I don’t know who told me this originally… but the advice that changed my life was “use discomfort as a compass”
I’m not sure if this is true for you too, but for me, nearly everything that gives me self worth / makes me feel successful is the result of consistently doing things that are uncomfortable.
In an extremely cruel twist of fate my brain seems to be allergic to the uncomfortable things. More often than not the default pathway is to avoid them and take the easy option, even though I know they will take me closer to me goals.
How I turned the corner
This all changed when I adopted that simple piece of advice and started using “discomfort as my compass”
My hypothesis: If I got better at doing the small uncomfortable things, over time this skill will improve (just like a muscle) and I would be able to use it take action on the big scary uncomfortable things.
It’s important to note, I didn’t win all the time, sometimes I slipped up, but it didn’t matter, the goal was consistency not perfection.
This isn’t a typical habit changing strategy where you need to be perfect for 66.7 days or whatever it is, it’s a philosophy. The best part, if I ever when I fell off the rails, I knew I was only small decision away from being back on track.
It started with small things like:
- Not hitting the snooze button in the morning
- Taking the stairs, instead of the elevator
- Reading 5 extra pages in my book
- Going a couple of hours without food
- Saying hi first
- Making 1 extra sales call at work
- Going to bed an hour earlier
- Doing 1 more rep in the gym
- Going periods without checking my phone / email
Every time I chose discomfort over the easy option (regardless of how small the decision was), I got a tiny bit better and I overtook the old version of myself.
The result? It changed my life, here are a couple of things I have achieved since adopting this philosophy:
- Launched my own software company
- Sailed across the Atlantic
- Did multiple kickboxing camps in Thailand
- Met lots of awesome new people (friends / business contacts)
- Got really good at public speaking
- Swam in the Amazon (I was so scared of piranhas!!)
- Started a podcast
- Got in the best shape of my life
- Meditated 500 days in a row
- I get up at 5am every day without fail
- Hiked the Inca Trail & Mt Toubkal
- Sold all of my stuff and moved to Mexico (& then to Amsterdam)
^ This is the shoebox I sailed across the Atlantic in!
The amazing thing is, once you improve this skill, regardless of where you have your first wins, you can take it and apply it to ANY part of your life. I honestly believe this philosophy alone has changed my life.
Give it a try for a week… I think you’ll be surprised how much it can change your life too.
Regan hosts a regular podcast series called Stumbling – exploring “strategies for overcoming self-doubt, getting unstuck, questioning the stories we tell ourselves, taking the first steps to achieving your goals and living an awesome life.”
Are you an Entrepreneur looking for some support & mentoring?
Take your business to the Next Level with our Proven Success Formula and Mentoring Support.
Gain Clarity, Direction, Increase your Income, Improve your Systems, Increase your ‘Free’ time and Keep Energised in your Business.