Ep #222: Discomfort on Purpose
Posted on June 28, 2018
Most people do not like to feel discomfort.
The reason why we are not as far as we’d like to be with our goals – whether it’s weight-loss, quitting drinking, building a business – is because we have chosen not to be uncomfortable.
Changing and doing new things is very uncomfortable.
It is uncomfortable to risk rejection and experience failure.
However, doing these hard things and experiencing discomfort is THE ONLY road to success.
Join me this week as we take a look at the two types of discomfort we can experience and explore the power of experiencing the type of discomfort that comes with growing on purpose.
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It’s the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!
What you will discover
- Why we’re not as far along on the path to our dreams.
- How discomfort is an inevitable part of growth.
- Tips for managing your mind around rejection.
- The discomfort of stagnation vs the discomfort of growth.
- How to get good at discomfort.
Featured on the show
- Learn more about Gary V
- Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters
- Learn more about the Self Coaching Scholars program
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
What's up? Oh my gosh, how are you, my friends? Oh my god, let me tell you something. It's a secret, don't tell anybody. It's just between the two of us. Alright, here's the deal. I am very balanced when it comes to working. I am not a total workaholic, but my first year of coaching I felt like I had to really put in a lot of hours, and I am not against anyone putting in a lot of hours their first year because you're learning so much. So I'm all in, go for the hustle, Gary V it out in that first year.
But here's the thing. Now I'm very balanced in my career. I work half days usually and I work, as most of you know, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday half days. And I take vacations. So I take time off, I take full weeks off where I'm not working and we have that coming up here this summer. I'm going to take some time off, I'm really excited about it, and then we're also doing a trip to Australia in the winter, which I cannot wait. The four of us, my husband and my two kids, Chris, Christian, and Connor, we're all going and we're going to meet my parents there, Caroline and Dennis. We're going to have a great time, y'all, so I'll tell you all about it.
But here's the thing, that's all beside the point. Get to the point already. Here's the point. I have the entire next week to myself. The kids are going camping with their dad and they're going to meet my dad and they're all going to go camping in the wilderness in Colorado. And instead of taking the whole week off, I've given myself permission to work my face off like a freaky workaholic all week. It's kind of like the opposite of what most people do, right?
I don't let myself work all the time and I take vacations but next week I'm going to let myself work as much as I want. I'm going to have the whole house to myself so by the time you hear this, this week will already be over, so we'll have to talk about it later. But I am just going to work. I'm going to keep my laptop on my lap, I'm going to work with my coaches who are in my master coach training, I'm going to create content, I'm going to create curriculum, I'm going to record podcasts, I'm going to work on my upcoming trainings, I'm going to read through all of our materials, I'm going to update whatever I want, I'm going to create new videos, I'm seriously going to work my face off just for fun, and I'm not going to limit myself at all. If I want to work until midnight, I'm going to let myself do it. I'm so excited.
So I usually am much more controlled in that, but I told my husband, I'm like, I really just want to have a like, workaholic week. And he's like, knock yourself out, I'm going camping. So who knows what I might produce for y'all. I'm probably going to add some courses to Scholars, especially - I'm just thinking about it now, especially I've created a lot of self-managing tools and I'm creating a little booklet for my team on self-management. And so once I meet with my team, we'll probably do a behind the scenes on that. I will share that on Scholars too.
I've created some really awesome tools to be able to use in our business that requires less management. So super excited. We're still working through some stuff, but I'm super excited about my team. I'm in love with my team. You guys know, who've listened to the podcast for a long time, the first part of this year was tough. I was like, figuring out how to be a manager, and that was not easy. It was really hard for me. It was like, exactly what I'm going to talk about on this podcast.
It was very, very uncomfortable and I feel like it's still uncomfortable but I have really found a beautiful rhythm with my team. I'm a little bit in love with them. I'm very biased. But I feel like they've really helped me get to this place where I can manage from a really confident and full heart. So that's so exciting.
Some of you may not know this, but I was really looking for a CEO for a long time. We had a couple trials of CEO-ness, and it just didn’t work out mostly meanly. Okay, completely, because of me. And that's really great. It's totally great learning as we go. And so I'm willing to do the uncomfortable things. I'm willing to get it wrong. I'm willing to do the things that I don't want to do in order to get to the things that I want to have, and I really am proud of myself. Really proud of myself for the work that I put in the first part of this year.
