I believe many of you have heard the phrase ‘get comfortable with being uncomfortable’. I’m not sure what comes to your mind when you think of that phrase, but for me, my initial thought involves envisioning the most uncomfortable situation you can find yourself in and then somehow making that situation okay. However, taking time to dwell on this idea I believe a more productive approach to have is to think of it as doing something you usually don’t do, or haven’t done, to achieve goals that you are yet to achieve.
It all begins with setting a goal for yourself. Using myself as an example, midway through January I added a goal of being able to run 1km under 6 minutes. Now to some of you, that may not seem like such a big goal, but being someone who has never actually run an entire kilometre without stopping it is fairly daunting. I much prefer lifting weights, doing sprints, or if I do have to run somewhat consistently I like it to involve team sports. This past month I realised that to be able to achieve my goal of running 1km under 6 minutes, I actually had to map a 1km course, get outside and run. I can assure you that the very first time I did it, it was extremely uncomfortable, and the subsequent occasions I have done it, it was still uncomfortable. It definitely hasn’t gotten easier, but it’s something that I will continue to challenge myself with. Recognising that it is a goal that I have set, and knowing the challenges I face, I have become somewhat comfortable in the knowledge that for the next few runs I do, they will be uncomfortable.
So for you, what is the goal that you want to achieve that makes you feel uncomfortable? It could be trying to bench press your body weight, lose 15kg, taking the opportunity to do public speaking or running an event to build your professional network. Right now, you may be able to bench press half your body weight, but the thought of doing more seems daunting. You may have lost 5kgs but are unsure how to get the next 10kg. You may already be attending networking events, but you take a back seat and don’t truly mingle and you turn down the opportunity to speak in front of the group.
The thing with getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is this, we can’t expect to grow, develop and improve if we stay in our comfort zones where we’ve had success. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging and appreciating your success. In fact I would say that if you diminish your success it makes it harder to achieve more. Ultimately it comes down to this, if you want more, you need to do more.
A great way to be able to do things that you haven’t done before, is with the support and guidance of someone who can help keep you accountable and provide encouragement for you on your journey.
So this month, I challenge you to find something that you truly want to improve at. If it makes you uncomfortable, don’t quit. Keep persevering with it and make sure you have at least one person in your corner who is helping you get to where you truly want to be.
Get in touch today to see how you can go about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.