I have discussed another one of my empowerment practices in my “Defying Gravity Leadership Series”: Define Your Views, but don’t necessarily act on them.

You learned that if you find yourself in a conflict situation, and you are able to identify the view, then you can move toward a resolution quickly and painlessly.

Today, it is time get out of your comfort zone as a leader!

All Change Comes with Discomfort

Do you like to work out? Or, do you find exercise to be a necessary kind of evil? If you are like most people, you exercise because you have to, not because you want to.

There is a reason for this. We don’t like to be uncomfortable. Good leaders know we have a part of our brain, in a very simplified analogy – lizard, mammal and human brains in our head.

Unfortunately, it is the human condition to avoid being uncomfortable. The interesting thing about this is all change comes from discomfort (we may get used to discomfort as an adaptation, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there).

We can’t build a muscle without getting sore. We can’t change without a sensation of discomfort.

If you, your co-workers, your team, or you as a leader are not willing to go into the discomfort zone, you can’t change and neither can they.

Another interesting thing about being uncomfortable is you have to get comfortable with it.

Empowerment 2: Practice Daily Discomfort

Empowerment 2: Practice Daily Discomfort is something I make myself do ALL THE TIME. I used this practice right before I sat down to write this, in fact.

I was on my way back to my car and I noticed two ladies who were nicely looking down, eating their lunch, and not talking. I thought, “I’m going to plot myself dead-center between the two, introduce myself and start the conversation.”

That’s just what I did. We had a great time, it was actually fun—at least it was for me.

But, it was important for me to do that because my job is about connection and being uncomfortable as I interface with thousands of people every year of all different walks of life. So, I actively look for opportunities such as these that may be uncomfortable AND give me the opportunity to practice connecting under any and all circumstances.

If you really want to become someone who can change behavior and shift others, every day you must—and I mean every single day of your life—you must pick something that makes you uncomfortable and do it.

I’ve got it on my calendar to remind myself every day to practice this empowerment. If you do this too, you’ll make yourself uncomfortable, yes, AND you will see big changes in yourself and in your life as you become adept and taking action and getting results no matter what discomfort you experience mentally or physically or emotionally.

Did you know that voice in your head lies to you all the time? (I’m saving that big juicy fact for another blog another day – so keep reading ;o)

WANT TO MAKE YOUR TEAMS ADEPT WITH CHANGE?

You can also practice this with teams. I tell the managers I work with now, “Tell your team that everyone is going to do something that makes them uncomfortable. They must plan it out and execute it. Whatever it is they choose to do has to be out of their comfort zone.

Perhaps it’s, ‘I don’t really like public speaking.’ Great! They get to do five minutes of standing in front of a room.”

These managers I worked with agreed to consciously push their people because if your team gets stuck in its comfort zone, it cannot evolve. That stop innovating. They make more mistakes. They lose performance over time.

I’ve seen the importance of this in dozens of companies that I have worked with that were stuck. Once they experienced success, they stopped innovating because they were so scared to change—they couldn’t move.

MAKE YOURSELF A CHANGE MASTER THIS MINUTE

Do you have a camera phone or something that takes pictures in your possession? I want you to go up to a total stranger, someone you don’t know, and take a selfie with them.

Two points I want to prove with you on this exercise:

  1. It is way easier to make a friend, have an introduction, connect with someone, be a human being, and build great relationships than you make it out to be.
  2. You’ll notice that in some of these pictures you’ve taken with people who were “total strangers” are not that anymore—they have become friends.

If you step out of your comfort zone and take a selfie, send it to me and I will give you a free copy of my book, Mission to Million$. I’m doing this because I believe in the power of this practice. And, if you are willing to make yourself uncomfortable, you might actually be someone I’d like to connect with and get to know a bit better.