And it really felt like it was never-ending and it felt like a struggle, and I just felt like I couldn't wait for someone to jump in here and be the CEO and do this so much better than me, and here's what's great. Here's what I realized is that there's nobody that can run this business better than me because I'm the one that's the visionary. But I need an integrator, and my husband, Chris, has always been what we call the integrator, and this is based on that book, Rocket Fuel.
And he's always been my integrator, meaning he's always - the way he describes it is he just sweeps up behind me, which is not at all accurate, but it kind of feels emotionally accurate. Like, he just takes care of all the details of everything. He's much more slow, much more methodical, much more careful. I mean, he keeps everything in line. And we have very different work styles, and so it's great because he goes to the office and works with our team, some of our team, and I stay home in a padded room by myself so I can't hurt anybody. It's so funny.
But here's the thing. I'm willing to put myself in those challenging situations and I've come to this place where I recognize that my integrator is the people that I need working around me need to have certain characteristics and first of all, they need to understand the way that I work and how fast I work and how - the pace at which my company is moving.
The way that I like to describe it is like, you're sitting there watching a soccer game and it looks like - that does not look that hard. I totally think I could play. This is me, personally. I'm like, I could totally have scored that goal. And then like, you get in the game and it's fast. You're like, oh my gosh, these people are running so fast and the ball's moving so fast, and everything that looks easy - I'm sure this is what it's like for most of us who watch people play sports. We watch them, we're like, I totally could have caught that touchdown. What is wrong with that guy?
My husband for sure feels this way. He's like, always yelling at the TV like he could do it so much better. And then you like, you get into it, like, you come into my organization and you're going to be like, what the hell? Like, you guys are moving crazy fast. So I am very demanding of everyone that works for me, and what's interesting is that there are certain of us in the world that love that environment. I'm one of them. I love working in a super demanding environment and it's totally okay if you don't, but you're probably not going to like working for me because game on. Like, you jump into the game, I'm going to pass you the ball, let's start dribbling.
Like, I'm not going to teach you how to dribble, you just got to learn by doing. And so I feel like I have a team right now that loves and thrives working in that environment, and so it's so much fun. And I feel like we have just so many amazing places that we're all going to go and I can't wait. Cannot wait to see this team grow.
I am very dedicated to multiplying the people that are around me and that work with me. I want people to leave better than they came, and if there's anything I can do to help them see their own potential and help them grow into more of who they think they can be, I'm 100% in. And I have watched my employees do that. I have watched them change and I've watched them grow and I've watched them become more valuable to our organization because they're willing to do that and they're willing to be uncomfortable and work in this environment. So I know that most of them listen to the podcast, so I just want y'all to know I love you guys. You're amazing even though I'm hardcore. I'm not messing around.
So let's talk some more about discomfort because that's super fun, yeah? I coached someone in Scholars yesterday and she was like, "I'm not as far along as I want to be." And I said, "Why?" And she goes, "I don't know." I'm like, "You know." The reason why any of us aren't as far along as we want to be whether it's weight loss or quitting drinking or building our businesses is because we have chosen not to be uncomfortable. The more we choose discomfort, the more we choose to put ourselves out there, the more we choose to try new things and be willing at fail at them over and over and over and feel the effect of our own thinking on that, the more successful we're going to be, period. If you want to be further along in your life, you have to embrace more discomfort. That is the solution. I promise you.
It is very uncomfortable to change. It is very uncomfortable to do new things. It's very uncomfortable to risk failure and it's very uncomfortable to risk rejection, and here's why: your brain has a thought flurry whenever you do any of those things. I just made up that word and now we're going to use it all the time. Thought flurry. You didn't know what that was. Neither did I until just this moment.
So here's the thing. You think, I want to go make $100,000 a year, and your brain has a thought flurry of why that's a terrible idea. But you overcome it and you go out there and you run a Facebook ad and nobody clicks on that Facebook ad. And then you have another thought flurry about why you're never going to amount to anything in your life, right? And then you get the Facebook ad right and then you get a mini session, and then you don't convert the mini session, or you do, or you lose five pounds and then you gain it back. Thought flurry, thought flurry, right? It's all over the place.
And those thoughts that come up create so much discomfort and you can't stay ahead of the brain. The brain is the fastest thing you have, right? And it is trying to be protective. The only way we evolve is by overcoming that reaction that your brain has to doing new things. It's so crazy. It's like the very thing that will help us evolve and survive is also the very thing that can kill us.
