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The Key Role of Fear and Discomfort

In multiple conversations recently with clients and friends, the topic of being uncomfortable has come up. It’s a really important conversation to have because when you’re an entrepreneur, you regularly find yourself in uncomfortable situations.

And it may not be exactly what you think.

Something I know about you is that you’re committed to making a difference in the world. You want more than to “make it through” life. You know that you have something to give and that you can help others. You wouldn’t be here otherwise.

But going after that can feel hard and scary. Sometimes it’s really scary and really uncomfortable.  

For instance, you know that there are things you should be doing for your business, and you just can’t make yourself do them. Or, you’re doing so much that you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel, running and running and getting nowhere fast.

All of this is a sign that you’re spinning in your own little space, most of which is located in your head. All the spinning and mind mess is distracting and draining. Even if your business is doing well, you know that there’s more you could be doing to express yourself and your gifts.

While what I’ve described doesn’t sound comfortable, it’s often the result of staying in your comfort zone.

Think for a minute about the experiences that have been the most transformational for you, things like signing up with an amazing coach, speaking or performing in front of a group, having a deeply vulnerable conversation with someone you love, saying no to a “sure thing” that you knew wasn’t right for you, etc.

One thing they have in common is that they started off with you being really uncomfortable, right? Maybe even terrified.

The thing that we’re the most scared of holds the biggest opportunity for transformation and expansion.

Just sit with that for a moment. That thing you’ve been avoiding, that makes your chest feel tight and stomach drop, that thing could open up new worlds for you.

Even if it doesn’t, the DOING of it will because you’ll experience yourself as more powerful than your fears.

We’ve all been raised with fear being used as a motivator and a guide for what to do and what not to do. We were taught to be afraid of hot stoves, of a parent’s disapproval or anger, of bad grades.

Plus, our brains evolved to look for what’s wrong and what we should be wary of. Our own brain uses fear to keep us “safe”.

But think about this, if safe means familiar and comfortable, then you’re staying “safe” by repeating the things that got you where you are right now

These things served you in the past, which is great, but continuing them now means that you’re simply recreating your past.

AND, being who you are, you don’t want to stay here. You want to keep growing and expanding. You want to continue becoming more.

If you only do what’s comfortable and known, you don’t grow and nothing will ever change.

Like the irritating sand that causes an oyster to make a pearl, our discomfort and even fear leads us to our greatest transformations.

You can’t create a thriving business or a fulfilling life by playing small, and you can’t play big while staying comfortable.

This is why playing big is not for the faint of heart or the unsupported. Regularly doing things that scare you takes encouragement, guidance and support. Often, we need to be called or even pushed out of our comfort zone.

So here’s a challenge for you: Do one thing TODAY that’s in your Discomfort Zone. Notice how you feel after you do it. Share your experience below for an extra celebration and energy boost.

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