You know all the talk and cliches about the comfort zone (many of them accurate). So you, a person who’s eager to grow and expand your game, will of course find yourself in uncomfortable positions that you need to live through without cowering and without scurrying back to your safe space. Today we talk about how to manage that discomfort for your own growth.
[Transcript] #1095 How To Use Uncomfortable Situations As Opportunities For Growth
[00:00:00] You’re now tuned into the show where you learn the discipline to show what they have to day to do the work the confidence to put yourself out there boldly and authentically and the mental toughness to continue showing up doing the work putting yourself out there even when the success you’ve expected to achieve is yet to be achieved. On top it is there is more you to use those personal initiative that go get an energy to moves you to make things happen instead of waiting for things to happen. Putting all this together you get the mindset the method the podcast known as work on your game. My name is Dre Baldwin also known as Dre All Day. Welcome to the show. Today’s topic is how to use discomfort situations in which you will be uncomfortable even whether it’s a situation that is thrust upon you or one that you created yourself where maybe you knew you would be uncomfortable maybe you weren’t sure you would be uncomfortable maybe you are 100 percent sure maybe you are somewhere in between but you ended up having some uncomfortable moments how can you leverage these situations to actually expand your game to expand your abilities to add to your skill set. That’s why we don’t talk about here today because I understand everyone here has heard the saying that to expand yourself to grow to get better at anything you do you had to step out of your comfort zone.
[00:01:07] Everyone’s heard the all the different sayings and cliches about the comfort zone to expand your influence and get better. Anything you’re doing in life you’ve got to get out of the zones in which you’re comfortable. Things that you can already do you’ve got to get to where you’re uncomfortable and eventually grow comfortable there. Now your comfort zone has expanded and a larger you can make that comfort zone the more influence and impact you can have on yourself others and the world in general says we’re talking about here today how to leverage that discomfort that you will experience anytime you step outside of your comfort zone to expand your game so not that is is happening by default because you ended up uncomfortable for whatever reason but how you can actually maybe use this in a strategic way whether you plan for it or you didn’t. That’s what we’re talking about here today. Now we noted to expand a comfort zone you’ve got to be uncomfortable how do you get from there that uncomfortable place to making yourself better. That’s the question we’re answering here.
Point number one topic again how to use this conference to expand your game and abilities. Number one when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation or even to think back whether it’s something has happened and now something that will happen in the future.
[00:02:12] But one thing you can do right now today while you’re listening to this or maybe after you listen to it or palsy is to think back to times when you have been uncomfortable. We’ve all been in uncomfortable situations before. Think back to those times and ask yourself some questions. The most important question they need to keep asking over and over again is this one right here. Why did you feel uncomfortable.
Why were you uncomfortable with what that person said to you why were you uncomfortable when you walked into that room Why did you feel physically uncomfortable in this situation that you’re trained or your coach or your opponent put you in ask yourself why was I uncomfortable. No I was uncomfortable here. Why did I feel that way. This can be an uncomfortable conversation for you to have with yourself because just even bringing up the thoughts of times when you felt uncomfortable and maybe something as human beings sometimes we kind of unconsciously bury those situations any situation was we’ve been uncomplimentary we bury it as if it never even happened it may be it may take some time. You may need to think hard about this to even jog your memory about these times or you felt this discomfort because usually we like to remember the times when we felt great and things went Excellent.
[00:03:21] And usually those are the ones that we want to remember because it gives our mind. It kind of gives our mind a G.P.S. in our hearts our brains the signal that these are the things that we’re looking for. But you need to use. You want to go to a higher level you need to leverage those uncomfortable situations ask yourself those uncomfortable questions. Deal with those uncomfortable moments with yourself then any of you may want it go to an even higher level with that. This is the type of situations for which you hire a coach or you have a trainer or you have an extra set of eyes who ask you some uncomfortable questions and put you in knows mentally bring you back to those uncomfortable situations so you can deal with them. This is something that people do with therapy does is something people do when they have a personal coach or they want to go through some personal transformation or you just want to get better at your sport at your business that just being who you are asking yourself the question why was I uncomfortable in this particular situation. It would be very revealing to you as far as you’re willing to be honest with yourself.
[00:04:22] I’m a repeat them asking yourself why was I uncomfortable in this particular or these particular situations. You will get some very revealing answers for yourself as far as you are willing to be honest with yourself.
[00:04:37] Now if you’re lying to yourself about being uncomfortable or the level of discomfort that you felt or where it came from or why it happened or and or what you’ve done about it since the answer maybe maybe you’ve done nothing as you try to stop thinking about it and I could never even happened.