So fear is protective when it's necessary and it is damaging when it isn't necessary. And so when is fear necessary? When you need to use your adrenaline to run away from a tiger or a person with a knife. That's when it comes in very handy. But most of us are afraid of rejection in a very illogical way because we associate with not being part of a tribe as complete isolation and death. And we associate rejection with not being part of a tribe.
Here's the thing: putting yourself out there online, becoming a life coach, going above and beyond in terms of what you're currently capable of and risking that rejection is a real thing, right? It's not like you're just afraid that you'll be rejected and you won't be rejected. My guess is you will be rejected, especially if you're any good, right? If you set out there with a niche that is really dedicated to one area, there will be people that will hate you. There's lots of haters. There's a lot of hate.
It's okay, it's part of the deal. We just have to learn how to manage it. We have to learn how to have people not like us and not go hide in a hole somewhere, which is where we feel safe. But hiding isn't safe. Remember, hiding is scary. So thinking that just by not getting rejected by other people that you are avoiding rejection is false because if you don't allow yourself to be rejected by other people, you're just doing the rejection of yourself ahead of time, and you're calling it safety. It's the opposite of safety. It's called self-rejection, and it's just as uncomfortable.
So here's what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the two discomforts that are really the same discomfort but we're going to talk about them differently. So there's the discomfort of not evolving, not pursuing, not growing, not allowing who you are meant to be, who you want to be, the potential of you, not allowing that out is very uncomfortable. And unfortunately, in this day and age, we can treat that "acute discomfort" with false pleasures.
It used to be that there was no false pleasures in the way that are artificial now so we were much more forced to evolve. My concern for humanity now is we aren't forced to evolve because we can stay where we are and feel that nudge of growth and experience that discomfort and not act to change our life in any way because we can just buffer with the false pleasure.
But as soon as we take away that false pleasure, as soon as we stop overeating and overdrinking and over-Facebooking, whatever you're over-ing, then you're left with the reality of your life, which often times, 50% of the time is uncomfortable because it's the universe nudging you forward, it's the universe saying, let's move, let's do this, let's evolve. That is the point of our existence is to evolve.
And so, we do because the discomfort of not changing sucks. And so this is what I say all the time. You're going to be uncomfortable if you don't do it. You might as well get paid. Might as well use the discomfort of doing it and get paid. Might as well get the discomfort of doing it and get the room clean. You know, get the weight loss. Get off the alcohol. You might as well get the result if you're going to be uncomfortable either way. So there's that discomfort that is the universe nudging you and you not listening that is most often treated with false pleasure. I love pleasure. Just not at the expense of your growth.
Then the alternative discomfort is the one that I'm always talking about, discomfort is the currency for your dreams because that discomfort is the discomfort that is required for us to change, to be in unfamiliar situations, to have our identity shifting, to be in a body that's thinner than we recognize. All of those things, to be in a social event without Chardonnay. All of those things are going to be uncomfortable because they're unfamiliar and they don’t have that added padding of buffering.
So one of the things that I've been teaching a lot lately and trying to encourage all of my clients to do is to look for the discomfort that is paving the way to the place you want to go. Instead of trying to avoid it, instead of trying to bypass it or find the detour around it, you are actually moving right into it. And the reason why I want you to do this, and I'm encouraging you to do this is the better you get at being uncomfortable, the better you get at everything.
If you can be uncomfortable, you can experience fear and do it anyway. There's no such thing as being fearless unless you're a sociopath, right? There's no such thing as not being afraid. If your brain is working correctly, you will be afraid a lot of the time, especially if you're asking a lot of yourself, if you're asking different things from yourself.
So how do you get good at discomfort? How do you get good at it? By being uncomfortable. Now, I get emails all the time where people take a different approach on this and they're a little bit angry at me for suggesting that they have to live a life of discomfort and that - as if I'm the one that told them that had to, as if that isn't the way life is. Life is about discomfort. Life is about negativity, life is about half of the time, all of that stuff. That's the point of it. If it was meant to be good all of the time, it would be good all of the time. But it's not.
But somebody told us we should be. We should be happy all of the time. So we try to be happy all the time with all the false pleasures, which make us ultimately complete dissatisfied because we're not growing. We're stagnating.
