It’s easy to get comfortable in our work, life and even in our play, and stop doing the stuff that makes us feel alive, challenged and engaged. It’s especially easy when what we are doing works – in a mediocre, hum-drum kind of way.
The technical term for it is “sandbagging” – when you underperform because it’s easy and no one challenges you to be your best, to do what you know deep in your heart you are capable of. But you know (and now you know that I know).
Don’t confuse being bold with taking stupid risks. That’s not what it’s about. Sometimes the scariest thing you can do involves no risk at all, except for the possibility of a slightly bruised ego.
How to Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
#1: Accept that You are Human – Remember that at the end of the day, we’re all human and that no one is perfect. In fact, most are far from it. Stop setting yourself up by expecting the unattainable: perfection!
#2: Know that Failure is a Part of the Journey – Give yourself permission to fail, but be prepared to learn from it and try again. Some of the biggest success stories of history got there by failing repeatedly. Your journey will involve some of that too.
#3: Start Small and Scary – Don’t just jump right into the scariest thing possible. Give yourself a few practice rounds before getting really bold. Find something that scares you a little bit and work up to that big scary thing you’ve always dreamed about doing (I know you have one that you barely even admit to yourself).
#4: Do a True Assessment – Ask yourself, “Why am I avoiding doing this?” Is it because of potential financial risk? If so, perhaps it’s wise to evaluate the downside. But if it’s about trying something and being rejected or suffering a bruised ego, know that all wounds to the ego heal a lot faster than you would think.
#5: Recall a Scary Success – Draw on the one time when you didn’t hold yourself back, and you took a chance and won! It doesn’t matter if that chance was pointing your skis down your first black diamond run or approaching that Fortune 500 CEO at a networking event – it all counts!
This week, I DARE you to do something that makes your skin crawl it’s so out of your comfort zone (and if you are really bold, post your personal dare in the comments below)!