[00:04:51] It may be uncomfortable for you to even get these answers but it would be very revealing to you and it will give you the seeds from which you can grow in the future. Knowing what made you uncomfortable knowing what you’ve done about it knowing what led to it and what led to that and what led to that why those feelings exists will give you some really important answers for your potential personal growth when you’re honest with yourself about the time you know what.
[00:05:16] I was unprepared for this situation right there. I was feeling kind of nervous even though I tried to look like I was confident I was fearful even though I put on a brave face.
[00:05:25] I was feeling kind of insecure in that situation even though I don’t even feel comfortable telling myself that I was insecure the more honest you’re willing to be the more useful knowledge you’ll get from going back to those situations or looking at a situation that has you uncomfortable right now and if you can plant these questions in your mind or listen to this episode again have it on the ready for the next time in life when you feel uncomfortable and there will be a next time if you’re into any level of personal growth because the growth doesn’t exist when you’re doing things that you’re already comfortable with. Point number two. Today’s topic is how to utilize discomfort to expand your game and expand your abilities.
Number two usually discomfort happens because we are in some way shape or form unprepared for what is happening or what happened in the past. The thing that causes discomfort we were just unprepared for what we got hit with was can make perfect sense because in life we don’t always know what’s going to happen. I mean how often do you know exactly what’s going to happen in every area of your life. If you know everything is going to happen every you you probably have a boring life so there’s gonna be times when we just don’t know what’s going to come up.
[00:06:29] We may know what’s going to happen we don’t know how is going to happen or how certain other people places and things are going to respond to what’s happening on the outside. You didn’t know that this person was going to get on the elevator you didn’t know that it was going to be so cold outside. We get an uncomfortable spaces sometimes because what came to us or whatever happened in that situation we didn’t see it coming and maybe we could not have seen it coming is like for example you get into a boxing match or a basketball game you’re playing a sport you have no idea what your opponent is gonna do sometimes you know it’s your own teammates gonna do. So what we need to do is move on. Point number three and the topic here again is how to use this conference to expand their game since we know that discomfort can happen sometimes because we can’t predict what’s going to happen.
Preparation there’s point number three preparation expands our abilities to better handle things. So if I know that as soon as I walk into a room everyone is going to be looking at me when I’m not uncomfortable and everybody’s looking at me. If I know that I’m going to get asked 20 questions on his job interview very pointed tough questions I’m not caught off guard when the questions begin.
[00:07:30] If I know them when I get in a game this section of the crowd is going to be booing me and heckling me and trash talking me I’m mentally prepare for in my head some on my own try assault ready for their asses when they start talking so preparation can better help us handle the discomfort that comes with being unprepared but like I just said we got to go to the other side of. The other half of that this equation is yes we can prepare for the things that we know are coming. We can better prepare us all. But what about a situation that we don’t know what’s coming. We don’t know what’s going to happen in this situation. How can we utilize the discomfort that we dealt with the net unknown situation maybe in the past. How can we utilize that to better ourselves in the future. Understand this luxury of being prepared. Point number four is the luxury of being prepared sometimes is is not available. Sometimes you can’t prepare because something is unpredictable and we know everything that’s going to happen and we can prepare for that become kind of boring too in the long run. Sometimes we need a little bit of spontaneity. We need a little bit of.
[00:08:29] We need a little what’s the word I’m a little bit of variety in our lives right. The luxury of being prepared sometimes is not available and we want it that way at times it would be a very boring life. We’d all be robots so we could if we could predict and prepare it for predict and prepare for everything we could all become robots and that wouldn’t be too much of a life. We don’t know what’s going to happen sometimes and so it happens. So maybe the first experience is uncomfortable. The first time we go through it you know what. That was uncomfortable because I didn’t know that was going to happen. I had some idea but I didn’t know it was gonna be like that. And after we were going through it. Now if you’re paying attention in your game you’re paying attention to what you’re going through you’re paying it sends it to your emotions your families your responses. What was what you expected of yourself. What was expected of you. What happened what didn’t happen. If you’re paying attention now the next time you can be prepared. So now you’ve expanded your comfort zone right so you can think of your comfort zone as say as a circle it has a diameter of one. Now you go through an experience where you were unprepared for it.
[00:09:25] You didn’t know that was going to happen you didn’t know it was coming. But this is something that could happen again in the future. You just didn’t notice first sound. So now you’ve expanded your comfort zone because you’ve dealt with that situation. You expanded it not just because you went through it. Let me be clear to me back up and be clear. You don’t become comfortable with a situation just because you go through it. Because you could go through the same situation and keep messing up and keep fucking up in it over and over and over again. You never did that you ever known anybody who they go through the same situation over and over you just keep messing up the same part over and over and over again. So just because you go through it does not mean you’ve you’ve brought that into your comfort zone or expanded your comfort zone to a particular situation. It only expands your comfort zone to a situation when you go through it. You don’t do it the way that you wanted to do it doesn’t go as smoothly as you want to do it. And you’re able to analyze it. You are willing to analyze the world able to analyze it you’re willing to analyze the situation asking yourself what happened here.
