I know you hate failing. So do I. Yet, we can both sit here and agree that falling is a part of life. It somehow is the reason we continue to grow and learn from our past mistakes. Although some of us may take a few f*ck ups to get it right. That part, isn’t going away. So why are so many of us afraid of failure? What about stagnation, comfort and status-quo. Does that scare you? I hear those words and think, YUK! I literally want to run as far as I possibly can from comfort. Why? Well, in my opinion and experiences to date, ‘COMFORT’ is the equivalent of failure.
Let me tell you a story.
In 2009 I was at the top of my game. I had a beautiful family, a rocking business that was scaling, great staff and a new magazine launch. Life was good! Somewhere between good and great, I began to get comfy. Comfortable in my relationships with my family and spouse. Comfortable in my business and its growth. Comfortable with staff and the process of checking in on inventory, cash deposits, hours worked. I got comfy.
I stopped working for it. It’s interesting to look back now and peer into my past life’s muck ups and think to myself, ‘How the Hell did I let it get so bad’. Yet, I did. They say the grass is greener where you water it, and I honestly believe that to be true. Think about when you 1st started your company, or your current job. You hustled, you worked your little rear end off to prove to yourself and all those watching that you could do it. You understood your market, your competitors, and always pushed for bigger and better. You certainly pushed past fears, ignoring anything that got in your way to greatness. You were not comfy.
It’s not so much that being comfortable on occasion is a bad thing, it’s that this is where stagnancy grows like a dark fowl mold. It is where great ideas go to die, where amazing business get taken over by competitors, it is where marriages go south and where life becomes boring. Being comfortable allows your competition to eat you for lunch.
A great TEDx Talk at the University of Nevada by Bill Eckstrom explains why comfort really can ruin your life. I quote Bill from his chat on that video, “What makes you comfortable ruins you, and only in a state of discomfort can you continually grow”. He goes on to explain that a simple gold fish only grows based on its environment. In watching his video again, it had me thinking of just that. When I was a young girl, my grandparents had goldfish, huge mammoth goldfish (that was not their actual name). When I asked my grandmother why they were so big and mine at home never were, the simple answer was because their home (fish tank) was bigger. Their tank took up one whole wall in their basement, and mine barely filled my night stand. You grow, based on your environment.
By 2012, I had lost sight of everything and all things LIFE. I had staff stealing from me, processes within the organization being broken time and time again. I made decisions without understanding the evolution of the industry and my new competitors popping up. I decided that after all the years together with my spouse, he wasn’t going anywhere – so I stopped paying attention. I assumed that all was well. I mean, I had the house, the kids, the husband, friends, successful business. I was the poster kid for young female entrepreneurs. That inner hustle that gain me business respect, earned me the right to stand on stages with other epic entrepreneurs, and won me the man, it died. I got comfortable, and that literally was the demise of it all.
Within a few years, all was lost. Business closed. Friends Forgotten. Marriage Gone.
I have learned that being comfortable, as warm and safe as it feels will be the death of me. Today I try hard to hustle for my business, my spouse, kids, community and friends. I show up. I water the grass and I never settle for status-quo.
‘Growth only occurs in a state of DISCOMFORT’ – Bill Eckstrom
Comment below and tell me about how you are moving through comfort into the discomfort 🙂