Stop Avoiding Discomfort, Struggle, and Stress

We only learn through the struggle.  Avoid struggles, challenges, and stress, find yourself stuck and stagnating.Where did we get the notion that life should be one smooth glide down Easy Street?  Never has been, never will be.  Life is full of struggles, times of discomfort, and challenges.

Thank goodness!

Growth only comes from the struggles and challenges.  What we call “stress” is what gives us strength.  We rise to a challenge, learn new skills, and get ready for the next challenge.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not encouraging you to chase after struggles and challenges.  You don’t need to, since they will come your way.

The question is what you do when a struggle DOES come your way.  Do you duck-and-hide, proclaim “life is unfair,” or do you take it on as a challenge?  A challenge is something to move through, overcome, learn from, and grow into.

And THAT is the power of a struggle or challenge.

Life is an episode of:  Discomfort ==> Change ==> Comfort ==> Discomfort (and repeat).  We have periods of comfort, AFTER we have moved through the discomfort, the struggle — UNLESS we avoid the discomfort (or try to).  Then, there is no growth, there is no new capacity, and really no comfort.

When the discomfort comes, will you take it on as a sign that it is time to grow?

Learn how in this week’s podcast episode.

(And, hey, if you like it, can you share it below?)

4 Steps To Regain Your Focus

4 steps to regaining your focus.About a month ago, you may have made a few resolutions.  Or maybe you didn’t need a resolution.  You already had a direction.  You knew where you were headed.

How’s it going?  Are you on-track??  Focused???  Making progress????

If you aren’t, consider yourself normal.  But before you console yourself too much, you don’t have to stay stuck.

Yes, losing focus is normal.  No, it does not lead you toward a rich and thriving life.  It just protects the status quo.

Stephen Covey notes how the “Important and Urgent” of life usually gets done, because it has to get done.  But the “UnImportant and Urgent” often gets our attention, after the important and urgent.  The “Important and Not Urgent” is where we often lose our focus.  Sometimes, we get lost even in the “UnImportant and Non Urgent,” which is a huge time-suck (think TV, FB, etc., etc., etc.).

Why do we lose focus?  We humans are funny that way, aren’t we?

Here’s the problem:  those “Important but Not Urgent” can suddenly become URGENT.  Health, for example, is important.  But we often don’t pay attention. . . until something bad happens.  THEN it becomes urgent!

Or how about relationships?  A marriage is important.  But until it is a crisis, many people don’t realize it is also urgent.  Then, there is a crisis, and it becomes URGENT.

Let me suggest 4 steps to regaining your focus.  Listen below and regain your focus!

Beliefs, Behavior, and a Fierce Life

Step into your Fierce Life!In the last podcast, I suggested giving up a Fear Life, and moving to a Fierce Life.  That was not a life devoid of fear, but one that chose a path in spite of fear.  It is the courageous life, lived with clarity and purpose, and with intensity.

Sometimes, how we think about ourselves, our personal beliefs, hold us back.  We get caught up in “I’m not. . .” and “I can’t. . . .”

When I started running, I never knew when I could start calling myself a “runner.”  When I decided to run?  After my first run?  After my first race?  After running for a week, a month, a year?

Sometimes, it is the difference between process and product.  For example, the “product” that many people want are 6-pack abs.  They forget about the process of daily healthy choices.  They get stuck on the end result, not the path to get there.

This is true with living a fierce life.  That life is built one choice, one step, one day, at a time.

To be honest, when I was preparing for the last few podcasts, I found myself saying, “I don’t live a fierce life — I’m not fierce.”  I let my old belief system establish whether I am that person or not.  Do I always live fiercely?  No.  But can I choose to live MORE fiercely?  Absolutely!

And a fierce life is built one choice, one decision, one action at a time.  Slowly, you become FIERCE.

Fear Life or Fierce Life?

Live the fierce life! Not the fear life.I used to wish for a fearless life.  You know, that place where you no longer have fears.  Only confidence and drive.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t want to live a life of fear, held back by fears and concerns.

I just no longer believe that a “fearless” life is possible.  Fear is too important and too deeply embedded in us.

In fact, I want to have some fear around.  Something needs to make me pause and say, “Is this safe?  Should I be doing this?”

And more importantly, for a full life, I need fear to point out the important areas and important directions.  As I have stated in other trainings and podcasts, fear is NOT an “Avoidance Indicator.”  It is an “Importance Indicator.”  Fear serves to point out when something is important.  It may be of safety importance, or it could be of epic importance.

If the goal is not “fearless living,” then what is the goal?

Fierce Living.

Living fiercely.  Focused, clear, intentional, and courageous.

How do you make the shift?  Listen in to this week’s training.

And then, live fiercely!

PREVIOUS PODCASTS IN THE FEAR SERIES
The Other Side Of Fear
3 Myths of Fear
4 Steps to Taming Your Fear
Worry Less, Live More
2 Magic Questions To Live Beyond Fear

2 Magic Questions To Live Beyond Fear

2 Magic Questions to help you live beyond fear.Over the years, I have met several people who told me they “had no fear.”  I immediately knew one of two things were true:  either they were unaware or or unwilling to admit to fear, or they were not pushing very hard.

