Be uncomfortable – moving to a new city, cold calling a client, meeting new people, doing a new presentation or venturing into new sectors. There is a fine line to being uncomfortable. If you are over challenged, stress and anxiety cause you to shut down. If you are under-challenged, boredom takes over. You must find the line between the two for a happy place of discomfort.
This sweet spot varies for each individual, but consistency and volume are important. Being uncomfortable for short bursts is not as effective as being consistently uncomfortable. Focus on improving every day steadily, not intensively.
Now, let’s figure out how to become better at being uncomfortable.
Start, and don’t quit
A black belt is a white belt that did not quit. This adage is thrown around on social media and a very basic way of breaking down the journey to a black belt in any martial art. The folktale of why black was chosen as the color of the highest rank is because the white belt became black from dirt and use.
Also, the hardest belt to put on is the white belt meaning starting the process is the most difficult. How many tasks carry over day-to-day from your to-do list? Rather than taking action and crossing them off, they continue to be pushed to the back burner.
Tomorrow you will call the vendor. Tomorrow you will reach out about a new opportunity. Tomorrow you will talk to your boss about a raise. Next thing you know, it has been a year since you had a raise. That vendor you are frustrated with continues to work with you. Your business stays the same size because that email never gets sent.
Once you start, become the white belt that never stopped. Every day you are making incremental progress. One day, you will look back and not recognize the person you are today. Compounding interest is not only for a savings account. Investing in yourself using compounding interest produces exponential results.
Embrace the grind
Daniel Cormier, the light heavyweight and heavyweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), shares his motto ‘Embrace the Grind.’ Instead of sulking and dragging your feet to never put in the work, realize the daunting task in front of you is going to be difficult and embrace its ability to kick your butt.
Marcus Aurelius says, “When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly.” Before his two feet hit the ground, he was already embracing the grind of people and their projections. This negative approach is not for everyone. Some never want to struggle and avoid work like the plague. Others do just enough to get by. While some embrace the grind.
Christopher Cook, PMP, MSPM, has an extensive career in the construction industry. Throughout his career, he has been awarded over 40 construction projects that have yielded a 10% profit for each organization. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Technology Management with an emphasis on Building Construction Management and Master’s of Science in Project Management. To find out more about him visit EntrePMeur. Christopher writes about strategy and cost management.