Become Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

I recently learned the story of a man, who by all accounts would be considered to be successful. He’s done some amazing things in his life that are nothing short of incredible. As I learned more about his background and his life I became more and more amazed. As I looked at his life, I wondered how he was able to overcome things in his life that would have crushed others. From a very young age, all the way through to his adult years he was faced with unbelievable adversity. Things that no human should have to go through. 

This has really had me thinking. Why is it that a boy can go through abuse and punishment every day of his life and still develop into a strong and confident man. While at the same time, someone who has every opportunity in the world handed to them never becomes successful?

As I’ve spent time thinking about this and analyzing different situations, I’ve found a few key characteristics that I believe can help anyone be more successful.

The mind is such a powerful tool for good or bad. Once we can understand and control our mind, our world expands. As we search for ways to be successful in life, we have to start in our mind.

Our first challenge is to recognize that not all physical and mental limitations are real. Too many people believe their own lies or the lies of others. They throw in the towel way too soon.  

Develop a Can-Do Attitude

A person with a can-do attitude faces adversity with confidence. They look at it for what it is, a challenge that they have to overcome to get to where they want to be. They are focused on achieving a goal and something that gets in their way isn’t going to stop them. 

Mindset matters. Having a can-do attitude is a state of mind. When we expect progress and feel optimistic, challenges can be seen as opportunities and stress can be motivating. When you do get down and discouraged, it’s easier to get back up and find the positive. 

Your life is created in your mind before it’s manifested in reality. Whether you have a can-do or can’t-do attitude, you’ll be right.

Start With The First Step

Consistency builds momentum, but it all starts with the first step. 

Take the first step in the direction of your goal. When you get knocked down and discouraged and you don’t want to go any further, take the next step. Great success often starts with small beginnings, but you have to start somewhere.

For you, it might mean getting up an hour early to exercise. Maybe it’s making your bed in the morning or reading for 30 minutes a day. Whatever it is, take that first step and do it. But don’t quit. Do it again the next day, and the next, and the next…

Do it until you get to the point that if you don’t do it, your day will be ruined because you missed it. That’s when you’re ready to take the next step.

Become Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

I recently listened to an interview with John Calipari, University of Kentucky basketball coach. He said in order for his players to be the best that they can be, his job as a coach is to make them comfortable being uncomfortable. His job is not to coach them at the level they are at now. His job is to coach them where they need to be and where they are capable of being. This means they will be where they have not been before and they are going to be uncomfortable at times. The situations where they struggle and feel pain, where they are taken to their limits is where they truly learn about themselves and become the best that they can be.

Make them comfortable being uncomfortable.

John Calipari

To reach our goals and be successful, we need to do the same thing. We need to become comfortable being uncomfortable. Step out of your comfort zone on a regular basis. The more often you do it, the stronger you’ll become for when you are faced with adversity.

Hold Yourself Accountable Every Single Day

What is it that you need to do today? What is it that will take you closer to your bigger future? How will you make sure that you do it, no matter what?

Get out of the habit of making excuses for yourself. Holding yourself accountable means you’ll do it, end of story. Don’t allow yourself to have excuses. What we allow becomes acceptable. So as soon as you justify why you didn’t do something, you’ve set a standard and it will be that much easier to justify it again the next time. 

Hold yourself accountable and don’t accept excuses!

There are a number of different characteristics and habits that will help you to be successful. But if you can master these four, you’ll be well on your way to an amazing life!

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Whatever The Mind Can Conceive and Believe, It Can Achieve

It was thought that running a mile in under 4-minutes was physically impossible for any human being. Until, at Oxford University’s Iffley Road Stadium in 1954, Roger Bannister completed four laps in 3:59.4. The photo of an exhausted Bannister with his eyes closed and mouth opened appeared on the front page of newspapers around the world, a testament of what humankind could achieve.

 As important as anything, Bannister broke a psychological barrier with this run. This once believed impossible record only lasted for 46 days before Australian runner John Landy shaved 1.5 seconds off of his time. By the end of 1957, 16 runners had logged sub-4-minute miles. Since that time more than 1,400 runners have broken the 4 minute mile and the current record stands at 3:43.13. An impossible task until Bannister changed that belief.

Similar to the impossible 4-minute mile, breaking the 2-hour marathon (26.2 miles) was another barrier that seemed would never happen. In fact, researchers in Australia crunched marathon world records over the past 60 years and concluded that there was a 10 percent likelihood that the two-hour mark would fall by 2032, and just a 5 percent chance it would happen by 2024.

Last week, on October 12, 2019 Eliud Kipchoge ran the fastest 26.2 miles ever and broke through the seemingly impossible barrier of two hours with a time of 1:59:40. That is an incredible sub-4:34 mile pace for the entire distance. 

Just like when Bannister broke the 4-minute mile barrier in 1954, Kipchoge has inspired a new generation to push their limits with what is possible.

“It is a great feeling to make history in sport after Sir Roger Bannister in 1954. I am the happiest man in the world to be the first human to run under two hours, and I can tell people that no human is limited,” Kipchoge said. “I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today.”

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Napoleon Hill

Believe

To live the life you truly desire, the first step is to break through the psychological barriers that are holding you back. You have to believe that you can get there. 

Kipchoge believed he could break the two-hour barrier. Before the event he said, “Many ideologies [have] been going that no human will break the two-hour mark but personally, I have dared to try. I am doing it to make history.” After the race he said, “there was no point that I doubted myself.”

Look around. Your biggest dreams, the life you really want is not the 4-minute mile or the 2-hour marathon. Most likely, there’s already someone that is living that life. You don’t need to wait for someone to break through that psychological barrier before you can achieve it. That barrier has already been broken.

Your first step to achieving your goals is believing you can do it.

Barriers

Where do you really want to be? What are your big goals? Identify the real and the imagined barriers that are holding you back. It’s time to break through those barriers and reach your true potential! Stop believing your own lies.

Not knowing how to do it. Not seeing the path. Thinking it’s impossible. These are all excuses that you’ve told yourself. Kipchoge figured out how to run a sub-2 hour marathon, you can figure out how to achieve the life you want.

Your Path

Once you really believe you can achieve your goals you need to give yourself a path to follow so you’ll be able to reach the goals you previously thought were impossible.

In May of 2017, Kipchoge came up just shy of the two-hour mark during Nike’s Breaking2 project, finishing with a time of 2:00:25. After missing the mark by less than half a minute, he created the path he needed to follow to accomplish the goal a little more than two years later. This included his training and preparation all the way through to the pace setters and water delivery during the run.

Planning is key to your success. Figure out how you’re going to reach your ultimate goals and follow that plan. But be flexible so you can adjust quickly and make decisions when road blocks appear.

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

Stephen R. Covey


Persist Until You Succeed

If at times you get knocked off your path it doesn’t mean it’s over. Adjust and figure out how to get back on the path again. Brian Tracy said, “Your ability to persist longer than anyone else is the quality that will guarantee great success in life. Persistence is self-discipline in action and the true measure of your belief in yourself. Resolve in advance that you will never, never give up!”

The first step in your journey is to see in your mind what it is that you really want and to truly believe you are capable of achieving it. The mind is a powerful force and when you use it to create the life and the outcomes you desire, amazing things will happen.

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He’s actually inspired all of us that we can stretch our limits in our lives and we can do more than we think we can do.

Patrick Sang – Eliud Kipchoge’s Coach