In the pursuit of happiness many of us make the mistake of actually pursuing comfort. We hate it when things take more effort than it should and we approach what we want out of life as if there should be a linear path.
What would happen if we not only embraced discomfort, but also chased it and thrived off of it? Lewis Howes makes it a goal to do something new in his business every year that takes him out of his comfort zone. This keeps him from being complacent, and it keeps him in a state of constant growth.
The saying that “growth begins at the end of your comfort zone” is not just some cliché. There is actually a lot of truth in that statement. Serious athletes know this all too well. The real workout doesn’t begin until the exercise becomes difficult to complete. It’s when we have to dig deep and push through that we become a better version of ourselves.
Years ago when I first became a manager in the auto manufacturing industry I really struggled. I couldn’t stay on top of my priorities and the demand from our high profile customer was tough for me to navigate. For better or worse, I felt like I was on an island and in a “sink or swim” environment.
That first year taught me what it meant to persevere and provided many lessons on how to quickly and creatively solve problems. It also taught me how to negotiate with my customer while still providing excellent customer service. It taught me how to be a leader and not let the stress completely overwhelm me.
Had I run away from the discomfort (which I thought about many times) I am certain that I would not be the person I am today and likely would not have developed as a leader.
Embrace the discomfort. Doing so may just set you up for something amazing. “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
Originally published at medium.com