Many of us prefer the easy road. We possess a natural inclination to stick with the status quo, to resist the unknown, to stay comfortable. It’s not only tied to our ancestral drive to survive, but also to our unique, competitive environment and the potential fear associated with failure when competing. What happens if we aren’t successful? This may cause us to be afraid of trying something new. We may want to avoid change. We might not effectively review our performance and identify adjustments that need to be made to increase our performance potential. This prevents us from pushing ourselves to the next level, whatever that level may be. In today’s disruptive and accelerating world, it helps to change your relationship with change and become comfortable being uncomfortable. We may tell ourselves that we are content with where we are, but are we really? And if so, at what cost? We know that there is no cap on human potential, only the cap that is self-imposed. Life is filled with pleasure and pain, satisfaction and suffering, delight and difficulty. By focusing only on the comfortable, we cut ourselves off from the full range of human experience—and the knowledge, skills and growth that come with. Change doesn’t need to occur at an extreme level to be effective. In fact, it is more productive to direct our attention to the smaller adjustments that need to be made in order to achieve our goal. Ask yourself “what is my 1% today”. This will encourage us to dip our toes in the water of uncomfortability. Do not confuse contentment with complacency. Recently General Milley said "Sometimes, people can become complacent and assume that peace is the state of nature," he added. "Peace doesn't happen by accident: It happens because of effort, resources, commitment, allies banding together … to maintain a strong, cohesive alliance." We can view this as peace within the world, but also peace within ourselves. In order to thrive in today’s chaotic world, we must be willing to change our relationship to change and be ready for a paradigm shift. Tips for Getting Comfortable Being Uncomfortable and Embracing Change:
1. When experiencing feelings of discomfort, don’t run away from them. Instead, embrace whatever comes by acknowledging that it is a natural human reaction.
2. Become aware of what your thoughts and self-talk. Notice how that dialogue is affecting you. Is it working for you or against you? If it is working against you, ask yourself: Is it true? How do you know?
3. Reframe discomfort as an effective source for growth and get curious in the face of the unknown and uncomfortable.
4. Be proactive with your thinking. Get to know your patterns of thought intimately, as well as the situations that trigger those thoughts. Identify thoughts that will work for you and be purposeful with regulating those thoughts. We are creatures of habit, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t create new habitual thought patterns. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
As we help our numerous clients cope with the unique stressors inherent in today’s uncertain world, we are thrilled to offer the services of Dr. Kate Colvin, PhD. As Director of Human Performance, Kate’s role is to provide training and education around various aspects of mental and physical wellbeing, including stress management, effective thinking, mindfulness, attentional focus techniques, goal attainment, organizational leadership, memory and learning enhancement, and sleep. Kate has assisted hundreds of LSDS clients, and is available to help you navigate the path ahead. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about what Dr. Kate Colvin, PhD, can provide for you.