“The best leaders get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” – Angie Grissom
I was driving the other day and suddenly realised I am parked in front of the office on a Saturday morning. My son asked me: “mama do you have work today?”
Think about the times in your life when you’ve driven the same route repeatedly; after a certain number of trips, you start tuning out most of it. Have you ever had a trip to the office where you barely remember what happened after you got in the car?
Routines may make you feel at ease and in control, but what a constant routine really does is dull your sensitivities.
Nowadays uncertainty has become our new normal. Peek behind the curtain of any business and you’ll find that leaders are grappling with all the same things they don’t have enough of — time, money, technology, talent, equipment, the list goes on. Whether the business is small, huge or somewhere in between, the struggle is real.
Few people actually enjoy the feeling of being uncomfortable. The challenge is to get past that initial feeling of wanting to return to the norm, so you can grow and benefit from that discomfort.
The problem with that continuous change is the lack of being comfortable for many people about the pace and type of change. One need only look to the recent American election to get confirmation of that. In our work places we are subject to the same elements. There are many who do not want nor are willing to change and that any change to the normal they experience is automatically bad. What is happening to adaptability and the desire to grow, learn, and improve?
In my own work, we are in the midst of numerous changes. As we continue towards our expected end point, I find myself managing not the process of the change but much of my colleagues’ emotions and fear around such change. This suggests strongly that we still have work to do to get people willing to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Is change hard? Yes. Is it necessary? Yes.
What if each time you felt uncomfortable challenged or pressured, you, instead, started to look at the situation as the launching pad for something big? What if you could embrace a challenge while you are going through it because you truly believe it is helping you get to a greater place?
Let’s be real. Usually, until we feel completely uncomfortable or frustrated, we don’t initiate a change. We hear amazing stories of people who hit rock bottom, lose it all and turn their life into a beautiful story that inspires others. It took a huge problem to catapult a transformation and that rock bottom was so uncomfortable it changed one person’s life and created a story that encouraged others to do the same. When things are just fine, we may not be doing our very best or being our happiest, but things are adequate so we continue on. When something breaks, it is frustrating and challenging, but the experience forces us to discover another way.
When you look back in the rear-view mirror, see that challenging time as a blessing. Capture the moment and embrace the joy of your growth during challenges.
Whether you are uncomfortable with the new normal of a love relationship in your life, a challenging new job or new responsibilities, conquering the largest speaking engagement that you have ever had, or taking a failing company and turning it around, embrace the discomfort that comes with it, keep going and create a greater opportunity on the other side.
In my next post, I will share with you few ways to get comfortable with being uncomfortable