I’ve talked about this before and it’s something I say to my runners regularly: running is about being comfortable with being uncomfortable. My dad once asked me if I ever experienced a runner’s high. I laughed because the only time I typically experience a runner’s high is when I can see the finish line! Actually, I have probably only experienced it a couple of times, that state where you feel like you can run forever, nothing hurts, everything is going right, and you’re grateful to just be out in nature and enjoying the scenery. However, most of the time, I’m not loving running when I’m running. Everything hurts for the first mile and a half (sometimes the first 2 miles!) After that point, I’m thinking about mile splits, pace and when will this be done! And yet, I do love running but I think I’m more drawn to that great feeling I experience when I’m done with my run. My mood is better, I feel healthier, and if I’m tired, it’s that good tired that I know will also offer me a good night’s sleep later on. A long run is outside of my comfort zone. A tempo run is outside of my comfort zone. Track workouts are outside of my comfort zone. I have been training for races for the past five years. When you’re training, you're training outside of your comfort zone. That is how you improve.
Being an entrepreneur involves being outside of your comfort zone as well. We are networking, selling, planning, marketing, budgeting, targeting, hustling. And if we are solopreneurs, we are doing it all ourselves, which definitely can throw anyone out of their comfort zone. The key is to get comfortable with that discomfort. Discomfort won’t kill you. You will not die of embarrassment from being a little uncomfortable. What’s the worst thing that can happen? I ask my athletes that question and many times, they are afraid of coming in last. But if you never start, you will never finish, will you? If you stay within your comfort zone, you will never grow, as a runner or an entrepreneur.
Will there be pain? If you’re racing at your full potential, then yup, there will be pain. But you survive! Is there pain when you’re freaking out about your accounts payables versus your bank account balance? Or because you aren’t sure you should even be self-employed? Yes, there’s that quickening of the heart that momentarily makes you feel as though you are experiencing a cardiac event. But it passes, until the next time you're worrying about another aspect of your business. The point is, eventually you learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. And then you continue to move forward!
How have you faced discomfort in your life, whether in the athletic arena or in business?
Commercial & editorial lifestyle & travel photographer, educator, competitive cyclist, track/cross country coach