“What is one thing you could do, at practice today, that will make you uncomfortable to help us get better?” That is the question that my dad asked each one of his players at the beginning of a volleyball practice.
Each girl pondered for a few moments, then answered this somewhat difficult question. For some of the girls the light went on. It was fun watching each girl attempt to make herself uncomfortable during practice. It was one of those moments that has stuck with me for years.
Discomfort forces us to step outside of the norm. We tend to hate it and it is often an inconvenience. Comfort finds us in a state of tranquility, contentment, and even luxury. Being uncomfortable, according to Webster’s Dictionary, causes a feeling of unease or awkwardness.
If I am completely honest with myself, being a female leader makes me uncomfortable. Leadership is something that flows from my heart and my life, but it causes me great pain and even anxiety. I have been asking myself how can I lead from this? How can I get better at what I am doing?
The answer lies in allowing myself to lead from the discomfort, even when it is painful and I want to run. I can INTENTIONALLY put myself in situations that stretch my thinking as a leader. These situations include:
- Having focused conversations with people who intimidate me
- Encouraging people who get under my skin
- Leading up (which is the most difficult position to lead from)
- Spending time with people I don’t connect with
How can you use this idea of being uncomfortable in your daily life? What makes you uncomfortable? Can you, or will you put yourself in uncomfortable situations to get better?
What is one thing that you can do today that will make you uncomfortable? I would love to hear your thoughts…….