There’s no getting around it: change is uncomfortable. But it’s also the path to greatness.
If you’re serious about becoming successful, you need to learn to embrace being uncomfortable. The only way to grow, personally and professionally, is to step into the unknown.
Don’t let the fear of rejection stop you.
Dr. Joe Dispenza is a best-selling author, researcher, and lecturer who has spent a lot of time studying the human mind. One of the conclusions he’s reached that has really stuck with me is that we are the product of our experiences and our memories, but, so much of the time, we’ve exaggerated these things in our minds. We tend to focus on the worst memories we have and let them dictate what we can do in the future.
When you let those bad memories and fears control you, you won’t get anywhere. Embracing failure is truly the only way to go. As Ed Mylett says, you need to view those mistakes and failures as opportunities to do better.
Learn by leaning into awkwardness.
Sure, it feels very awkward to go up and knock on a stranger’s door, or to cold call someone you don’t know. It feels unnatural, at least at first. But sales is a numbers game, and leaning into the awkwardness means a better chance of closing more deals.
You never lose on a sales call. You come out of that call either knowing someone is a prospect or knowing they aren’t.
If you need a little motivation to dive into those awkward or uncomfortable tasks, here’s a mind trick you can use to improve your perspective. Instead of thinking of cold calls as a series of rejections, think of the end result. Take $100 in one dollar bills. For every call you make, take one dollar out of one jar and put it into the next. Every call you make, you’re earning a dollar. And then, when you finally do get the sale that earns you $100, you’ll see how your success was actually the culmination of your efforts.
When I first started hosting webinars, I was super uncomfortable. It was public speaking, but, because it was done virtually, I didn’t have a crowd to read or react to. I wondered what my employees thought of me as I worked on developing this new skill. But, ultimately, realized I’d never get better at doing webinars unless I allowed myself to be vulnerable and to make mistakes.
Don’t wait to make a change.
Too often, people don’t change until a tragedy happens. I think of the song “Live Like You’re Dying” by Tim McGraw. It’s technically possible for us to die on any given day, but we live in this weird reality where we don’t think about it. Then, as soon as we experience tragedy (or near-tragedy), something clicks. That causes a change of mind-set or in discipline.
Don’t wait for tragedy to strike. Be willing to step out into the awkwardness. Beyond that, don’t ever rest on your laurels. If you rely on what makes you successful and try to do the same things over and over, you get worse results.
This might sound counterintuitive, but it’s true. In order to be successful in the long term, you constantly have to evolve. If you stay the same, you will fail. Think of a company like Blockbuster. They didn’t keep up with technology—even turning down the chance to buy Netflix—and they paid for it.
On the other hand, there are companies like Facebook. In 2012, people were shocked when Facebook bought Instagram for the huge sum of $1 billion. As of 2018, Instagram was worth an estimated $100 billion.
I’m not telling you to go out and spend more money than you have on a risky investment. What I am saying is that you’ll never do anything if you’re plagued by fear or self-doubt. More important, there are so many great things you can do if you’re only willing to try.
If you fail, you’ve still tried. By challenging yourself, you’ve hopefully made yourself stronger and more resilient. You’ve probably also learned some things that you can use in the future.
At the end of the day, you won’t get to the next level by accident—you’ll only get there by setting a goal and working like crazy to make it a reality.