How many uncomfortable things in your life are holding you back from being successful? 1, 5, 10, more? The most successful people focus on doing uncomfortable things, not because it gives them pleasure, but because they understand that getting comfortable with hard things and doing them well is the path to success.
In today’s episode, host Jason Ramsden shared his take on 15 uncomfortable things that can help you be more successful and talks about his own struggles with many of them as well. We’re all on a journey to being better people so come along for the ride and get comfortable with uncomfortable things.
15 Uncomfortable Things That Will Make Your More Successful by Meghan Keaney Anderson (hubspot.com)
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EP11: Give and Take by Adam Grant
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EP02: Find Your Why by Simon Sinek (audio version)
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Hi, I'm Jason Ramsden and I believe we can all work on leading a more positive and intentional life. And this show details my journey by sharing my learning stories and conversations with guests. If you want to lead a more intentional life, focus on being the best you possible. Please subscribe today. Now, let's get into today's episode. Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening. Wherever you find yourself today, my positivity posse. Welcome back, we're getting ready to do another episode focused on our positivity question. Today, we're getting comfortable with uncomfortable things. And we'll kick it off with a quote from Anne Lamott that says it's good to do uncomfortable things. It's weight training for life. And I love this quote. But I also struggle with it a little bit because it does the weight training in there, which is, guess what one of the things that people aren't quite comfortable within their lives. And it is an important uncomfortable thing to get comfortable with. And there's actually quite a number of things that we need to get comfortable with in our lives, especially if we're going to be focused on being more successful. And that'll be the focus of today's episode is how can you be more successful by doing a number of different uncomfortable things and doing them well and working them into your into your daily routine into your weekly routine and into your life? What I love about today's show, is that it has to do a lot with what's happening in my life right now. In doing the research for today, I found a great article called 15, uncomfortable things that will make you more successful, why wouldn't we use that as a reference point for today's episode. But I was I was reading the article and scrolling through it. There are a lot of things in here that my own coach has been working on with me to try to get me to understand about myself and about life in general, the things that I struggle with. And as a coach myself, I am also working with people who are working through some of these things as well. And so you're not alone. If you're listening to this and trying to figure out okay, what do I need to get comfortable with? What are the uncomfortable things I need to focus on? We'll get into that here in a second. But just know that you're not alone. Everybody struggles with something in their lives? And the truth is, we all have things that are awkward for us to try and figure out how do we make it work. And the number one thing in this article, which was written by Megan KEANEY, Anderson is learning to take a compliment. I don't know about you. But for me, this is probably one of the hardest things that I have to do in my life. I just am not good at it. I don't appreciate the attention. And I don't appreciate the compliments, or phrase that a different way. I appreciate the cobblers but I'm not good at taking a compliment. And this happens to be something that I was recently working on with my own coach in the form of recognition because that's what a compliment is when people want to recognize you. They want to tell you the good work that you do. And you should let them even though it's difficult, and I know it's difficult for you, you've worked really hard you focus on your skills, you perfected your craft, but the moment that somebody verbalizes to you in the form of a compliment, all of a sudden you you panic, and perhaps it's just a little bit of a babbling response. Or you don't even know what to say or in my case, I go right to self deprecating mode in my response. And why you may think that this is something that you should do because you're at work, right? It's no problem, I'll take care of it, that sort of thing. You're actually cheating the person who is giving you the compliment out of giving you the compliment. So let them finish, don't interrupt, let them finish what they're going to say. Take a really deep breath, smile and just say thank you. I really appreciate you sharing that with me today. Don't try to over explain. Don't try to push it off. Don't try to undercut yourself. Just really thank them sincerely. They wanted to thank you for hard work that you do. They want to provide you with a compliment, because they see that you're doing good work and just accept it. And I get it. It's hard. There's actually a study out there that says 70% of people actually associate discomfort levels, embarrassment gramineus, with the process of being recognized and receiving compliments, so definitely, you're not alone. And an easily arises, this discomfort usually arises because there's a disconnect between what people see in you and the work that you do and the self doubt that you have in yourself. So just remember when somebody is giving you a template, it's not really about you. It's not you need to let that go. It's about the person themselves. They see good in you and they want to tell you about it. And it's a good thing because they're really telling you how you're impacting their life and you know that I'm a big believer in impact one or impact 1 million, there's no difference. So if you're getting complimented on the work that you do, it's because you have impact. And that's an important part of life. Right? number two on