I’ve been going to the gym since I was 18; almost half of my life. In muscle building parlance, to grow muscle you have to stretch it; you have to feel discomfort. You have to force it. Muscle builders pursue the burn because when you do it right, you’re sore the next day.
Similarly organizations, and individuals, need to stretch themselves beyond their comfort zone in order to grow. They have to embrace a “seek discomfort” mindset, where they’re happy when new mistakes are made and learning happens.
Established organizations don’t approach their growth strategy with this mindset. Rather, they do a little bit more of what they’ve already done. It’s always been this way, and the result will also be the same: long-term irrelevance.
Improvement begins at the point of discomfort
Improvement only happens when you feel discomfort; so seek and embrace discomfort. Because if individuals aren’t learning, neither is the organization. With that said, how do you challenge yourself to seek and embrace discomfort?
Here goes: If you have a project and you say “I can do that”, that’s not the project you want. The projects that say “I don’t know that I can do that”, those are the ones you want.
Why? Because you have to figure out a way forward when there are no answers; you have to ask questions that will lead to answers. You have to start from scratch. You have to learn and develop new skills.
You will grow as an individual because you’re challenging yourself.
Remember: If a project doesn’t make you nervous, it’s not ambitious enough. Be bold.