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What feels wrong can be right

Improving Systems and Habits

Scott Miker is the author of several books that describe how to use systems and habits to improve.  This free blog provides articles that to help understand the principles related to building systems.  

What feels wrong can be right

Scott Miker

We all know what it is like to be in a situation that is uncomfortable. Sometimes when we are in that situation, our mind and body are telling us that something is off and needs to change.

It could be a good sign that we are in dangerous territory and need to change. If we are hanging out with a new friend and they take us to a new bar that makes us feel uncomfortable due to the people or environment, maybe we should pay attention to that discomfort and make a change. That could be our intuition letting us know that danger is present.

But sometimes this feeling is due to a shortsighted mindset. I remember years ago working at a company where I had this feeling as though it was risky to stay there. I would drag myself to work but feel uncomfortable the whole time.

But when I did an unbiased evaluation of the situation, I realized that the company provided great opportunity to learn and improve. The uncomfortableness was simply coming from being outside my comfort zone.

Going outside of our comfort zone could be a way to improve and in this case when I sat down and evaluated the situation that is what I felt.

So I made the decision to keep pushing on. Instead of reacting to the stress, I forced myself to learn how to handle the stress.

This allowed me to stay long enough for me to get a great deal out of the opportunity. I increased my income significantly and learned a lot in the process. I made connections that will probably stay in my network for years.

When it comes to improvement, we often find ourselves outside of our comfort zone. This doesn’t mean we should immediately run to something more comfortable. Instead we should evaluate the situation to see if this feeling is due to the fact that it is new and different.

I’ve witnessed the same thing in others when I worked at a fitness center. Newcomers to fitness would come in and feel uncomfortable. Those that continued despite those feelings eventually started to feel more comfortable. Those who bolted because it felt different never reached their fitness goals.

That is the strange thing about improvement. It tends to feel terrible when you start and only starts to get better as you make progress. Once you start to build enough repetition you will start to feel familiarity.

So if you are starting out on an improvement journey and feel uncomfortable, don’t just throw in the towel. Instead, evaluate the situation so you can see it objectively. The uncomfortable feelings might just be a necessary part of the learning process.