10 Uncomfortable Things That Will Make You Happy and Successful

Elle Kaplan
Jun 30, 2017 · 5 min read

“Growth and comfort do not coexist” — Ginni Rometty

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the road to success and happiness were an easy one? Unfortunately, as we all know, this isn’t the case. The reality is, you’ll only succeed once you force yourself to do things that you don’t necessarily want to. It’s true. You see, our brains are wired in such a way that we often don’t take action until we feel some sort of uneasiness or uncertainty.

Multiple studies have backed this claim up, showing that performance spikes when we’re doing something out of our norm. The act of stepping outside our comfort zone is not only vital to our success, but also our well being and ability to grow as individuals too.

With a little understanding and a few minor adjustments, you can break free and achieve more than you ever dreamt possible. So step out of your bubble and embrace the following ten challenges:

Ask for what you want.

“Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.”- Jules Renard

Too often, people don’t achieve the success they want simply because they are not willing to ask for it. Sure, this definitely requires some courage because we do face the possibility of being rejected, but the ever looming ‘what if’ will be much harder to live with than any turndown will. Ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen. If it’s a simple denial it should never hold you back.

Get up early.

However, carving out some extra time for the beginning of your days can be well worth it. Everybody from Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg swear by their rigorous morning habits as a key to their success. And academic research shows that those who adopt morning routines have a greater “ability to take action to change a situation to one’s advantage.”

This will give you an opportunity to mentally prepare for what’s ahead, exercise, get a nutritious breakfast in (instead of eating something on the go like so many of us do) or simply take a few minutes for something you enjoy.

Say no.

Saying no to new requests or invitations helps to honor your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to adequately fulfill them. When you learn to say no when necessary, you’ll free up your time and energy for the things that matter most in your life.

Take compliments.

If you work hard on something, why dismiss any positive feedback that deservingly comes your way? When you learn to accept compliments you’ll gain the chance to see yourself as your peers do, and odds are you’re confidence will soar.

Give and take critical feedback.

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve” - Bill Gates

Feedback develops humility and self-awareness and challenges perfectionism. Neither giving nor receiving critical feedback is ever easy, but remember that nothing worthwhile really ever is. However, if you learn to be open to feedback, you’ll see progress in your skill development and overall personal growth too.

Admit mistakes.

To become an effective leader we must take on the responsibility of understanding our successes and our failures. Learning to admit mistakes will help you to earn respect, lead by example and build a culture of trust with your peers and colleagues.

Network and make small talk.

Start practicing public speaking.

“There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars.”– Mark Twain

We all know how common the fear of public speaking is. In fact, a whopping 74 percent of Americans have glossophobia (the fancy word for it). So if this includes you, know that you’re nowhere close to being alone.

Whether you’re speaking in front of five people or five thousand, becoming a better public speaker can be a huge advantage to your career. Don’t just take my word for it: Warren Buffett says it will boost your career success by 50 percent.

While it might appear daunting to learn public speaking, so did learning to ride a bike at first. Thankfully, there are some fairly simple ways to start becoming a master at it. Although you won’t become a TED Talk star overnight, becoming great at this is a lot easier than it appears.

Overcome procrastination.

The best way to beat procrastination is to of course never let it begin. Write out the things you’re “going to do tomorrow”, create a schedule for these tasks, keep yourself accountable and imagine how great you’ll feel once they’re accomplished.

Let go.

“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”- T.S. Eliot

As we start to invest in ourselves and grow, we become more aware of the people and things that were previously holding us back. This may be in the form of a bad relationship, perfectionism, insecurities, late nights or a social media addiction. When we let go of what no longer serves us, we make room for more productivity, positivity and success.

Is there anything you’ve done to step out of your comfort zone and succeed? I’d love to hear from you — leave a comment or reach out to me on Twitter!

If you liked these tips be sure to connect with me at ElleKaplan.com for more advice!

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