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Want To Make Quick Progress In Life? You Should Feel Uncomfortable At Least 10 Times A Day

Want To Make Quick Progress In Life? You Should Feel Uncomfortable At Least 10 Times A Day

“You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” ~Brian Tracy

You’re in a meeting with your colleagues and senior executives. The senior staff is brainstorming ways to streamline processes and become more efficient. The PERFECT solution hits you with such force and clarity you have to fight to maintain your composure. This is your moment. You will be the company hero. Your colleagues will idolize and adore you. You will get a raise, promotion, and the coveted corner office with that fantastic view. And that cute redhead you’ve been dying to ask out will not only notice you, but will be the one to ask YOU out.

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Then comes the big moment. The company Vice President completes her spiel and then asks, “Does anyone have any suggestions?” And you freeze. You’ve never spoken in a meeting before. What if your suggestion is really not genius but utter stupidity? You miss your opportunity and to add insult to injury, Bob from the mail room chimes in with your exact suggestion. He becomes the hero, gets the promotion and the girl.

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable

Being uncomfortable is something you have to learn to embrace. Putting yourself in new and unfamiliar situations stimulates the part of the brain[1] that releases dopamine, nature’s happy drug.

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The most significant catalyst in the growth process is embedded in discomfort. Challenging your capabilities[2] is what expands them. Most of us back away from things that make us feel uncomfortable—it’s natural. We shy away from the unfamiliar, but then later kick ourselves over missed opportunities. Comfortability brings complacency. It inhibits your ability to grow, your thinking, and your creativity.[3]

The familiar and routine make you feel at ease and provides a sense of control; however, rigid consistency and the refusal to steer away from a routine can dull your senses. Think about your normal drive into work or school. You drive the same route repeatedly. Eventually, the turns become automatic and you start tuning out most of the drive. You become oblivious to the scenery or the subtle changes that have occurred along the way. You arrive at your destination and barely remember the drive. So the underlying message here is, when you don’t get out of your comfort zone, you will tune out and miss so much in your daily life.

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Step out of your comfort zone at least 10 times per day

The key here is to be intentional. Look for opportunities to put yourself out there a bit. Speak up in a meeting, have lunch alone, strike up a conversation with the stranger in the elevator, take a different route home. Do something different. The benefits are immeasurable. By intentionally working to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation your world becomes bigger and possibilities become endless.

When you identify and decide to try something that makes you feel a bit anxious follow these steps:

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  1. Start: The first step is always the hardest. Go for it and see what happens.
  2. Don’t Quit: You will feel awkward. That is natural and it is how you are supposed to feel. So you feel a little foolish, just go with it.
  3. Laugh at yourself: It’s a new experience, you are going to make a mistake. Expect it, embrace it, and laugh about it.
  4. Surround yourself with cheerleaders: The company you keep is so important. Surround yourself with measured risk takers who encourage you to try new things and cheer for you when you do.

Being uncomfortable is just that—it’s uncomfortable. It is scary and involves risk. You may look silly, and you may even fail, but you’ve learned something and have experienced the unknown.

Feeling uncomfortable? That’s proof you’re doing it right.

Reference

More by this author

Denise Hill

Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on May 7, 2021

Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM

Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM

I have been an early-riser for over a year now. Monday through Friday I wake up at 5:00 AM without hitting the snooze button even once. I never take naps and rarely feel tired throughout the day. The following is my advice on how to start your day (everyday) at 5:00 AM.The idea of waking up early and starting the day at or before the sunrise is the desire of many people. Many highly successful people attribute their success, at least in part, to rising early. Early-risers have more productive mornings, get more done, and report less stress on average than “late-risers.” However, for the unaccustomed, the task of waking up at 5:00 AM can seem extremely daunting. This article will present five tips about how to physically wake up at 5:00 AM and how to get yourself mentally ready to have a productive day.

Many people simply “can’t” get up early because they are stuck in a routine. Whether this is getting to bed unnecessarily late, snoozing repetitively, or waiting until the absolute last possible moment before getting out of bed, “sleeping in” can easily consume your entire morning. The following tips will let you break the “sleeping in” routine.

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Relocate your alarm clock.

Having an alarm clock too close to your bed is the number one reason people simply cannot get up in the morning. If your alarm clock is within arms reach of your bed, or if you can turn your alarm clock off without getting out of bed, you are creating an unnecessarily difficult situation for yourself. Before I became an early-riser, there were many times that I would turn off my alarm without even waking up enough to remember turning it off. I recommend moving your alarm clock far enough away from your bed that you have to get completely out of bed to turn it off. I keep my alarm clock in the bathroom. This may not be possible for all living arrangements, however, I use my cellphone as an alarm clock and putting it in the bathroom makes perfect sense. In order to turn off my alarm I have to get completely out of bed, and since going to the restroom and taking a shower are the first two things I do everyday, keeping the alarm clock in the bathroom streamlines the start of my morning.

Scrap the snooze.

The snooze feature on all modern alarm clocks serves absolutely no constructive purpose. Don’t even try the “it helps me slowly wake up” lie. I recommend buying an alarm that does not have a snooze button. If you can’t find an alarm without a snooze button, never read the instructions so you will never know how long your snooze button lasts. Not knowing whether it waits 10 minutes or 60 minutes should be enough of a deterrent to get you to stop using it.

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Change up your buzzer

If you use the same buzzer day in and day out, you begin to develop a tolerance to the sound. The alarm clock will slowly become less effective at waking you up over time. Most newer alarm clocks will let you set a different buzzer tone for the different days of the week. If you change your buzzer frequently, you will have an easier time waking up.

Make a puzzle

If you absolutely cannot wake up without repetitive snoozing, try making a puzzle for yourself. It doesn’t take rocket science to understand that the longer your alarm is going off, the more awake you will become. Try making your alarm very difficult to turn off by putting it under the sink, putting it under the bed, or better yet, by forcing yourself to complete a puzzle to turn it off. Try putting your alarm into a combination-locked box and make yourself put in the combination in order to turn off the alarm — it’s annoying, but extremely effective!

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Get into a routine

Getting up at 5:00 AM is much easier if you are doing it Monday through Friday rather than sporadically during the week. I recommend setting an alarm once that repeats everyday. Also, going to bed at about the same time every night is an important factor to having a productive morning. Learn how much sleep you need to get in order to not feel exhausted the following day. Some people can get by on 4-6 hours while most need 7-8.

Have a reason

Make sure you have a specific reason to get up in the morning. Getting up at 5:00 AM just for the heck of it is a lot more difficult than if you are getting up early to plan your day, pay bills, go for a jog, get an early start on work, etc. I recommend finding something you want to do for yourself in the morning. It will be a lot easier to get up if you are guaranteed to do something fun for yourself — compare this to going on vacation. You probably have no problem waking up very early on vacation or during holidays. My goal every morning is to bring that excitement to the day by doing something fun for myself.

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As I previously mentioned, I have been using these tips for a very long time. Joining the world of early-risers has been a great decision. I feel less stressed, I get more done, and I feel happier than I did when I was a late-riser. If you follow these tips you can become an early-riser, too. Do you have any tips that I didn’t mention? What works best for you? Let us know in the comments.

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