We have all heard the old adage that in order to grow we must leave our comfort zone. We have also been told that we should always be growing, always be learning, always be getting better. Well if we’re all actually doing that, it means we should always be uncomfortable.
Now of course I am using the word “always” liberally here, but you get the point. Whenever we as people are pushing ourselves to the next level, physically or mentally, it gets uncomfortable. When you’re lifting weights, your one rep max is tough to find and even tougher to surpass. Promotions at work usually come after a string of assignments have been successfully completed, and in school you don’t graduate until you take a set of test, which are usually a bit difficult to the average person.
The shared metric in all of these things is that it pushes you outside of your comfort zone. It’s easy to spot in these instances as each one, the max rep, the promotion, or the graduation, are all seemingly one oft achievements that came after a BIG identifiable event. But if all of those uncomfortable events (the heavy rep, the hard task, or the difficult test) are what makes you successful, why aren’t you experiencing it daily?
Stepping outside of your comfort zone does help you grow, but how often do we do it? The only reason why you shouldn’t be outside of that comfort zone on a daily basis is if you’ve already made it. You’re done.
Other than that, you have places you have to go, you have things you have to achieve, and you have people who depend on you for help, so there isn’t any time to waste. By choosing not to grow and get better daily, we waste our time. An easy way to know if you’re on the right track to success is to measure how tough the day went for you.
Was it a breeze? Relaxing? Or were you in a dogfight for your life? Were you stressed, did you find time to breathe and relax, or were you fighting to survive every minute of the day?
We’re working to become great at whatever it is we do, and in spite of what society has told you we are not all winners and special snowflakes. No. It’s not an easy road to achieve greatness, in fact it will lead you down an arduous path of great strife that you will not want to go on, even less alone. Knowing this is helpful though. Not in an attempt to shun you away from greatness, but so you can understand to be great you will have to step outside of that comfort zone and fight, daily. If you aren’t uncomfortable, if you don’t feel like you are fighting for your life on a daily basis, are you getting better?
Most know, but last year I started a business in cryptocurrency, you know Bitcoin and the like. However, since it hasn’t been readily adopted in the U.S. [by big banks and government] and it is a new industry, there are fires to put out and fights for survival on a DAILY basis.
Between competitors, government regulations, big banks intimidating 3rd party processors, scammers, market speed, etc. everyday literally becomes a fight for survival. Survival of the business and survival of our team as people rely on the income. And everyday I wake up, I already know I am in for it, but I don’t quit—in fact I respect the process more.
You see I know I’m on to something when I face fierce resistance, or else the resistance wouldn’t be there. I can literally write down a list of things I learn everyday, but it’s only because I am allowing myself to learn. I’m pushing past that comfort zone and I’m diving into the fray headfirst scrapping my way back out of it a better businessman each time. There is no other way to get better, there isn’t another way to achieve greatness, you have to roll your sleeves up and go get dirty everyday. Will it be a bit scary? At first, yes. But if you make this your daily habit, if you are bringing passion and the needed solutions for problems in your life to thought consciously, you’ll start to see yourself move different. More confident like.
Write the following down somewhere you can see daily, “did you leave it all on the field?” It’s an old line I’ve lived by since high school football, that I’ve used in college, the military, and my business endeavors. Simple, but powerful. Did you leave all you had to give, to make yourself successful, out there in the world today? You’re the only person who needs to see it, you’re the only person who needs to answer it, but if you’re not almost crying saying yes, crying because of the exhaustion and difficulty it takes to continuously grow and the worry that comes along with it, when you first begin really pushing yourself, you might not be leaving everything you have in you to excel out there.
If that’s the case, it’s time to reevaluate what you’re doing. Enjoy the suck and remember, you only eat what you kill. Happy Monday!