Having big goals is the only way big things happen. And the only way to achieve big goals is to become tolerant of the discomfort that comes with them. Of course, this isn’t our natural tendency. We'd rather play it safe and avoid failure. That's perfectly understandable. It’s what’s comfortable.
But inevitably we start to wonder what else is out there, beyond what we know or have experienced. Why? Because each of us is meant for something more. It’s in our nature to explore, to be innovative, and to feel pulled into some uncharted territory in our lives. We just have to take the first step. And it’s never comfortable.
No matter where you are in your goal-setting journey, you can achieve breakthroughs by remembering these three truths.
- Discomfort is normal. Fear, uncertainty, doubt, even hating your goals—these are completely normal feelings. Our brains are wired for predictability, stability, and safety. When you venture out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself for a goal, it’s normal to want to call it quits. These feelings won’t necessarily go away, but they don’t have to control you.
- Discomfort is necessary. Pursuing goals strengthens you. Like exercising, when you first start, it feels really hard. Maybe even painful. But the more you do it, the stronger you become and the better you feel. Who you are changes along the way. So if we’re serious about growing, then we have to pursue big goals that catalyze the transformation process. Discomfort is a necessary part of that.
- Discomfort is good. It’s only through discomfort that our breakthroughs come. Discomfort looks different for all of us. Maybe you’re setting out to do something you’ve never done before, and you’re scared you won’t succeed. Or maybe you’re struggling with feelings of inadequacy, like you don’t believe you have what it takes to pull this off. However it looks, embrace it, because it sets the stage for the breakthrough you want. The weight of the discomfort forces you to put your nose to the grindstone, to keep chipping away at things until something gives—and it always does.
If you want to experience your full potential, you’re going to have to travel through some discomfort. It sets the stage for breakthroughs. There are no shortcuts, no cheat codes. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes to lean into the tension. There’s encouragement in that. Most of all, there’s hope—for achieving big goals, becoming a better version of yourself, and having your best year ever.
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