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8 Challenging Tasks That Can Triple Your Chance Of Success

8 Challenging Tasks That Can Triple Your Chance Of Success

A common piece of fitness advice is to “find comfort in discomfort.” The basic premise is that you cannot move forward and grow without pushing yourself past the boundaries of your comfort zone and into new territory. You need to learn to recognize that being uncomfortable means positive change. This advice is beyond fitness enthusiasm: it is a mantra for achieving life success.

Our personal habits revolve around avoiding stress and discomfort at all costs. It is difficult to see the long-term benefits in short-term excursions outside of our comfort zones, especially when the hurdles to surmount are particularly distasteful. Lucky for us, our brains are hard-wired to propel us to action once we begin to feel some level of stress and discomfort. The key is finding balance: too much stress can lead to the undesirable meltdown, while not enough stress will keep us imprisoned in our comfort zones, well out of the reach of meaningful actions.

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If you’re ready to push towards optimal performance — and are prepared to handle the discomfort that comes along with it — then it may be time to embrace these uncomfortable tasks.

1. Meditate daily

Meditation may sound simple, but anybody who has tried — and failed — to consciously still their mind will tell you otherwise. Take a few minutes every day in a quiet space to forget what is going on around you and find some perspective. It may not be comfortable to “do nothing”, but it will physically improve your brain by increasing density in areas responsible for self-control and focus.

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2. Tackle the “impossible”

You know that list of things you keep that you’ve always wanted to do, but don’t do them for fear of failure? Get it out and start knocking off tasks. Achieving goals that you think are impossible not only challenges you, but gives you an immense sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that boosts self-esteem and overall well-being.

3. Wake up earlier

This may be your least-favorite challenge, but the benefits of early wake-ups are worth the discomfort. Waking up even an hour or two earlier gives you time to get more done in your day. You will have the opportunity to plan out your daily schedule, squeeze in some exercise, meditate, and eat a solid breakfast that will fuel the rest of your day.

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4. Speak in public

If you’re one of the 74 percent of Americans who fear public speaking, then this task will be especially challenging. Even if you need to start out in a room with five audience members, any level of public speaking is a boost to your confidence and career. Tip: speak about something you are passionate about — you will feel more knowledgable and less like you don’t know what you’re doing.

5. Say no

We all need to say no at some point in our lives in order to keep from being overwhelmed. Not only does saying no honor your existing commitments, but it frees up time and energy that you could spend on more important — or enjoyable — things. Make sure your “no” is decisive, though; phrases such as I’m not certain leave room for negotiation.

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6. Practice self-control

Lashing out at an irritating coworker or the inconsiderate neighbor brings short-term benefits and long-term problems. Wrecking relationships beyond repair for the sake of being right in a conflict is hardly worth it. Keeping quiet and considering the wisest move will keep your relationships and sanity intact.

7. Make new connections

Talking to unfamiliar people is a fear right up there with public speaking for most people. Even if social interaction is something that makes you uncomfortable, it is a tool for widening your professional and social networks, increasing self-confidence, and absorbing new ways of thinking.

8. Stop procrastinating

Stop putting off things that you know you should do just because they are difficult. Start with one or two things on your “must-do-but-don’t-want-to” list and get them done. The “I’ll do it tomorrow” mentality never brings about success. If you want to improve your chances of being successful, then you need to complete every task, even if it is undesirable.

Comfort zones are stagnant — you will never accomplish things within them. If you can “find comfort in discomfort” in life, then you can greatly improve your chances of success.

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Last Updated on December 17, 2018

Read this and stop feeling overwhelmed…for good!

Read this and stop feeling overwhelmed…for good!

We live in a time of productivity overload.

Everywhere you turn are articles and books about how to be more productive, how to squeeze 27 hours of work out of every 24, how to double your work pace, how to do more and more all in the name of someday getting out of the rat race. Well this is about the side effects of those ideas. If we aren’t multitasking, we feel lazy. If we aren’t doing everything, we feel like we’re slacking. We compare ourselves to others who we think are doing more, having more, getting more and achieving more, and it’s driving us crazy. We feel overwhelmed when we think we have too much to do, too much is expected of us, or that a stressor is too much for us to handle. And we respond by lashing out with emotions of anger, irritability, anxiety, doubt and helplessness.

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This season especially is the most stressful time of year. Between the holidays, final exams, family gatherings and general feelings of guilt that it’s the end of the year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking of all the things you still need to get done. But if you use these tips, not only will you get the important stuff done, you’ll keep your sanity while doing it!

    Is this you?

    Change your thought pattern-stop thinking negatively

    When you feel overwhelmed, the first thing you do is start thinking negatively or begin to resent why it’s your responsibility in the first place! The first thing you have to do is to stop! Stop thinking negatively immediately. Instead, focus on the positive. If you’re stuck in traffic, think of how great it is to have some time to yourself. If you’re rushing trying to get things done by a deadline, think how lucky you are to have a purpose and to be working towards it. If you’re stressing about a final exam, think of how fortunate you are to be given the opportunity of higher education. After you’ve changed your thought patterns, you must then say to yourself “I can do this.” Keep saying it until you believe it and you’re more than halfway to ending feeling overwhelmed.

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    Take a deep breath/change your body posture

    When you’re stressed certain things happen to your body. You start to breath shallowly, you hunch over, you immediately tense up and all that tension drives your feelings of stress even more. Relax! Straighten your posture and take at least ten deep, cleansing, breaths. Force yourself to smile and do something to change your state. It could be as simple as giving yourself a hug or as silly as clapping your hands three times, throwing them up in the air and shouting “I GOT THIS!” Think to yourself, how would I sit/stand if I had perfect confidence and control of the situation?

    Focus on right now

    Now that you are in a better state of mind and are no longer thinking negatively, you need to focus on the here and now. Ask yourself this question: What is the most important thing I have control of and can act on right now? Keep asking yourself this until you have a concrete next step.

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    Take Action

    Now that you know what’s most important and what to do about it, do it! Start with the first step and focus on getting that done. Don’t worry about anything else right now, just on what your first step is and how to get it done. Once that’s done with, determine the next most important step and get that done.

    Let go of what you can’t control (the gambler’s theory)

    Seasoned gamblers understand the importance of due diligence and knowing when to let go. The Gambler’s Theory is that once your bet is placed there is nothing you can do, so you might as well relax and enjoy the process. The time to worry is when you’re figuring out the best odds and making the decision of what to bet when you can actually take action. I used this one a lot in college. After an exam, there is absolutely no point in stressing about it. There’s nothing you can do. And the same goes for feeling overwhelmed. If you can do something about your situation, do it, focus and take action. But if you’ve done what you could and now are just waiting, or if you’re worried about something you have no control over, realize that there’s no point. You might as well relax and enjoy the moment.

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      Relax and enjoy the moment

      Stop feeling guilty

      Finally, stop comparing yourself to others. If you are at your wits end trying to keep up with what you think you should be doing, you aren’t being fair to yourself. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t strive for improvement, just don’t go overboard because you feel like you have to. Only you know what’s really important to you, and your personal success journey so focus on what your top priorities are, not someone else’s.

      Everyone feels overwhelmed sometimes. The important thing is to realize it’s normal and that you can do something about it by taking focused and deliberate action. Happy Holidays!

      Featured photo credit: Stress Therapy via flickr.com

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