The following insight came from my podcast interview with Jason Van Camp, where he talked about mastering the art of getting comfortable being uncomfortable.
What led me to write my book, Deliberate Discomfort, was FOMO, the fear of missing out. Usually, you don’t want to put yourself out there, post online, and market yourself. That has been ingrained in all of us in the special operations; we don’t talk about ourselves and missions, and we don’t market ourselves. But we can’t be silent professionals. What the Navy SEALs are doing with their marketing is fantastic. Everybody knows about the Navy SEALs, and we should do something similar. I knew that I needed to put my curriculum, my material, what I know to be true out there, so people can read it, digest it, buy into it, and then hire us as a company. That’s why I wrote the book.
Writing the book was consciously putting myself in an uncomfortable position. But, that was not something that I wanted to do because I thought of being judged and getting all this negativity. I was getting comfortable being uncomfortable.
Once you put yourself out there, you will be judged. That’s terrifying for a lot of people. When I was in the Special Forces, I tried to give my team the best missions. I had to go to my boss and my group commander and convince them that we were the best team to do this mission. We were competing with all these other highly qualified teams. We were marketing our teams, and I realized that it’s uncomfortable talking about how amazing we are. I didn’t want to do that. But then I started looking at it by doing what I’m doing on helping people, and that’s what I’m all about. I want to help people become better at whatever they want to be better at. And for most of us, it’s taking that uncomfortable leap of faith to face our fears. I’m marketing people that I believe in and love. Why wouldn’t I put myself out there? What am I afraid of? Nothing.
It’s all about getting comfortable, uncomfortable. It’s about making that courageous decision to deliberately choose discomfort. It has to be voluntary and intentional. It can’t be forced upon you. You have to prove to yourself that you are no longer satisfied with the way things are in your life, and you’re ready to do something about it. For many of us, we tolerate it and keep going down the path we’re on because we’re afraid of what’s on the other side. But when you’re ready for change, growth, you need to accept and embrace suffering. The only way to grow is by putting yourself in those uncovered positions. You can have a better life for yourself, your business, and your family. I always ask people what’s stopping them. It’s fear; it will kill more dreams than failure ever.
You either choose hard things, or they will choose you. They’re coming either way. So you might as well be proactive about it and prepare for it. Because if you’re not, you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s best to choose discomfort voluntarily, deliberately, intentionally. Take small doses of venom every day by doing something hard, even if it is something small. The more you do it, the easier it gets for you. And soon enough, it’s not going to be uncomfortable for you, it’s going to be comfortable for you, and then it’s going to be a habit, and then you’re not going to think about it.
What we need to do to take these steps is, first of all, to take action. Some of my clients in professional sports organizations and corporate clients will ask me to motivate them. I can’t, and I’m not going to try because you can only motivate yourself. I’m not going to be there 24/7. The only thing I can do is inspire you to motivate yourself. Because the only true motivation is self-motivation. It’s a circle where you have inspiration, then motivation, then action, and then results. And then it’s a full circle. Because the results will then inspire you. It all starts with just one step.
Embrace that suck, embrace that suffering, because that’s what life is all about. The purpose of life is to find your gift and give it away. And by doing that you’re serving other people, and you’re constantly placing yourself in positions of being uncomfortable. Many people think if only they can knock these blocks off, they’ll be good to go. That’s the furthest thing from the truth because you’re just switching out problems you’re currently facing. And then once you reach that next level, now you have a different set of problems. Life is about being problem solvers and figuring things out not just for ourselves, but for each other.