When I arrived to a mentoring session with my client, I could see that her energy levels were low. Over the past couple of months, she has been focused on moving outside of her comfort zone to generate the growth she needs for her business. This has also required her to step up as a leader. The more the business grows, the more she needs to lead on many levels.
When we got into what was going on and the progress she was making she admitted to me that it wasn’t feeling good and in actual fact she felt very uncomfortable with what she was doing. Needless to say she was rather surprised at my elation and want to give her a high five! She was exactly where she needed to be – in an icky, uncomfortable space. Why? Because that is where the growth is.
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” ~ Napoleon Hill
I liken this to training for a triathlon, which I did many years ago now. True to form, when someone gives me a sporting challenge I will accept it and before I knew it I had agreed to participate in the Corporate Cup. This required me to swim, cycle and run distances I hadn’t done before. I was a netballer – not a triathlete.
So off I went to the pool for my first swim feeling pretty confident as I was a strong swimmer when I was younger. I made it about 10 meters before feeling like I was going to drown. I clung to the side of the pool and thought ‘well, I’m not such a great swimmer after all!’. I bought a bike and took off for a cycle. Not bad! I had a sore butt but I could get the k’s up in my legs. I then went out for a run with a friend. That was a whole world of hurt. I could hardly breathe, my calves felt like rocks and it was a very horrible experience! I was in a world of pain. I remember thinking this was a really, really stupid idea!
The goal was there and I was determined. So I set up a plan, starting small and building up incrementally. I slowly got better and pushed through many pain barriers and by the time the race arrived, I was at a level where I could compete. When I crossed that finish line, I was so proud that I’d done all the hard work and persisted. I felt a huge sense of achievement.
It’s the showing up and doing the hard work that train your muscles to fire and you get fitter in the process. The reward and the elation come when you cross the finish line and have run the best race that you possible can. That is the part that feels good!
Business is no different. We need to train our new habits, we need to break old habits and do what we need to do to achieve growth, to step up as leaders and to feel like we are making progress. Is that easy? No! Is it worth it? Absolutely!
So when you are challenging yourself to grow, when you are stepping outside of your comfort zone to level up and achieve more, know that ‘ickyness’ will fade in time and it will be something else that will make you feel icky. That is because you are growing and getting stronger and you will look back on it and think, I am so glad I persisted.
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