“In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying so get in motion and grow.”― Lou Holtz
Learning how to be comfortable while being uncomfortable is something that most of us have to learn how to do. Most of us can’t even tolerate being uncomfortable for short amounts of time. We distract ourselves from our discomfort by using emotional high drama, eating, drinking, Facebooking and all kinds of addictions, or abusive behaviour.
Some people simply withdraw. As a coach, I deal with my discomfort usually by writing about it. When I write about something, the discomfort often leaves me completely, like a passing storm.
And it’s important to remember that every big experience forward is an “Expansion” in our lives. Expansions usually come with an equally big “Contraction”. Pleasure and Pain are wedded to together; they help us experience each aspect of our lives fully. So it makes sense that if you are in a journey of self-discovery, you will be riding a lot of emotional waves.
Here are 6 ways I do to manage being comfortable out of my comfort zone , which helps me stretch bigger, farther and faster. Hopefully it will be beneficial to you too.
- Wake up early to train, work, etc.
No matter what you are waking up early to do, it is difficult to get out of a comfortable bed to do anything. Doing something that will also cause discomfort to your body like military PT, running, sports team practice, finishing homework and studying, or to do a job you do not like. All of these are examples of a way to build mental toughness each day of your life. You can start this early in high school and be well-prepared for whatever post-high school route you take. But you are never too old to get moving when you just don’t feel like it.
- Reward yourself.
If you are going to put yourself through a bit of hell you are certainly entitled to a bit of heaven as well. Get yourself something nice. Indulge with that once-a-year restaurant. You are taking risks and working hard. Show yourself you appreciate you for making this happen.
- Try Something New
Going to new places, meeting new people, doing new things usually brings a measure of discomfort. Pushing through the initial sticky point of thinking, “maybe another day,” will take you another step further and open your world to new options, opportunities, and possibly a new path in life. Usually a new chapter in your life means the end of a previous chapter. Be bold and turn the page. Every page you turn builds another day of mental toughness that you did not have yesterday. The Only Easy Day was Yesterday right?
- Moving toward a Goal
Believe it or not, just moving will help you build mental toughness. It is easy to stay still, get comfortable doing nothing, and accomplish very little. It takes guts to start moving and producing a day that takes you one step closer to your goal. It does not matter what that goal is. It can be to get bigger, faster, stronger, smarter, or closer to finishing a project, writing a book, or preparing for a job interview. Moving toward a goal helps you get tougher every day. Don’t be the person that lets the grass grow under your feet. Keep moving – don’t stay idle.
- Share the journey
Some challenges are yours and yours alone. But that doesn’t mean you have to feel lonely in the process. Include your closest friends or a great coach in the process so they can support you and be entertained by your struggles and eventual success. If you can tempt another friend to join you on the journey, it’s even better.
- Celebrate small wins
Set recognisable milestones to the process and get excited every time you reach one. Be proud and pleased with each progressive step you achieve. Then party big time when you get to the finish line.
Lastly, because just like there would be no light without darkness; there is no growth without pain.
Challenge yourself today to do ONE thing you’ve been resisting because you think it’s too uncomfortable.
Is it a phone call?
Is it a conversation?
Is it time to face the truth about something you’ve been avoiding?
What is it? Identify it. Take action on it.