In my previous work of engineering oil refineries, capacity meant dollars. By increasing the amount of product we could push through a plant, we could dramatically increase profitability because the last barrel of crude oil is all profit. Likewise, I can perform at a higher level when I can build my capacity for emotional regulation, distress tolerance, conflict competence, and a willingness to be uncomfortable. It's the incremental increases in discomfort that pay the biggest dividends. As humans, we are wired to avoid discomfort. What if we willingly entered into uncomfortable situations? What might we learn about ourselves? What kinds of endurance, resilience, and capacity might we build? As a coach, I believe that I can't take my clients any farther than I have gone myself. This means that I have to continue to push my limits and build my capacity, which I do through experiencing discomfort and learning from it. Thankfully, life throws me plenty of difficulties through which I can be plenty uncomfortable. I also intentionally seek out powerful coaches and coaching events where I use discomfort as my filter. The result is that my capacity for being uncomfortable has grown immensely, and it's translated to more powerful coaching for my clients and deeper connections with my family and friends.
What discomfort are you avoiding right now? How might you choose discomfort more often? What do you stand to gain?