You must be comfortable being uncomfortable to become successful.
Enduring discomfort is a major key to sustained growth. There are no athletes who got to the top of the game without becoming friends with discomfort.
1) Being Uncomfortable Forces You To Change
Being uncomfortable makes you more creative.
Discomfort makes you more desperate to change your situation. And not being comfortable forces you to make moves that you would not make if you were living in comfort.
When I returned to the track in 2015 as a Masters sprinter I was very uncomfortable. I had not run track competitively since my junior year at West Chester University, which was in 2005. And I was extremely rusty and slow when I returned.
Discomfort was my friend again when my career as a personal trainer started in 2008. I had some decent knowledge about training, but I did not know how to get clients or how to market myself as a trainer.
I was very uncomfortable performing the Lunges of Death because it is the one workout that actually scared me. On paper, the Lunges of Death is the closest thing to an impossible workout. The fear and anxiety that I felt leading up to the Lunges of Death was otherworldly and all-consuming. I have not felt that sick, anxious feeling for any workout that I have ever done in my life.
I was very uncomfortable when I was in front of a national audience with best personal trainers in the nation at the Men’s Health Next Top Trainer competition. My discomfort showed through as I made mistakes that I almost never make. But guess what?
The discomfort of returning to the track forced me to relearn sprinting from the root to the fruit. By 2017, I was ranked in the top 30 in the entire United States in the 100m and 200m dashes in my Masters age group.
The discomfort of being a lost trainer forced me to dedicate myself to my craft and become a serious fitness professional. By 2014, I was one of the top 8 personal trainers in the United States.
The discomfort of stepping on a natural bodybuilding stage forced me to look at the physique in a completely different way. And 12 years after starting my natural bodybuilding career, I earned my pro card my winning the overall at the 2022 NGA Mr. Natural Philadelphia.
The discomfort of performing the Lunges of Death allowed me to see that anything is possible. The first time I tried it, I failed. But I did it again one month later and I became the only human to ever complete this challenge.
I absolutely remember the discomfort of being at the Men’s Health Next Top Trainer competition. When I competed against the best trainers in the country, it forced me to step my game up. If there was no evolution on my end, I would have been left behind in the dustbins of fitness oblivion.
Discomfort made me a better overall person. I became comfortable with uncomfortable.
Embrace The Pain
When you have situations in your athletic training career that are not favorable, do not run from them. You’ve got to embrace these challenges because they will force you to change and learn more about yourself than you could have ever imagined.
I’m sure it was uncomfortable for Michael Jordan to lose to the Detroit Pistons in the playoffs 3 years in a row. I’m sure it was uncomfortable for Muhammad Ali to lose his prime boxing years because he stood up for what he believed in. And I’m 100 percent sure it was uncomfortable for Peyton Manning to rehab from neck surgery.
But when these men faced those uncomfortable situations, they kept moving forward. They turned the discomfort into a positive and that is why they are the ultimate champions. You might think you are weak, or you cannot do something, but I’m here to tell you that all that self-defeating talk is pure garbage. How do you know what you can do until you try?
Perhaps you might be uncomfortable getting up earlier to make your meals. Maybe you might be uncomfortable performing workouts that create fear in your heart before you even get to the gym or track. But if doing things that make you uncomfortable are going to make you better, what are you waiting for? Greatness requires a sacrifice.
Be comfortable being uncomfortable, and I guarantee that your growth will be monumental. It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and do something and embrace the discomfort.
I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,