[00:10:21] Why was I uncomfortable here. Why was that unprepared. Why did I not know what I was doing why did I not perform at the level that I expected to perform at.
[00:10:29] These are questions that you can be asking of yourself and or you have a second set of eyes or third fourth fifth set of eyes. People around you who will ask you these particular questions these tough questions these uncomfortable questions and sit with you be with you while you address these so you can expand and grow and do it faster. Now I’m going to give you a little hint here. As human beings we all have a little bit of personal bias to bias towards ourselves meaning we may not ask ourselves as pointed a question as somebody else will be willing to ask us simply because we’re a little bit too close to our own situations. Another person no matter how skilled or experienced they are we’ll be able to ask you some questions of yourself in a way that you may never be able to ask of yourself simply because they’re not you they are not emotionally attached to what goes on in your life not as emotionally attached as you are because they don’t have to live through it only you do. This is why you can get that extra set of that person who is going to keep it real with you that coach that trainer that teacher that parent that whoever that whoever that teammate whoever is going to be the person who will ask you the questions that you may not be willing to ask of yourself the person who may be willing to put writing your face what you know exists but you’re not willing to put it in front of your face because it makes you a little bit uncomfortable even think about it let alone talk about it let alone address it.
[00:11:49] You understand what I’m saying is so you only expand your comfort zone by going through a situation number one and you must do this too. You must analyze it and ask yourself the questions that you may not be so willing to face because you will feel so good about those questions you don’t feel so good about the Continental question or what you know may be the answer to that question. You understand me here and this is where your level of maturity has to be high enough that you’re either willing to ask yourself these questions and answer them of yourself and or willing to trust another person. To let them ask you those questions and get you to answer those questions and discuss those questions or however you want to analyze it and go through it and actually address it. The more things you are willing to address yourself to yourself of yourself whether somebody else applied it to you as products yourself the more things you’re going to address to yourself and of yourself the more potential you have the larger your potential for expanding your comfort zone the fewer things the smaller you get with your mind aperture of your mind closing up to being willing to address things that have made you uncomfortable or uncomfortable situations the smaller your potential for growth. You can only grow to the size of the vessel that you have. Right. You mean many of you may have heard the example that if you take a potato for example and you grow it inside of a mason jar or over say a watermelon watermelon is bigger a big watermelon you grow it inside of a little small jar is only going to grow to the size of a jar is not going to bust through the jar is going to grow to the size of the jar is going to take the shape of a jar.
[00:13:19] And that’s pretty much all you got if you put a watermelon in a bigger container is going to grow a whole lot bigger may not maybe not the size of any container you put it in but if you constrain it you can strain something to a limited size smaller than what you would usually expect is going to grow into that size. And if you put it in a more open space it’s going to grow to as more for space is the same thing with your mind if you are not willing to expand. I’m talking much a comfort zone here as a watermelon if you put your comfort zone and a small little jar meaning you’re uncomfortable asking you’re asking yourself questions about anything that may take you out of your euro zone of feeling good about yourself or your zone of everything’s perfect and there are no problems and I’ll have anything to address. If you’re not willing to take yourself out of that space by asking yourself the uncomfortable questions and or addressing uncomfortable questions that may come from outside of you then you are limiting your potential for growth. The more of them you’re going to deal with the larger your potential.
[00:14:15] And this goes for anyone. Doesn’t matter your level of talent where you started who your parents are what resources you have or you don’t have. This is one of the most important resources you can have is being willing to deal with that discomfort. So it is luxury of knowing what’s going to happen we’re still in. Point number four here. It may not always be available but once you go through their first experience and you’re willing to address their first experience now you’ll be better prepared the next time. Now you can expand your comfort zone. This is where a gathering experience matters not just going through it. It’s also analyzing what you went through and asking yourself why did it go the way that it went. How can I be better next time and then actually doing that work.
[00:14:51] Kobe Bryant we all know Kobe right. His rookie year in the NBA playing for the L.A. Lakers this team went to the playoffs. They’re playing against the Utah Jazz and NBA playoffs. They were on the road I believe it was I only remember what game it was in the series but it was late in the game. The Lakers were down. They were trying to come back and win this game.
