How often are we living outside of our comfort zone? The idea of being uncomfortable is something most people avoid at all costs.
Too hot outside? Head inside for the air conditioner.
Too cold? Jog towards the nearest coffee shop.
A training session designed to work on our weaknesses? Save it for last and hope there isn't enough time to do it.
Tough conversation looming? Avoid it at all costs and pretend like everything is ok.
Taking a risk and creating a business around a concept we love? Continue to talk about it but never actually get it started.
It's too easy to strive for comfort and avoid risk. For those that truly want to perform at a higher level, it is necessary to live on the edge of comfortable and uncomfortable. Continuing to learn from Theodore Roosevelt, to enter the arena, we have to be prepared for the uncomfortable and potentially erring or coming up short -
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
There is no doubt that if we intentionally put ourselves in an uncomfortable position, it may not turn out the way we want. We will make mistakes, we will misstep, we will be disappointed, and we will fall short.
We will also learn how to be better, we will experience the joy of going for it, we will live a life worth being proud of. The best part about living on the edge of comfortable and uncomfortable is that it is a choice we get to make.
This week, our challenge is to choose one area of our life and lean into being uncomfortable. This could be in our training, our work, our relationships, or our businesses. Intentionally do something that raises a little bit of fear and anxiety. Notice how we handle this moment, and then, evaluate how to continually live on the edge of comfort and discomfort.