Success is Not Created by Seeking Comfort

Success is Not Created by Seeking Comfort

“No pain, no gain.”

(No pun intended on Sophee Payne. Side note, “No Payne, no gain” is a business motto many people have tried to convince me of using.)

We all know that "no pain, no gain" doesn't just apply to working out. If you want to get better at something or make progress on a goal, you are almost certainly going to have to to get out of your comfort zone and suffer a little (...or a lot).

How to know if you are making progress?

You feel awkward.

If you feel awkward and on the edge of your comfort zone right now, hopefully that is reassuring. (I know it is for me, as I do things almost everything that make me uncomfortable.)

Many of us see discomfort as a unwanted part of the process of progress on a goal. We try to expect it, maybe prepare for it, but mostly we endure discomfort and try to minimize as much as possible. It makes sense to minimize discomfort; it’s human nature. But minimizing it is holding you back.

A new study out of Cornell and the University of Chicago finds if you want to maximize your success, you shouldn't actually seek success. Instead, seek out discomfort. You'll end up reaching your goals so much faster.

Research shows over and over that people seeking out discomfort rather than trying to “do well” end up doing better at whatever task they are given.

I see this all the time as a career coach with my coachees.

Try to ask yourself, “How awkward did I feel today?” That’s your sign of success. Celebrate it as you would any other wins.