the list if you want to be more successful, especially in your career, number two on the list is you got to get comfortable with public speaking. And you may be saying to yourself, listen, Jay, this is like probably the hardest thing for me ever. Like, I'm not quite sure even how to get over the hurdle of thinking about wanting to do public speaking. And I understand I get it that over the course of my career, I've given over 30 different presentations at the national level, stay regional, all the way down to the local level and a small group of people. And in the beginning, especially when you have a large group of people it was it was daunting, there was nerves, there were butterflies, there were stumbles of words, over time, just like anything else. If you do it enough, and you practice it enough, it becomes easy. Now, I'm not saying I don't still have nerves when I go to do a presentation, though. But I no longer have the fear that I will fail in the process of what I'm trying to accomplish in the in the presentation. Again, still get nervous. But I don't have the fear that I'm going to fail when when you're thinking about public speaking that, you know, there's a couple simple tips. One is, don't try and memorize everything, you're going to say you have key points. And those are the most important. So let's say there's five key points that you're trying to reject when you're doing your public speaking, allow those five points to act as your navigational guide, they are going to act as your points of context throughout. So there's going to be a beginning, a middle and an end. And there's going to be a couple of points in between each. And let those points help guide you. And as you're doing it, let's just remember that the audience didn't get up that morning and say hello, there's really good topic, I really hope the person who's giving it bombs, I hope they fail, I want to see them stumble on their words and be miserable. Now, they're there because you they want to know more about the topic that you'll be talking about. And the best advice I ever got is take a deep breath, stand up tall, pretend like you belong there. Yes, you can fake it till you make it 10 like you belong there. And that just process the deep breath standing up tall into, like a strong position will actually trigger something in you that allows you to proceed. Now, there's plenty of tips out there for public speaking, there's organizations that you can join that can even help you with public speaking. But just like anything else, it's practice, practice, practice, and you can get better at it. And while this podcast is not necessarily public speaking, it is a journey in learning how to put together an audio package better how to have my thoughts come out in a way that makes sense to the listener. And I continue to work on it so that there's value for you. All right, next on the list, waking up early. Now this is one of my favorite things to do. I know people are like, Why do you get up early? Why do you get up early every single day? Yep, Saturdays and Sundays, I may delay by 45 minutes to an hour, but the alarm still going off somewhere between five and six. And I was having a conversation with somebody the other day, and they're like, what I don't understand, like, why don't you take the time to sleep in. And the truth is, I've gotten to a point now where I know my timeframe for sleeping seven and a half to eight hours tops. When you get in a habit. It's really important. You know, we talked about this before bookending your day and bookending your night. But when you book in your night, and you are consistently going to bed at the same time. For me, this happens between nine and 930, then consistently seven and a half to eight hours later, I am ready to get up. And when you do that mass, you go to bed, nine 937 and a half, eight hours later is five to 530. And for me I particularly love it because the hours before the day really begins are the most valuable hours to me, the energy that I have the focus that I have the mental capacity that I have in the morning, I'm most creative, most alive, I think between 530 and we'll call it nine o'clock in the morning. That's a great way to get a lot of things done. And again, not gonna say that it's easy we can up it's a learned practice, it's because I have a set bedtime. And my body really knows seven and a half hours is what I need between there and eight hours. And then once you start to get in that habit, just really think about the things that you can get done during that part of the day. And I get lots of people in different stages of their lives. I understand that some people may have young children who listen to the show. Other people may be older, their schedules are different. They may work the night shift, they may not have a typical day or a typical pattern. But this is really about you know setting yourself up for success. And whether you book in your day and your night like I do, or you tweak the hours a little bit. It doesn't really matter. They get you Have to do what works best for your schedule. But making time of the hours in the morning before the day really starts is really a magical time. And I highly suggest it, I hope you'll give it a try. Alright, next on the list, we are talking about critical feedback. Yikes. Right? That's probably one of the toughest things that we can do in the workplace is actually taking critical feedback about the work that we do. And I will talk about recognition earlier and how it's uncomfortable to get that but it is also extremely uncomfortable to get critical feedback, but it's an important part of growth. So you need to instead of turning away from it or turning a deaf ear to it, you need to turn towards it, you need to embrace critical feedback in your life. And if you can think of, of those meetings where you're maybe in a review or getting the feedback on the work that you're doing. And you have, you know, you have good things that the your manager or supervisor may tell you, you also may have things that they're aren't going so well for you as is focused on the things that aren't going well for you as a shortcut to be better at