Momentum Podcast: 633

Your Discomfort is Holding You Back

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

As entrepreneurs, we put up with a lot more than the average person. More stress, more ambiguity, and more discomfort. A lot of entrepreneurs even say things like if you want to grow your business you're going to have to make sacrifices.

Any of us who has ever grown a business knows that it's one of the most difficult and stressful things you can do.

The problem with successfully growing a business is that when you start out, you have to do everything. If you are successful, you may be conditioned to do everything. This causes us to create massive discomfort in our lives.

If we don't have a system to offload where we are uncomfortable, we are probably tolerating too much.

Full Audio Transcript

This is the Momentum Podcast.

As entrepreneurs, we put up with a lot more than the average person. We put up with more stress, ambiguity, discomfort, and a lot of entrepreneurs even say things like, "If you want to grow your business, you're going to have to make sacrifices." This idea is reinforced when you're starting a business because you have to do everything at the beginning. And if you're successful, you may be conditioned to do everything. Alex has a very important message in this episode, you're tolerating too much. I hope you enjoy.

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum Podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how.

While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. And we always will be.

When I have a big event with entrepreneurs who come here to Austin to spend time with us, one of the things that I share often, and it's kind of a mantra that I shared that I want people to think about is if you don't have a system in your life to offload where you are uncomfortable, you are probably tolerating too much. Let me explain what I mean by that. If you are not processing and understanding what is creating discomfort in your life, you're probably tolerating it. You're probably putting up with it. You're probably allowing way too much of it into your life. Let me explain why.

I've worked with thousands of entrepreneurs around the country... Not in the country, around the world. And I've been an entrepreneur my whole career. And here's what I know about entrepreneurs like us is that if we go back through our history, we all have a common origin story. Now I know that might sound crazy. How could we all have a common origin story? But here's what I've confirmed speaking to thousands of entrepreneurs around the world, going into rooms and talking to them, "Hey, Ragi..." Going into rooms, talking to them. Here's what I've confirmed is that this is the common origin story that we all have. At some point, a time in our lives, we had a destination that we were pointed out and we were excited about, and we didn't have enough resources. We didn't have enough time. We didn't have what we should have. We didn't have everything we need to get there, but we kept moving towards it.

And there's probably people in our lives that were saying, "Hey, you're not going to make it. This isn't going to work out. You should stop." But you can see a small light at the end of the tunnel. And even though some of the people in your life were saying, "Hey, that light's a train. Get out of the tunnel." You kept moving towards that light. You compelled yourself towards it. You compelled it towards you. And then you got to it and stepped through it. And that is where you became who you are today. Does that resonate? Is that familiar?

See, as entrepreneurs, that's who we are. We find massive challenges, pursue them like crazy. We overcome them and we put ourselves through ambiguity and pain and frustration and irritation and challenges that the average person just wouldn't put up with. It's who we are. Now here's the issue. I always share with entrepreneurs that successfully starting a business requires you to do everything. Successfully starting a business conditions you to do everything.

And so, because we do it all in the beginning, we are conditioned to do it as we move on, as we move forward. And so as an entrepreneur in your career, right now, you may be tolerating too much. And this is what tolerating too much looks like. Tolerating too much manifests itself in ways like it feels like procrastination. It feels like a lack of clarity, brain fog. We're just not clear on where we're going next. What we're doing seems compelling and it feels exciting, but we're not making the progress that we want to. We know that we want to move forward. We just aren't doing it in the way that we envisioned that we should, and we're not making the progress we want. And in short, we don't have the level of momentum that we really want in our lives.

And so here's what's interesting about momentum. You can do all the work it takes to lift up and get into momentum. I think about it as like a boat in the water. When a boat's in the water and the engine isn't on, it's like stuck down in the water and you have to turn on the engine and you can get that boat up out of the water. And then once it's hydroplaned, the engine uses much less power. You are putting much less pressure on the engine, much less stress on the engine. And so for us as entrepreneurs, we can do all that work to get up out of the water, but if we can get rid of some ballast in that boat, if we can get rid of some of the weight in the boat, if we can make it a lighter weight boat, it'll get up on that water way faster. We'll get into momentum quicker and we'll move forward faster. And everything gets easier in that boat.