[00:15:10] Lakers coach put Kobe Bryant in the game. Let’s see what this young guy can do. We need somebody who can create their own shot. Kobe was definitely capable of that wasn’t superstar yet but he was capable of creating his own shot down the stretch it out game in the fourth quarter and I believe this game went into overtime. KOBE BRYANT SHOOTS three air balls. He was trying to make something happen trying to make plays doing what he believed he could do but he shot three air balls down a stretch of that game. The Lakers lost the game got eliminated from the playoffs in that particular game or Kobe shot these air balls and now that became the story of the game. Kobe Bryant this rookie kid coming out of high school he’s not ready to shoot not his air ball shot the Lakers out of the playoffs ex-wives.
[00:15:50] Kobe says the story goes that Kobe when the Lakers landed in Los Angeles after that loss Kobe didn’t even go home he went straight to the gym to start working on his game he started he analyze why that happened why was I shoot those air balls and I heard Kobe say that he his resolution to why those air balls happened was that he didn’t understand the rigors of an NBA season and how much it would take out of his league. So by the time they got to the playoffs all these games he had played all these practices all his traveling his body just wasn’t built for still having some gas in the tank and doing something in a playoff game which is why he shot air balls. That’s what he came up with as a solution whether you agree or disagree as to that being a solution doesn’t matter. Kobe came to that conclusion and then he started doing the work to fix that problem. So he knew he would have legs at the end of the playoffs and next season and he never shot three air balls down a stretch of a game again at least as far as I know. So he took that experience you follow what I’m saying he took that experience. He was in an uncomfortable situation did not perform well then he analyzed it.
[00:16:49] Why did this happen. What can I do to fix it. He came to a conclusion. He did something to fix it and then it never happened again. He never had that discomfort again and I think he did. Kobe performed pretty well in the playoffs for the rest of his career only because he was able to analyze the situation and willing to deal with the uncomfortable conversation maybe that he had with himself about why he had underperformed in a big moment. Let’s recap today’s topic which is how to utilize discomfort to expand your abilities and expand your game. We noted to expand the comfort zone means you got to be an uncomfortable situations. But how do you get from an uncomfortable situation to actually becoming better. Here’s how.
Point number one when you find yourself in uncomfortable situations ask yourself why you felt that way they can be an uncomfortable conversation to have with yourself to even ask yourself these questions.
But it will be a very revealing conversation as far as you are willing to be honest with yourself honest about being unprepared or fearful or nervous or insecure which are things that as humans we don’t often like to admit to others even admit to ourselves.
[00:17:48] Point number two usually discomfort happens because we are unprepared for what happened that caused the discomfort we’re uncomfortable because we didn’t know that was going to happen then it happened and we didn’t know what was going to happen.
We didn’t know it was going to happen so we end up looking bad feeling bad performing that not doing what we wanted to do or at least what we thought we were going to do. Which means.
Point number three preparing ahead of time. Having the discipline to prepare will expand our abilities to better handle whatever happens to come our way is now the more things we’re prepared for the more things we’ll be able to handle.
We’re expanding our possibilities of being able to handle whatever comes our way doesn’t mean everything’s gonna happen exactly as we prepare for. But we are given ourselves a better chance to succeed. And if I know as soon as I walk in the room everybody’s gonna be looking or I know I’m going to get asked a bunch of questions or I know the fans gonna be trash talking and I’m prepared for those things. Then it doesn’t throw me off balance when they actually happen but But point number forward is a luxury man prepared is not always available. We know that we can’t always predict what’s gonna happen in life.
[00:18:48] We all know is going to happen so we actually go through so maybe the first one is uncomfortable maybe the first sound we go through something is uncomfortable but the next time it shouldn’t be as uncomfortable we may not be perfect the second time through. We should be better than we were the first time. If you’re not better the second time than you were the first song that means you didn’t learn from the first summons means you’re repeating your mistakes and as the saying goes if we do not learn from our mistakes we are doomed to repeat them. So you need to look at the situations in which you’ve been uncomfortable in which you have failed and which you have underperformed in which you had disappointed yourself let alone others and ask yourself the uncomfortable questions that come to the uncomfortable conclusions of how and why those came to be the more willing you are to address them. The more prepared you can be in the future for anything else that comes away the larger your comfort zone expands and the more your game will be seen her. Known more you can perform the more results you produce and the more spoils of victory you can acquire for yourself.
[00:19:42] Work on your game Dre All Day.
2:04 Today’s Topic: How To Use Uncomfortable Situations As Opportunities For Growth
3:32 Point I: When you find yourself in uncomfortable situations, ask yourself why you felt that way?
4:05 Why did you feel uncomfortable?
7:24 Point II: Discomfort happens because we are unprepared.
8:31 Point III: Preparation expands our abilities to better handle things.
11:05 Point IV: Luxury of being prepared sometimes is not available.
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The Work On Your Game podcast covers every aspect of Mental Toughness, Confidence and Discipline with 9-year pro basketball player and author of 22 books on the Mental Game of sports and life, Dre Baldwin.
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