This is part of my Thought Piece Series where I explore topics related to leadership and provide both answers and questions. My intention is to start meaningful conversations that help us move forward.
Recently in my work, with both strategic team facilitation and individual coaching, there has been a common theme.
I’ve been working with people on their vision, mission, and dreams… basically, what they are up to in their world.
Figuring out goals, figuring out how they want to get there, figuring out how to even start, so that they can take the first step.
When people get clarity on what they want and where they want to go, they get excited. Their creativity soars! Their minds expand with all the possibilities, with all the fun they can have along the way. Yes!
And then the crash.
“We are so far away”
“We would need to change X Y Z”
“I don’t know if I can do it”
“This is too ambitious”
The Discomfort enters.
Sometimes it creeps in like a teenager who was grounded. Sometimes it crashes over you like a waterfall and soaks you to the bone. But it always enters.
This is the uncomfortable truth about you, human that you are (myself included):
When you start thinking about the cool, amazing future, when you start speaking about the ambitious goals you have, Discomfort will always show up.
And the even more uncomfortable truth? More often than not, you’ll send it away by changing your Cool Amazing Future! … into luke warm tea, that’s not a danger to anyone, especially not to your nice safe life.
And we all do it. It’s human nature. We are hard-wired to pay attention to danger and to instinctively protect ourselves.
(want to know more about it? read Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine. Or join me on my webinar on this topic “how to tame your monkey mind” that I’m hosting together with Manuela Damant.)
The challenge for us all is to actually let the Discomfort stay. and by god, you should!
Pull up a comfy chair, get out your best china, put on a spread of your most delicious food: settle Discomfort in like you’re about to binge watch your way through everything on Netflix.
Being uncomfortable isn’t always bad
Because this is what you really need to know: when you feel Discomfort, it’s a good thing.
It means that you are actually doing (or about to do) something that really matters.
The Discomfort means:
- it’s going teach you amazing things by taking you outside your comfort zone
- you’re about to have an adventure – you get to decide if it’s terrifying or exhilarating
- you are going to be breaking out of the normal, “business as usual”. Some people will think you are crazy
- that there is a good chance that this will be epic
- that you don’t know how to do it, yet
- what you are about to do is vitally important to you. No matter how it turns out, you’ll be glad you did it
This bears repeating: No matter how it turns out, you’ll be glad you did it.
And, it will turn out well. You might not end up where you thought you would, but you’ll definitely end up happier, satisfied, with a big grin on your face about the amazing ride you went on, and about the amazing things you accomplished on the way.
Let the discomfort stay. You’ll be glad you did.
Info about the references I made:
How to tame your monkey mind webinar is on Friday 3rd July, 9:00 CET
Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine: check out my book review here.