It is impossible to make a change when we are comfortable. The fact is that growth only occurs in a state of discomfort.
So our aim should be to “get comfortable being uncomfortable” (or seek discomfort in our lives). Let me give you an example to explain what I mean…
Do you ever get uncomfortable when you have to walk to the fridge to get some food? Do you even notice that you walked there?
However, when a baby learns to walk it will try to stand up and fall over. It will take a step and fall over again. The baby doesn’t fall over once and give up. They won’t just say, “Oh well I guess I will just crawl for the rest of my life!”
The baby knows that it wants to walk! It has to walk! It doesn’t matter how many setbacks there are on the way to learning how to walk, they will get through them and they will learn!
At the start, it is uncomfortable for them. But once we master it, it becomes something we don’t even realise any more. We become comfortable at something that used to be uncomfortable.
I have written about this before on the first blog that Sarah and I started. I always find it weird how the same idea comes up a few times in one week. I’ve never known if this was because I am aware of it so I notice the same thing popping up in conversations or if there is some weird magic going on.
The three times it has popped up in my life over the past week:
Strike 1- I was on a course about coaching
This seems to be a popular term in business currently. I was in England last week and the keynote speaker told us a story:
There were a couple of moose hunters in Russia, Slav and Nikita.
They went out hunting and caught a huge moose just before Christmas. A small snow plane stopped near where they had killed their moose so they asked the pilot if he could give them a hand taking this monster back to the local village.
The pilot said, “no, no, no the plane won’t take off if I tie this huge creature to the bottom of it!”
Slav turns to Nikita and says, “that pilot last year did it without hesitation have you still got his number?”
At this point, the pilot thought that if they have done this before it must be possible so he agreed to give it a go.
The plane starts moving and takes off just before the big trees. It climbs higher and higher but it can’t avoid the huge tree behind the first big one… The plane comes hurtling back to the ground and everyone is thrown out of the plane.
Nikita calls out “Slav!! Where are you?”….
Slav replies, “about 100 yards further than where we got last year!!”
The point of the story is that we can improve or we can change. Did Slav and Nikita improve from last year? Yes! Would it have been better if they had changed their plan to get the moose back to the village? Definitely!
First, figure out what you need to do and then carry it out… But change is hard! Doing something differently to how we have always done it requires us to move out of our comfort zone.
This is the same with everything we do in life.
Strike 2- Youtube
I look on youtube and the first video that pops up is a TedX talk about “Why comfort will ruin your life”.
I thought the title was a bit extreme so naturally, I watched it!
It turns out Bill Eckstrom is talking about the exact same thing. To grow we must become uncomfortable. The best thing that happened in his life was getting fired in the financial crash of 2008. He was forced to become uncomfortable and it helped him do things he never imagined he could do (including give a Ted Talk).
He talks about the four growth rings:
Stagnation- This is the zone where we will not grow. We are just going around in circles and there is no place for creativity or control.
Order- This is a place where we repeat the same cycle but we are comfortable. It’s easy to do and we feel in control because it brings us regular rewards or some level of satisfaction. However, we do not grow and improve in this ring.
Complexity- This is the zone where true growth happens. This is the place where we can become better and learn. To get here though, we must become uncomfortable.
Chaos- In this ring, we are not learning, we are not growing, things are out of control and chaos unfolds around us.
There are 3 ways we can get into the complexity ring.
- It can be forced- We are thrown into the complexity ring by an external force.
- Someone can help you get there- This is often the role of parents, teachers and coaches to help people we want to succeed get there. It is too easy to stay in your comfort zone, so we often need someone to help us get there. This is why so many people have personal trainers or why sports teams have multiple coaches.
- Trigger it yourself- This is, of course, possible but it is far too easy to stay put. If you don’t want to pay for a coach or you would rather not have something forced upon you, you HAVE to trigger this yourself.
Take, for example, our health. If you never exercise and only eat Big Macs you WILL become ill. Your lifestyle will be forced to change either because you end up in a hospital or because your doctor or loved ones help you to change.
However, if you can be proactive and make sure you exercise and mainly eat healthy meals, there is a good chance you will remain in good health.
Strike 3- Instagram
I put a quote on Instagram saying
“action is the antidote to fear”
Someone replied telling me to get used to being uncomfortable. I thought that was just weird, but like I say maybe I was looking for it!
Make Time Online Summary
If we truly want to see growth within our lives then we have to start triggering discomfort ourselves. We need to find a way to move into the complexity ring by ourselves without having to rely on other people to put us there.
If we don’t do this with our financial life, sooner or later, we will be forced into this ring and there’s a good chance we’ll end up in chaos (just like with our health when eating Big Macs all the time!)
The more I learn, the more I realise the internet is sure to be the future of businesses. It’s never been easier to start an online business, yet there are still so few people, in comparison to the masses, that have realised this!
If you want to see how I’ve started my online business, then check out my #1 recommendation here.
Keep changing for the better,