenged those who believed in Him to lead a different kind of life than the typical first century Jew.

 

Christians are called to carry a cross.  There is work to be done on this earth, and we cannot get it done by living a comfortable life.  Isaiah 43:19 says.

Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.

The way in the wilderness and the rivers in the desert that God is making are done by making us uncomfortable and challenging us to do things we have not done before.

 

So, find your discomfort zone and stay there.