Now the parallel to our lives is this. If as an entrepreneur you've been tolerating too much, you've been putting up with things. If some of the symptoms that I listed earlier sound familiar or sound like, maybe you're experiencing some of those. If you're procrastinating, if you're not getting what you want to get done, if you know what you should be doing, but it's not happening, all of those to me are symptoms of the pressure and noise in your life being way too high.

And so here's my suggestion for anyone who's in this situation is if you're in a place where you are tolerating too much, you have to create a system in your life where you can offload your discomfort, where you can recognize that you're uncomfortable, one, where you can do something about it, two, and where you can recognize that it's actually happened and start feeling the momentum of that happening.

Now, here's why. That origin story I told you of getting to the light and going through it and having everyone around you thinking you shouldn't. Here's what I know about that origin story is that for people like us, getting into momentum, moving forward, it's everything that we need. It's everything. It's who we are. And if we're not in momentum making forward progress, if we're not excited about it, then it feels constrained. And it feels like we can't move forward. And it actually physiologically affects people like you and I.

And so here's how you move past this. You create a system in your life to offload where you're uncomfortable. Now I use our momentum planner and every morning in our momentum planner, there's this block right here that says, "Where was I uncomfortable yesterday?" And I write down where I was uncomfortable. You can see, I wrote down where I was uncomfortable yesterday. That I didn't feel like I asked the right questions on a call that I was on and a few other things that I wrote down.

Here's why I do this. As entrepreneurs, we are the first to deny our discomfort. In fact, when you ask an entrepreneur, who's obviously in distress, "Hey, how are you doing?" A lot of times, you'll get an answer like, "I'm fine." We live in this place of denying our discomfort. We don't want to express the fact that we're uncomfortable. We don't want to tell people that we're uncomfortable. We didn't want to tell ourselves that we're uncomfortable, but here's what that does. That stuffs down and covers up and buries our discomfort. So it's there. We're feeling it. We're dealing with it. It's slowing us down. It's holding us back. It's making us procrastinate, but we're not doing anything about it.

So if you're willing to sit down, and you don't need to have our planner, if you're willing to sit down every morning and write out where you were uncomfortable the day before. Now, this isn't a weekly activity. This is daily. Daily, because by the end of the week, you will have stuffed down and buried the things that made you uncomfortable on Monday. So every day, sit down and write down where you were uncomfortable. And here's what you'll find starts happening. By recognizing your discomfort, you will change things. By understanding what's making you feel uncomfortable, you will start shifting how you behave in the world. And if you write down the same thing three or four days, I know you're going to find a way to fix it. Even if you don't know what to do about it, write down your discomfort because acknowledging it will help relieve some of the pressure and noise you're feeling because you have it.

And so by writing down where you're uncomfortable each day, by understanding what it is, by starting to shift what you're doing so that you can move past it, you will overcome this dilemma that we have as entrepreneurs that we tolerate far too much. And here's the flip side of this coin. As we start to recognize where we are uncomfortable, as we start to build systems and structure around offloading where we're uncomfortable so that we don't have to deal with it anymore, we get into momentum far faster. Just like that boat in the water that drops a ton of ballast, it takes way less energy for us to get up into momentum and stay there.

So if you create a system to offload where you're uncomfortable, you will find that you are in higher levels of momentum more often, and you stay there for a lot longer. Maybe you don't ever come out. If you're interested in growing your business and you'd like some help, like some information about what we do as a company, go to, Answer a few questions from my team and we'll jump on the phone with you. Let us show you how we're helping entrepreneurs around the world predictably grow their business, offload where they're uncomfortable and create massive momentum so that they can change the world. Go to I look forward to talking to you soon.

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