your job. Now, it's human nature for us to get a report or feedback and just go straight to the negative for obvious reasons, like we want to know what we're doing wrong. And we don't understand somebody doesn't explain it correctly to us. And that may be the case for you. You may be working with somebody who gives you critical feedback, but not in a way that's a positive experience, be able to think of it as a way to improve yourself. And the easiest thing to do here, alright, maybe not the easiest thing to do. But one thing to keep in mind is that ask questions like be really mindful and thoughtful about the feedback that you get and ask follow up questions. So you can be sure that you're interpreting what you're the person that is providing you, the feedback is saying. And once you get in the habit of critical feedback a lot easier, especially if you're looking at it as a way to improve yourself. And I think everybody out there, regardless of what you do in life should be looking to improve yourself. And one of the things you have to keep in mind when you're giving feedback to a colleague or a friend is don't soften the blow, like don't do them the disservice of trying to make it softer, so that it's easier on you. Because when you when you soften the blow, and you kind of dance around what it is you're trying to tell the folks it doesn't make you feel better, it doesn't make them feel better. And there is a lack of clarity that comes from that. You know, Bernie brown Oh, he says clear is kind. And that's one of the ways that I've been trying to lead my life. And I think that's an important part of giving critical feedback is that clear, is kind people that you're talking to, you know exactly what you're saying you're not dancing around the topic, and you're not slighting them in any way. And then it ends up being really constructive process for the person on the other end. And if you're struggling to find a way to make this happen, there's a thing called SBI situation behavior in impact. And rather than just telling somebody, for example, Billy, hey, you've got a bad attitude at work. And it shows people talk about that with me, sit down with Billy and say, Okay, here, situation, here's a time here was the behavior. And here's the impact that it had on me, or the impact that it had on others, the more often you can do this more often, you can put the critical feedback into context for the person, don't like save them up for a year and then tell the person and dump on them, or do it routinely, to be in the same space with you. It's not something that's just so open ended, that they don't understand where it's coming from, it's the exact moment in time. And that really helps the other person understand where that critical feedback is coming from. Because it's not about them. It's about how it affected you. Moving through this list. Now the next is fighting through conflict. And I know I am a conflict. avoider have been my whole life. I'm trying to work on it. Trying to get better at this. This is something that, for me makes me uncomfortable just like everybody else is, you know, coming toe to toe or head to head with somebody. And I think what's probably the easiest thing to do here is put yourself in the other person's shoes. Like if something's going on, and you see that you have conflict with a co worker at work. When you're looking at the situations that are going on. Like put the context try to see the situation behavior and impact from their point of view. Is there something that you're doing is there a time or a behavior that's impacting them in a certain way, and be real honest with yourself sit down and be open to say, You know why maybe some of the behaviors that I have are causing me to have an issue with this other person at work, and as soon as you figure out, perhaps the reason for that, then it makes it a lot easier. To figure out how to correct it, which will then minimize the conflict. All right now and oddly enough, what's coming up next is we talked about it in the very beginning with the quote, and it was talking about weight, being uncomfortable or getting comfortable with uncomfortable messes, a weight training for life. And guess what exercise is the next on the list. And exercising is not something that's easy for everybody. It's not a habit that is easily made by people, I'm one of them, I go through spurts in spots where I'm really good at it. And then other times, I'm not good at it. But the truth is, exercise is something we all need, we need to move our bodies, our bodies were built to move, because that's how we were engineered. Human beings are always on the go. And exercise is part of that process. So rather than saying, you know what I'm going to exercise to lose weight, or I'm going to exercise to feel better, just get started with exercise, just start to walk, find time to move your body. And just get up, get out and get going. There are plenty of apps where you can connect with others, almost from an accountability standpoint, and find something that's going to hold you accountable for getting up and getting out and getting moving. And again, it doesn't have to be this intense workout, it doesn't have to mean going to the gym for hours on end or going for, you know, five or 10 mile run exercises important part of life for a good reason. It helps move blood it helps get air into our bodies. And it's a really good reset for us. You just need to find what works for you. That could be yoga, it could be swimming, it could be walking, could be running, it could be weight training, it could be riding a bike, whatever it may be, find something that works for you. And for a lot of people it get started, it's just walking and do that slowly, maybe you walk for five minutes, one day, then it's 10 minutes, the next day, maybe it's 15. The next day, it gets to a point where you build up, make it a part of your life, just like getting up early and rising early. It's something that once you create the habit, you will find that you can't live without it. And again, creating habits is not an easy thing. But if you get into the habit of creating habits and having an open mindset around