Some years ago, my business partner shared with me a quote I now keep on my desk at all times…”our ability to grow is directly proportional to an ability to entertain the uncomfortable”—attributed to Twyla Tharp.
Rarely is this quote far from my mind, both as a helpful construct for my clients AND a reminder to myself. Just this week, for example, I have witnessed several examples of clients and others successfully entertaining the uncomfortable:
- A client had a huge presentation for a peer group; one that had the potential to leave her vulnerable—experiencing emotions she’d rather NOT have in front of her peers, or provoking controversy or animosity because of its content. Her discomfort was putting herself out there to risk an “attack”. But she did it!
- An organization I work with is re-organizing, turning over some long-time staff, changing long-standing process and procedures. The managers are struggling with their own reactions AND needing to help their staff with theirs. Their discomfort is talking about their own negative feelings and directly putting themselves “in the line of fire” for hearing about their staff’s frustrations. But they did it!
- A group of leaders are getting 360 assessment results, for the first time in their professional lives. These folks have comfortably arrived in mid-to-late career status, with their beliefs about their strengths and weaknesses already known. Their discomfort is “what if I am blind-sided by something I have never known about myself before? What if I hear something painful?” But they are thoughtfully engaging with the results!
If You’re Facing Some Mud, You’re Not Alone…
This past weekend, I participated in a 12 mile, 29-obstacle race called the “Tough Mudder”. There were physical and mental challenges (many involving mud) along the way. I had not participated in anything like this though I’ve been physically active all my life. My discomfort was facing a strong possibility I would NOT finish this race—a fear of failing. But, I did the race and finished!
What is your discomfort and what ways are you trying to avoid going “through the mud”? You’re in good company, of course, as it is the most normal human thing in the world. If you’ve got some mud in your life coming up, I’d be glad to talk with you about how you can get through it.
Call The Bailey Group and let Barb Krantz Taylor help you, 763-545-5997.