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June 1, 2016

“Why am I not growing?”

Wrong question.

If you’ve asked yourself such or wondered how you can grow, proceed to the following inquiry:

“When was the last time I was uncomfortable?”

Not the no-eye-contact-cross-the-street type uncomfortable.

You know what I mean. That time you were asked to give a make-or-break speech to a large crowd with under 24 hours of preparation.

The time you were dropped in the middle of a foreign country with only a child’s grasp of the language.

Or how about the instance where you simply kept to your circle at a social because you didn’t want to meet anyone else?

You are uncomfortable with discomfort, which is stunting your growth. Because the very growth you seek occurs within the confines of discomfort.

You want to improve your judo? Walk up to the black belts in your class and get thrown around. Want to learn Italian? Put away the rudimentary language program and start speaking to a native.

“But what good comes from such discomfort? Won’t it kick you out of flow and into anxiety?”

Fair question. If I may:

On Flow: If flow (the optimal zone) sits between boredom and anxiety, better to adjust from the latter. Why? For one, our minds and bodies are far more capable than we can sometimes imagine. We’ve all been told to do a task which we swore we couldn’t undertake, only to find our way through it with a new-found confidence.

Now if the task proves to be beyond your reach, you now know your happy median from which you can perform. Incremental discomfort is still discomfort, and you will still grow. Not a great idea to go from benching the barbell directly to two 45-pound plates, but adding 5 pounds to that barbell every day will put you where you never could’ve imagined (regardless, use a spotter).

However you fancy, the point remains the same: Just leave your current comfort zone.






From → Practical Steps

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