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Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

The faster you can get comfortable with being uncomfortable, the sooner you’ll find success.

This concept is true whether you’re pushing yourself during a workout, learning a new social media platform, beginning a new system in your business, expanding your team, or even buying a home. Sometimes we need to dip our toe into the water to gauge the temperature, other times we need to jump in the deep end and acclimate quickly.

Either way, you end up wet and treading water until you learn to swim.

Feelings of discomfort signal growth. They are not (always) signals of danger or threat, though our brains may send signals to our bodies that doing something just outside our comfort zone signals potential death. I’m not speaking from personal experience or anything, but some people may have panic attacks when faced with cold calling. Just saying.

Our brains can be jerks and our bodies just tow the line because, supposedly, the brain knows what it’s doing.

Only, it doesn’t. Not when it comes to pushing beyond current limits into new, expansive territory. Our brain is there to keep us alive and so far we’ve survived just fine exactly as we’ve been, in whatever size bubble we exist within. Stepping beyond it can make our brain freak out and send DANGER signals to our body, which can be quite difficult to ignore or push beyond. Even if all you’re trying to do is call a stranger (again, totally not me).

Everyone is wired differently and will venture into new territory at their own pace. Some people travel somewhere new with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Others find a new outlook by changing the shade of white on their walls. Each way is fine, it’s the forward movement and expansion of self that matters.

A new hue can change your view just as well as a new horizon.

Physical endurance and skill improvements is one of the most readily identifiable forms of expansion. At some point we have all gone a little farther, faster, or had better form than the day before. It’s rewarding to recognize your improvement. Physical activities also offer a fantastic means of measurement which are not always so readily available. Measuring progress makes it easier to push yourself the next time since you can clearly see how far you've come.

Becoming a homeowner -- the American Dream of old -- has long been ripe for paradigm shifts. The first time homebuyer has the most massive move from renting or living with family to managing a mortgage, insurance, and being the sole soul responsible for maintaining the roof over their heads (and everything underneath that roof). Even people downsizing are expanding their frame of reference. No longer do they need a big house with many bedrooms; their life has gotten bigger as their need for living space has shrunk. As exciting as these moves may be, they are still wading into uncharted waters and with that comes jitters. Now, add in the fever of the current market and jitters can quickly turn into full blown panic.

These days hopeful homebuyers are faced with offering over asking price in many markets across the country. Initial budgets are quickly blown as buyers see how fast homes are selling, each for more than the last. Not only that, but in many parts of the San Francisco Bay Area market, the trend for the past nine years has been to intentionally under price listings to spur bidding wars that make headlines. Uninformed buyers who haven’t consulted with a Realtor think the price proposed on Zillow is what the seller will accept. They don’t get to dip a toe in the water, they’re shoved into the cold plunge pool as active agents inform them that they need to tack 20-30% onto the asking price for what the home may actually sell for (these days it can be as much as 50-60% over the asking price).

Some buyers hold out hope that they’ll find the property that was overlooked and forgotten, the hidden gem, or maybe even a diamond in the rough un-scoured by investors. They may have been pre-approved for more, but they can’t wrap their heads around the sticker shock just yet. And as they gingerly wade deeper into the water, the market continues to increase and the deep end only gets deeper.

The faster today’s buyer can get comfortable with the discomfort of the pace and prices of today’s market, the faster they will be successful in the purchase of their home. As hard as it may be to increase their budget, the truth is that the longer they wait the tougher their choices will become. They will be forced to raise their budget even higher to get what they want or compromise on the home qualities while still paying more than their original budget. It can be downright brutal out there right now.

The paradox to salvage some sanity is to get uncomfortable faster.

If you have a goal, be it buying a home or running a faster mile, putting off the uncomfortable bits only serves to make them that much more uncomfortable when you finally tackle them. It’s better to suck it up and do what it takes sooner than later if you’re going to do it at all. You’ll be better off in the long run if you can hurry up and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

You are, of course, allowed to change your mind entirely at any time. I’m just saying, cold calling isn’t for everyone and there’s more than one way to reach a goal. If your brain has managed to convince your body that you really may actually die if your toe touches the water, then maybe some exploration will reveal another way to get wet, a way that suits you well enough for you to jump right in.

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