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Get comfortable being uncomfortable

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.

  1. It can be forced- We are thrown into the complexity ring by an external force.
  2. 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.
  3. 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,

Mike

 

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Mike

I have been living a life following “the script”. I grew up in England, went to school, university and then got a job as a teacher. I bought a house and got married (obviously the best decision of my life as my wife, Sarah, is possibly the greatest human being on the planet!) But I’ve always felt like there is more to life than just waking up and going to work for someone else. I have been blogging since mid-2017. I am now on a journey to put the pieces of the puzzle for making money online. I would love to help as many people as possible that are looking to make money online to free up their time.

16 Comments

    • Hi Alaina,

      Thanks so much!! I really appreciate your time in reading this post.

      Thanks for commenting,

      Mike

  1. This is the kind of blog I wanted to read as it is not only giving you knowledge but it also gives you an idea on what to do about it, a lot of people needs to read this and I’m lucky that I did. Thank you

  2. Completely agree with everything in this article! As with everything in life worth having, it requires a little bit of effort and perseverance, and a whole lot of discomfort!

    This has given me the motivation to continue putting in the time it takes to get further. Thanks!

    • Hi Richard,

      Yes, that is so true about life! Everything worthwhile does take effort and perseverance and this usually leads to discomfort at some point.

      I’m glad it helped, keep up the good work!

      Mike

  3. Your post is so right on! It is very true — comfort does not usually lead to growth. I have found this out recently while trying to build my own website. You can’t do it if you stay in your comfort zone! Perhaps the message is that we should be thankful for our challenges, as they will lead to growth. Nice job–keep up the good work! And, by the way, loved the moose story.

    • Hi Fran,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the moose story, I thought it was great too!!

      It’s one of the most important things I have learnt, is that I need to keep stepping out of my comfort zone. A trick I used for a few months to help me remember this was to have a cold shower every morning (and I mean COLD!!!)

      It also has some physiological benefits but the main reason was to help me remember to step out of my comfort zone that day. (It’s amazing how good you feel afterwards, I would highly recommend trying it for a period of time). I now do this every now and then to remember

      Thanks for your comment, I really appreciate it

      Mike

  4. my God, I love your post. You blended self-help and making money online so well. I have been thinking of doing materials like these but I have not figured out the right approach. YES, you are very right about taking the uncomfortable path. I keep on saying over and over, nothing changes unless we try something different. I just wish people will open their eyes that our greatest enemy if ourselves. We keep saying it won’t work but never really tried putting in the effort to make a thing work in the first place. Keep posting great materials buddy!

    • Hi Joseph,

      Thank you for your comments. It is such a shame to see people struggling through life but unwilling to change. It’s impossible like you say to make our lives better if we are not willing to try something new.

      It’s the beauty of an online business. We have NOTHING to lose by trying.

      Yes, it may take up some time, but as far as I’m concerned it’s time well spent learning and engaging with like-minded people. It may cost some money but nowhere near most other businesses. So why not try writing or creating content about something we are interested in and see where it leads.

      Thanks again!

      Mike

  5. I could not agree with you more on comfort. You do not grow if you are comfortable. You need that discomfort to expand and push past your boundaries. It not good for anyone. As Tony Robbins would say, “if you’re not growing, you’re dying.” I just really enjoy that quote. Everyone must keep pushing forward, no matter their past.

    I do have a question though. What is one small uncomfortable action that someone reading this can do everyday to push them beyond their boundaries? Growth can start small. I look forward to reading your response.

    Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

  6. One of my favorite quotes comes from Tony Robbins. “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” That really puts life in perspective. Growth only happens in your discomfort zone though. No one ever became great by sitting at home on their butt all day. They had to get moving.

    I do have a question though. Growth can start small. What is one action that people can take right now to grow? It does not have to be big, but it does have to get the ball rolling.

    Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

    • OH, Alex, you may regret asking that one!!…

      Sarah (my wife) and I started a property business called Kaizen BT. If you’ve never heard of the kaizen principle I would highly recommend looking into it a bit because I personally believe this is the most important thing for everyone to do in their life.

      Simply put the kaizen principle is all about taking small and regular steps towards improving. The word broken down (It’s Japanese) simply means “change good” or in English “to make a change for the better”.

      I strongly believe in taking small actions each day that add up into big ones in the future and I could literally list loads of things here, however, I am very aware that I am rambling so here is my TOP recommendation that people can take right now. If we were to do this one thing I guarantee this time next year our thinking would have changed and we would start to see some big (good) changes happening in our lives. The one thing is:

      Read 10 pages of a self-development (or specific book to a niche) every day.

      This would equate to around 10 books that each have the power to change your life!

      The reason I KNOW this would work is that it’s what I started doing in 2013. I had NEVER read a self-development book before and then I read Rich Dad Poor Dad. Since then I have been taking in as much as possible.

      Before this book, I never would have thought I would be living in an amazing apartment with a pool, gym, spa facilities a beach and a sea view that costs around $3,000 per month (I don’t pay for this btw!) in a country that has summer year round. I wouldn’t have dreamed I would have started a property business and I certainly wouldn’t have thought I would be writing blogs and creating an online business.

      Since learning about the Kaizen principle I can see the big changes happening but ONLY when looking back far enough. Each day I know I am going to learn something new and that is why I know that doing an online business can not fail. As long as I stay consistent and continue to learn and don’t give up, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to fail.

      I really apologise for the length of this, but thank you so much for asking! I also love that Tony Robbins quote!!!

      Mike

  7. This is an important post, especially for my generation (Generation Y) or “Millenials.” I know this has been said a million times, but we live in an age of instant gratification. Consumerism is our culture. This is not just a Western or American thing. It’s become a part of South Africa’s culture, too.

    This can be seen by the increase in the amount of overweight people (I’m one of them), the increase in spending on fast food and the low savings rate.

    Comfort is is really ruining our lives.

    We need to do better. For our health, our communities and our future.

    • Some great thoughts here thanks so much for sharing!!

      You are so right about the instant gratification. It’s very hard for kids to understand the importance of delayed gratification now because everything from social media to plastic surgery to the way we receive our news is so instant!

      It’s not all a bad thing don’t get me wrong but it is becoming hard for people growing up to understand why we need to work hard or consistently because the message that is portrayed by certain “celebrities” is that it was easy for them and it will just happen to you if your “lucky” or “gifted”. This closed-minded thinking is only going to make things worse for the future generations.

      If parents and teachers can find ways to make delayed gratification seem more important than instant success, then these children will have a huge advantage in life.

      Thanks so much for sharing

      Mike

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