There are lots of habits successful people possess that the rest of the masses don’t. However, there is one that stands out. Successful people can deal very well with discomfort. Unsuccessful people don’t. Successful people can get themselves to do the things that others don’t want to do.
Interestingly, successful people don’t really want to do them either. They just find a way to do it anyway.
Want to join the successful crowd?
Try this process to increase your ability to deal with discomfort:
- Start with something easy, but meaningful. This could be going for a walk, meditating for 20 minutes, or reading each night. Find something that isn’t too challenging but will have a positive impact on your life.
2. Continue until you feel uncomfortable. Take part in that activity and keep going until you begin to feel uncomfortable. This might take the form of mild physical discomfort, annoyance, boredom, or any other negative feeling.
3. Examine your discomfort. Now that you’re uncomfortable, notice how it feels. Where do you feel it? How would you rate its intensity on a scale of 1 to 10? Just notice the physical feeling. What happens after you pay attention to it for a while?
4. Relax and smile. Now, relax your body, smile, and continue. When you want to quit, repeat the process again. When the urge to quit happens for a third time, allow yourself to stop.
This is powerful. You’re breaking the habit of quitting the first time you feel like stopping. You’re teaching yourself that you can continue, even when you’re uncomfortable.
This skill will grow. Just keep practicing.
5. Keep building this skill. Choose a more challenging activity or increase the duration of the current activity. You’ll soon be able to suffer through almost anything with a smile on your face.
Like many things in life, dealing with discomfort is simple, but not necessarily easy. However, it’s such an incredibly valuable skill to have, it’s worth all the discomfort it takes to develop it. Can you think of another skill that could be more valuable to have at your command?
There are many everyday applications for this skill:
Diet. Don’t feel like eating those vegetables? Sticking to a diet is dependent on your ability to deal with discomfort, both physical and psychological.
Exercise. It’s hard to get your running shoes on and get out the door. Overcoming this momentary discomfort is a big part of developing an exercise habit.
Procrastination. Procrastination is all about avoiding discomfort. Interestingly, we procrastinate until the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it.
Learning. It’s not always easy to sit down and practice piano, learn calculus, or work on your Russian language skills.
Chores. Chores are great way to practice your discomfort management skills. They need to be done, and they’re usually not too painful.
The applications are endless. All of your current issues could be resolved more easily if you could just overcome the discomfort of implementing the solutions.
If you want to be more successful, it’s important to start doing the things you know you should be doing. Why don’t you do them? Because you feel uncomfortable at the mere thought of doing them. You can change that beginning today.
Build your ability to overcome discomfort and reach greater heights of success. It’s the most valuable skill you can ever have.