Are you comfortable being uncomfortable?

In my recent travels, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about why I love what I do both in my personal and professional life. It’s been four months in my new job, and I am having more fun than ever before and I am more excited than I have ever been about the future of Kforce. I can summarize this in one phrase — I’m comfortable being uncomfortable.

I can trace this feeling back to my younger days as an athlete, all the way up to college where I played quarterback at Central Washington University in the mid 1990’s. The thrill of competition can bring the best out in people and push them to do or achieve things that most don’t even think are possible — but only if you take time to get comfortable with the feeling of being uncomfortable. I hope to explain this further below.

I began thinking about how that statement might inspire others to be successful. I’ve been in leadership roles all of my life, and as I look back in many of these situations, I can identify times where I was outside of my comfort zone, which pushed me to succeed.

Let’s think about this — Why do some athletes perform better than others? Is it luck? Why do others perform better than others in the corporate environment? Is it just by chance? I believe the answer is that high achievers in any industry or field are comfortable being uncomfortable. They are never satisfied and always like pushing themselves and others to new heights. What I love most about this phrase or belief is that this choice of behavior of being uncomfortable can be extremely influential to the morale of an organization. I know this first hand, as I experience it daily in my line of work and also have experienced this in my collegiate athletic career.

Throughout my career, I’ve heard people say to bring your “A” game! What does that actually mean to each person? I would argue that it is hard to bring your “A” game when you are in a state of being comfortable, or in other words — subconsciously complacent. I would like to think that we all strive to be our best or aspire to grow and achieve greatness, but to do that, I believe it comes down to your leader and yourself.

Let me stop myself for a minute and clarify that the purpose of this message is not just for “high achievers.” My goal is to inspire everyone to become a high achiever and I believe that the key to unlocking your potential is finding that person, that job, or that boss who can stretch you to the point of being uncomfortable.

In my new role as President of Client Strategy & Partnerships, I am lucky to work with some of the largest brands that many have come to know in the United States. That opportunity alone is very fulfilling and stretches me to be my best. As a result, I ask the same from my team. With any large brand, you must push yourself to be the best, because the expectations from your customer base will be high.

I am comfortable being uncomfortable, and I’m also inspiring others to do more.

What are some ways that you can push yourself out of your own comfort zone? I would like to hear your thoughts so please share, like or comment below as I would love to hear from you.