So if you think about the worst that can happen is an uncomfortable emotion, that's the worst thing that can happen on our way to our dreams, then what's the big deal? If the worst that can happen is we miss the mark, we don't quite get there in the timeframe we thought we would, but we've given it our all, we may not be totally stoked that we didn't meet our goal, but we can be proud and excited and happy that we gave it all we had. What's the alternative? Never trying? Staying in the cave?
What if you pursued the rejection on purpose? Pursued the embarrassment, the humiliation, the fear, the rejection, all of it on purpose to get good at it? I want you to imagine your life where you're willing to experience all of those things. The reason why it's so hard to lose weight, so hard to stop overdrinking, so hard to pursue our dreams is we are constantly trying to dodge negative emotion. What makes it easy is when we look for it, search for it, go for it, go towards it.
I want you to imagine that I've just given you an offer to speak in front of 5000 people and to share your thoughts on something. Most of you would be like, "What? Hell no, I'm not going to talk to 5000 people." Why? Because you're afraid. You're afraid of what they'll think, afraid of rejection, afraid of making a mistake. But if you weren't afraid of your own fear, if you weren't afraid of feeling embarrassed or humiliated, then you'd say yes. And 5000 people would hear your message.
If I said, hey, here's the amount of discomfort you'll need to experience in order to have that huge dream that you want, to be able to weight exactly what you want, in order to get you off all those substances, you just have to be willing to experience this much discomfort, 50% of your life, would you do it? Is it worth it? Yes ma'am, it is worth it. Because the alternative is buffering the discomfort of not growing. Discomfort is what earns success.
So why is the growth worth it? Ask yourself that. Maybe it isn't to you. But what is so great about growth? Why is everyone always talking about growing and evolving and becoming more of who you're meant to be? Why does that matter? And I'm going to tell you that for me, and I can only speak for me, what it does for me is gives me a steady stream of the dopamine, gives me a steady consistent level of the satisfaction. Do I still feel anxious? Do I still feel uncomfortable? Do I still feel afraid? Yep, half the time.
But there's also this underlying knowing that I'm feeling all those feelings on purpose and for a reason. Not because I'm hiding. Those emotions are actually worth it because I'm going to get something different and better that I maybe haven't experienced before on the other side of it. It keeps everything so much more interesting. It's like, discomfort just in another flavor, which is better than just the same old discomfort all of the time.
So you need to look at your own life and make that choice. Do you want the discomfort of stagnation or do you want the discomfort of growth? The discomfort of stagnation never changes. It's like Groundhog Day. You never get any better at it, you never get any growth from it. The discomfort of growth is always new, is always exciting, is always different. You are evolving.
And for me, and for many of you guys, and the reason you're listening to this podcast is because that's what you want. You want something different. You want something better. You want to see what you're capable of, and most importantly, for most of you, you want to put your head on the pillow at night and say I slayed it, I did what I could with my day, I did what I could with my life. I didn't just ride it out, I didn't just default. That matters to so many of us and if life is 50% awful and 50% awesome, why not be on a journey going somewhere instead of just in a cycle of the same, same, same?
Some of you may have an answer for that that you like. Some of you may choose false pleasure over growth, and by the way, that is okay. But it doesn't make you immune to the discomfort. You're going to feel it anyway. We all are. That's what makes the comfort possible, right? We can't define comfort without discomfort.
So I want to encourage each of you to look at the discomfort that you may be avoiding, that may be denying you that nudge. If you spend your life without buffering and you notice that you're dissatisfied, the answer is not to start buffering again. The answer is to explore what it is that you want. And not because you need to change something in order to feel better, but so you can feel better in order to change something just because you want to. That's it.
So if I could sell you anything, if I could get super good at selling, like I could go take some selling courses from the best salespeople in the world, what I would sell you on and what I'm trying to sell you on is the idea that discomfort is a good thing. Discomfort is part of the deal. Discomfort will get you. it is the ticket that you want. It's the thing, it's the answer. What's the answer to weight loss? Discomfort. What's the answer to making a million dollars? Discomfort. What is the answer to stop overdrinking? Discomfort. What is the answer to a really good powerful relationship? Discomfort.
Are you willing to pay the price? Are you willing to be the human that you are in order to get the exact life you want to have? I hope your answer is yes. Have a beautiful week everybody. Talk to you next week. Bye-bye.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.