Many of you reading this know I have this saying tattooed on my arm, it is my reminder that growth is never easy and requires all of us to push ourselves out of our comfort zone. My father worked at GM as a pipefitter for 30 or so years, he was great at his job, but he certainly didn’t love it. I get my stubbornness and work ethic from him and my drive to constantly try new things. He knew his job would stay relatively the same so he sought out leadership in other ways, he became a committeeman for the UAW which allowed him to put his negotiation and people skills to the test. I know it stressed him out, but I also know he found fulfillment in the role more so than he did his day-to-day job.
He taught me to never settle and to constantly seek out opportunities that may be scary but ultimately provided growth (he is also where I got my “f*ck this attitude”). This mindset is what pushed me to start my own business, I was no longer challenged in my current job. That job was secure, comfortable and there was no risk…it was also boring the hell out of me. I went back to “find comfort in the uncomfortable,” and made the leap to 8THIRTYFOUR and I crashed and burned splendidly.
I had a good 9 months or so and then my personal life went to absolute hell in a handbasket and I sought out the security and comfort I thought I needed to survive. I stayed in this comfort zone for a good 10 months or so and it sucked the life out of me and beat me down. Everything I prided myself on – tenacity, grit, outspokenness, self-confidence was stripped away. By the time I came to my senses, I would spend years building all of those traits back up again.
Seeking out uncomfortable whether it is for the sake of growth or for standing up for what you believe in often goes hand in hand with criticism, failure, and a lot of self-reflection. You have to give up being “liked” and settle for being true to yourself. Is it worth it? You’ll need to decide that for yourself, I can only tell you that I have made a lot of missteps but I’ve also grown considerably in how I lead and do.
At the end of the day, you need to believe in yourself and realize anything worth achieving comes with sacrifice.