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Embrace discomfort and find success

An illustration of a person wanting to climb to the top of a mountain illustrates how success can be uncomfortable

Why seek discomfort?

I can’t imagine where our world would be if Einstein had settled into his comforts.

Beauty comes from discomfort

Without discomfort, we wouldn’t have pearls. It’s just that simple.

How to embrace discomfort

How can you get through that discomfort to build your success? Here are a few suggestions for embracing that uncomfortable feeling and setting your sights on the end goal.

  1. Focus on what you can learn. The research from Cornell and the University of Chicago tested how its participants thought about how they were learning. When told that discomfort would lead to skill development, participants focused on the outcome, not the process. The result of the entire experiment found that those who were willing to get uncomfortable felt they met their set objectives. Treat yourself with that same grace.
  2. Celebrate small wins. If you’re pushing yourself and making yourself uncomfortable, take the time to celebrate how well you’re doing. Even if your small win is telling you, “I’m pushing myself out of my comfort level,” that will build your mental stamina and help you see the positive.
  3. Break your own mold. Discomfort creates growth. If you’re forcing yourself to change and adapt, that means you’re looking for something more. Challenge yourself to see things differently and to not settle into what’s worked in the past. Look for new perspectives, consider acquiring new skills, and push your own boundaries. It will help you get there.
  4. Don’t beat yourself up. Make mistakes, then examine them. What went wrong? What could you do differently next time? What can you learn from them? Understand that mistakes are part of the learning process, so remind yourself of that regularly.
  5. When you’ve achieved success, applaud yourself for what you’ve done. Don’t be afraid to share how you got there with your cohorts. You deserve to be celebrated for getting out of your comfort zone. And you’ll help others see the benefit of pushing past that discomfort.

Shifting into a space of discomfort isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. The success of your career, your business, and even you as an individual is worth getting uncomfortable. I promise.

Jim Allen is a business leader and entrepreneur who has built one of the top-producing real estate groups in the Triangle. He is President of The Jim Allen Group, which is consistently named one of the top real estate teams in North Carolina and even North America.

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