That doesn’t mean that we should live in fear every day.  Only that fear is a part of any growth and development.

There are plenty of moments in life that are carefree and fearless.  But an overall life that is without fear is a life lived too small.

The danger, though, is being trapped by fear, reduced by fear, and boxed by fear.

People grow and change, though, through questions.  Asking, “I wonder. . . ” or “What if. . . ” or “How could I. . . ” lead to change, inventions, adventure, exploration.

Fear, on the other hand, lives in statements:  “You can’t do that. . . ” or “Be careful of that. . . ” or “I wouldn’t do that. . . .”

That’s the way fear keeps us hostage — by talking in absolutes.  Fear pretends to be the authority on what you can do, what you should do.

But fear doesn’t need to have the last word.  We can always sneak around fear, to find your bigger life, your better place.

Just ask the 2 Magic Questions I outline in the training, and you can move beyond your fear.

Grab a couple of sheets of paper and a pen, so you will be ready to follow the process.

PREVIOUS PODCASTS IN THE FEAR SERIES
The Other Side Of Fear
3 Myths of Fear
4 Steps to Taming Your Fear
Worry Less, Live More

Worry Less, Live More

Don't let worry steal your attention!I keep trying to figure out what the opposite word of “worry” is.  That would be when you are constantly thinking about all the good things that might happen.

My guess is, there is no such word, because worry is what people do, not the opposite.

In 1883, Andrew Carnegie had a character in a novel say, “I have been surrounded by trouble all my life long, but there is a curious thing about them — nine-tenths of them never happened.”

Isn’t that just the nature of worry?  We keep on worrying, even though the things we worry about almost never happen.  The things that DO happen are usually surprises.  But every now and then, we are right  something we worry about happens.  And we just use that as proof that we should worry.

We are in the middle of a series on fear, and I hear people lump “worries and fears” together.   But worries are just wastes of mental energy.  They are useless.  Fear, on the other hand, can point you toward the important things.  Worry just gets our attention, distracting us from more important things.

You can’t stop the seeds of worry, but you can certainly give them less room to bloom and blossom, the weeds of your thinking that choke out more important things.

Let’s address the 5 steps to weeding out the worries.  Listen below.

4 Steps to Taming Your Fear

Tame your fear.You can never eliminate fear.  But you CAN tame it!
Really, your choice is between feeding and growing your fear, or taming it.  The first will only chase you further into a cave.  The second option, taming it, leads you to what is most important to you.

When your fear is fed and grows, you grow smaller.

When your fear is tamed, you grow larger — into a larger life, with greater impact, deeper meaning, and more purpose.

There are 4 steps to taming your fear, once you name it.  Here they are:

  1. Call it out.
  2. Assess it.
  3. Aim.
  4. Actualize.

Learn how to move through these steps and discover your larger life!

RELATED RESOURCES:
New Series:  Fear
3 Myths of Fear
Martha Beck’s Article On Fear

3 Myths of Fear

3 myths of fear.Fear.  Does it get in your way?  Do you believe the myths of fear?

Those myths keep you stuck.  Fear becomes the jailor of your life, not the friend it pretends to be.

If you want to get to the other side of fear, you need to know the myths of fear.  Let’s talk about the 3 big ones in this week’s Thriveology Podcast.

Will you get rid of your fears?  No.  But that isn’t the goal, and isn’t even necessary.

It IS necessary to understand the myths, and then move beyond the fears the the life you want and deserve.

New Series: The Other Side of Fear

The Other Side of Fear.We start a new series for Thriveology Podcast:  The Other Side of Fear.

Over the years, countless clients have said the same thing.  First, they would tell me of some dream, some goal, some hope, they wanted to attain.  I would then ask, “Why haven’t you started?”

And the answer was always the same, “I’m too scared to start.”

They wanted to stop feeling fear.

My goal was a bit different.  It was to get them to be able to say, “I’m scared, AND I am getting started.”

Fear.  It is one of those inevitables of life.  Many people assume that there is some group of people out there who are successful BECAUSE they have no fear.  In reality, successful people have gotten there DESPITE their fears.

They have the same fears that everyone does.  They have simply taken the next step, and begun to act.

Let’s take a look at the other side of fear, where all your dreams are!

Ignore The Noise!

Ignore the noise.It is a noisy world.  There are so many voices and opinions coming at you.  There are so many thoughts in your own head.  Noisy.

At a recent conference, the presenter noted that music is simply noise with rules applied.  For me, it is noise with rules and with filters.

Do you filter the noise out from around you?

Ignore the noise that pulls you away from who you are and what you are about.

If you want to write a book and everyone is telling you how unlikely it is that you will get it published, or how few books become bestsellers, ignore the noise.  Write your book.

If you are in a troubled relationship and everyone is telling you to let go, but you want to work on it, ignore the noise.  Work on the relationship (barring abuse, that is).

If you want to run a marathon, but people are telling you how hard it is to train, ignore the noise.  Start running (or walking)!

Noise.

If you let all the noise in, you will never find your voice, and you will never write your music.  Ignore the noise.