Discomfort Makes You Stronger

Welcome to this edition of the Take Charge of Change podcast.  Today we’ll look about discomfort and how discomfort is a critical factor in the formation of strong character a prerequisite for building professional and personal resilience

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You know, when you think about it, if nature hadn’t tested us we wouldn’t have developed ways to protect ourselves against the forces of nature and to build convenience and more hospitable living environments. Now despite these modern conveniences, life today, in some respects, is similar to what is used to be. And what I mean is, the bad things we experience in our daily lives can make us stronger and can prepare us to be more able to deal with similar problems in the future. Two thousand years ago the Stoic philosophers Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius proposed imposing mild self discomfort to prepare themselves for inevitable adversity that would arrive in our lives and to develop more appreciation for the blessings we often take for granted. Most people have heightened levels of self-discipline when things are going well. But during times of trial and adversity our discipline muscles are pushed to the limits. In advance of challenge, it’s important  to increase your capacity to deal with challenges by introducing mild discomforts and incremental challenge into our life. If we do this, we are more apt not to be taken off course when challenges of a significant nature hit our lives.

So what are some things you can do to introduce discomfort into your life to make yourself stronger? Well, consider taking a five minute cold shower as a way of growing your discomfort muscle. What about fasting. Do you think you would be uncomfortable going without eating for one or two days? Of course you would. Not only can this discipline make your interior strength stronger but you will more fully appreciate the blessings of great food that’s all around you.

Take an inventory. What are the circumstances or situations that cause you to falter. And two, who are the people or things or circumstances that can potentially make you stronger?

Brainstorm ideas that create inconvenience and discomfort. Consider introducing them into your life to make you more resilient

– walk to work instead of driving

– go camping in the wilderness

– go without technology for today

– live like a miser for a week

– stop your morning coffee for a week

– intentionally engage with difficult people at work

By introducing these challenges into your week you will begin to inoculate yourself. You can become stronger in advance of more serious challenges that come your way.

Download our free e-book the Resilient Professional to get more information on strategies to make you resilient professionally and personally. Contact us if you’d like to start a conversation about how we can help your staff and teams to be more personally and professionally resilient.

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