Are you mad? Or should I say, are you doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome? I find this definition of madness incredibly powerful for business owners because too often we create patterns we keep repeating even when they no longer serve us. Why? Because we are scared of getting out of our comfort zone. So I want to talk with you about embracing discomfort because it’s actually a good thing for your business!
The good news is that even if you are scared you can embrace discomfort, learn and grow along the way while enjoying the benefits of doing something different.
Let’s get a better understanding of what getting uncomfortable actually means and how it can help you achieve your goals and take your business to the next level. Oh and no, it doesn’t require you to start dancing on TikTok – unless you’re into that!
Be open to discomfort
As entrepreneurs, it’s easy to fall into the trap of staying within our comfort zone. We figure out a system that works and keep repeating the same patterns. However, systems that might have worked for us in the past could become obsolete, slow down our growth, or our business might have outgrown them altogether. Still, we avoid discomfort and keep at it, losing out on potential opportunities or better results.
Some examples of what I mean by embracing discomfort for entrepreneurs:
- Stop micro-managing and learn to delegate
- Try things we’ve never done before and that we might suck at first
- Explore new marketing techniques
- Look for new business streams that complement our offering
- Tap into a new customer base we need to get familiar with
- Hire a VA or a freelancer for the first time
- Talking about our personal growth story or putting ourselves forward in our marketing
Benefits of embracing discomfort as an entrepreneur
I absolutely love that feeling of realizing I accomplished something I thought I would not know how to do. There’s so much strength in admitting “I was scared, I made a few mistakes and learned a lot, but now I’ve done it!”
When we get ok with getting uncomfortable, these are some of the benefits that can have a lasting impact on not just our business life, but on our perception of what’s within our reach.
Improved creativity & problem-solving skills
When we’re forced to step outside of our comfort zone, we’re often faced with new and unfamiliar situations. There’s nothing better than that to spark our creativity and help us come up with innovative solutions to problems we may not have encountered otherwise.
Increased resilience & adaptability
Entrepreneurship is full of ups and downs, and being able to adapt to change is key. Embracing discomfort can help us build resilience and learn to navigate difficult situations with greater ease.
Right now, most entrepreneurs are worried about their businesses going through the recession that’s upon us, resilience and adaptability are key at times like these.
Greater self-confidence & self-awareness
What if I fail or make a fool of myself? Stepping out of our comfort zone can be a frightening experience, but going through it can help us build confidence in our abilities. It can also help us become more self-aware, as we learn more about our strengths and weaknesses in the face of new challenges.
Expanded network & opportunities
Because we are getting out of our routine, we often have the opportunity to meet new people and explore new opportunities whether in person or online. This is great for expanding our network and opening doors to new possibilities we may not have considered otherwise.
Accelerated learning & personal growth
When we challenge ourselves, we have the opportunity to learn and grow at an accelerated pace. By embracing discomfort, we can push ourselves to learn new skills, take on new challenges, and achieve things we may not have thought possible.
How to step out of your comfort zone as an entrepreneur?
Identify and acknowledge your fears & limiting beliefs
Often, the biggest obstacle to stepping out of our comfort zone is our own mindset. By identifying and acknowledging our fears and limiting beliefs, we can start to challenge them and push ourselves to try new things.
Set achievable but challenging goals
It’s important to set goals that are both achievable and challenging. This can help us stay motivated and focused, while also pushing us to grow and learn.
Take small steps & celebrate your progress
Stepping out of our comfort zone doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. By taking small steps and celebrating our progress along the way, we can build momentum and stay motivated to continue pushing ourselves.
Seek support & accountability
It can be helpful to have a support system in place to help us stay accountable and motivated. This can be a mentor, a coach, or a group of peers who are also working to step out of their comfort zones.
Real-life examples of successful entrepreneurs who embraced discomfort
There are so many examples of entrepreneurs who have benefited from getting out of their comfort zone and taking risks.
Here are just a few for inspiration:
Brian Chesky, Co-founder of Airbnb
Brian left his job to start Airbnb, a business that he didn’t know much about and at a time when people were quite skeptical about renting out private homes for their holidays. He faced numerous challenges in the early days of the company, but embraced discomfort, remained committed to his vision, and has built Airbnb into a global hospitality giant.
Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx
Sara Blakely was working as a door-to-door fax machine salesperson when she came up with the idea for Spanx. Despite having no experience in fashion and facing numerous rejections, she pursued her idea and built a multi-billion-dollar company.
Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX
Known for being a dreamer, when he founded Tesla and SpaceX the billionaire put all his money into these new ventures and actually lived on loans from friends. He’s also known for saying: “If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.” Talk about embracing discomfort!
So there you have it friends! It’s up to you to decide if you are willing to embrace discomfort. It won’t be easy, but it can be an incredible personal learning journey and business growth accelerator. Be smart about it, but do it!
Ready to embrace discomfort and push your business to new heights? Start by identifying an area where you feel the most uncomfortable and imagine the potential benefits for your business if you try something new. Next, set a specific goal with a deadline to keep yourself motivated and on track. You could even use the SMART framework – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound – to help you structure your goal.
The key is to avoid overthinking and to use your momentum to take action right away. So what are you waiting for? Take that first step outside of your comfort zone and see what possibilities unfold for your business.