it, you'll find that it'll be a little bit easier. But just don't try to do everything at once. Everything we're talking about today, for being more successful in your professional life is not something that you're going to want to try and take on all of it at once you got to jump yet another important key to being successful in your work and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is unplugging. I recently did this, where a week we happen to have spring break and we took time away. And I really focused on unplugging like not checking my phone not being attached to the internet, reading a hard bound book instead of listening to an audio book. And just being like just being out in fresh air, taking the time to relax and just unplugging from life. And doing that, you'll find that you'll find a little bit more clarity or focus. When you stop checking your phone when you stop having the urges to see what's going on when you shut down your notifications. When you think of your phone as a tool to be used when you want to use it. And not necessarily looking to see if people are trying to find you. That's when you find the real power of unplugging, let's say six hours, six hours without checking your phone. That's the challenge. See if you can make that happen one day this week. And going to bed is not the answer to getting the six hours I'm talking about six hours during the day, set it aside. actually do work. Talk to your co workers focus on what's going on get a project done run errands, but leave your phone someplace else. Go ahead give it a try and then drop some comments on this episode and let me know how do they go? How did it feel to not be connected for six hours. And then if you get good at that the next challenge would be a full day 24 hours no phone phone use, give it a try and see what that feels like. Next up on our list of getting comfortable with uncomfortable things is networking in making small talk. And I know for a lot of people this is probably something that's difficult to get going with the small talk aspect of life. Some people especially if you're an introvert, it may be harder for you to figure out how to do small talk or you're comfortable with it. One of the recommendations I have for small talk, especially if you know you're going to be in similar situations over and over again, is have a set of five questions keep it in your bag, your purse, your car, wherever it may be a set of five questions that you can ask new people regularly. The key to small talk is not necessarily talking about yourself, but giving people the opportunity to talk about themselves and prodding a little bit more and asking open ended questions. Don't get yourself caught into a spot of asking them close ended in a closed ended question is an answer of yes or no or a single word, ask them open ended questions, what, how, when, and where. And you'll find that this will be a door opener or springboard to other questions, and they'll start to kind of just roll through. And sooner or later, you'll hit something that they have a huge interest in. And then you have a really deep conversation. And by deep Yes, small talk, how deeper you're going to get into a conversation. But you'll have kind of a good timeline of having a conversation with the person before moving on to the next person in the meeting, or the next person in the room. You know, as we come out of a pandemic, and we start having social events, again, small talk is going to be a big part of getting back to connecting with people. And I'll wrap up here we've got two more things, in this particular episode about how we can become comfortable with uncomfortable things, especially in the workplace, as we're trying to focus on our professional lives is that one is admitting a mistake, take ownership, you have to take ownership when you screw up. No doubt about that. Don't try and push it off on somebody else that doesn't do anybody good any time at all. And then the other one is, admit when you don't know something, don't try to fake it. Lots of people say, Well, I'm gonna fake it till I make it. Now, be honest, be open, be transparent with what's going on in the workplace. If you don't know the answer to something, say so and say, you know, I'm going to do some investigation, to do a little bit research. And I'll get back to you by the end of the business day, or I'm going to get back to you within 24 hours. But don't go through the process of trying to show that you know something when you really don't, because that will be uncovered pretty quickly. I know today's episode was a little bit longer than my normal episodes, and we went straight through I appreciate you spending time with me today talking about how we get comfortable with uncomfortable things to be more successful in our lives be more successful at work. It's an important topic. I think as people start to emerge from pandemic, they may be thinking about switching jobs, they may be thinking about things to make themselves better. And so I felt like this was an important topic today. Especially as the weather starts to turn and people are getting outside we're starting to have things open up a little bit more. And there's a good list of things from today's episode that you can really focus on and I'd love to hear more about that. I'd love to get connected with you shoot me an email at Jason at positivity on fire calm. Let me know what you're working on what you're in trying to improve in your life, and how I can help. And I'll close out today's show just like I always close out every day is that Thank you. I really do appreciate your time and listening to this this episode to the shows. It means the world to me it's time is the greatest gift that you can give to anybody. And just remember be well be happy, be you. And until next time, may your quest for positivity begin today. If you like today's episode, please go to pod chaser.com search for positivity on fire and leave a five star rating and review. For more on my positivity quests. Follow me at positively underscore Jay on Instagram or Tiktok or engage with the show by visiting direct that means slash Jason Ramsden. Have an amazing day.