The secret to becoming a success in business is not to be afraid to feel discomfort from time to time.

If you were expecting that being an entrepreneur was going to be a smooth and painless journey, then you’ve been misinformed about the demands of business. Businesses ride the predictably unpredictable wave of the market. It can be calm waters one minute and tumultuous the next. You need to push past your comfort zone and ride it out if you ever expect to make it though.

But how?

Understanding the Value of Discomfort

How does allowing yourself to be in a state of discomfort positively impact you as an entrepreneur? And where do I start?

Do Something Different

When you stay within the confines of your comfort zone, you’ll never learn anything new. And in business, you need to build your knowledge constantly. To do that, you need to be willing to try new things. The more you experience in life, the more you open yourself up to possibilities.

Conquer Fear

It’s a natural reflex to remove pain and discomfort as quickly as possible. We run the moment we feel fear. However, the fear of failure can often be the reason why we can never move forward. The path of less resistance may be the easier one, but it won’t take you to anywhere meaningful. There can be life-changing lessons learned from failure.

Take Risks

No business is immune to risk. You may try to avoid making any major decisions. However, at some point, you will be faced with having to take a bigger risk that can take your business to the next level. No one said you had to jump in with nothing but blind faith. Risks may be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for them by first making carefully calculated decisions.

Go Outside Your Circle

Interacting with people outside your bubble can be uncomfortable. To you, they are strangers, after all. However, networking and meeting new people is a fantastic way to gain your business exposure and open up opportunities for collaborations. Connecting with new people also allows you fresh perspectives and a chance to exchange best practices.

Overcoming Being Uncomfortable

How can I feel more comfortable with being uncomfortable?

Start Small

No one said, “go big or go home.” You don’t have to dramatically jump out of your comfort zone and take off at full speed. Baby steps are key. Find situations that allow you to take small risks that prepare you for the real challenges.

Let It Motivate You

Change the narrative. Convince yourself that discomfort means you’re doing something challenging and gratifying. In fact, you should definitely reward yourself once you’ve gotten through it.

Find Solace in Your Peers

While going outside your circle is essential for growth, maintaining close ties with them is just as crucial to your mental health and emotional well-being. If you struggle with discomfort, turn to your peers and blow off steam. Rely on their wisdom or mere willingness to listen. Know that you are stronger together.

Find Ways to Cope

Yoga, meditation, long runs, karaoke, or meeting up with friends – we all have our coping mechanisms. Identify which one works for you.

Surround Yourself with the Right People

Your peers will be there to comfort you through uncomfortable times. But they and other people you keep in good company may be the key to unlocking your potential by being your biggest cheerleaders and motivators. Let them challenge you to succeed and push you beyond your limits.

One of the greatest gifts being an entrepreneur has given me is an opportunity to practice being comfortable with being uncomfortable. I can’t remember the last time I was entirely comfortable.

Pain sucks and we’re conditioned to remove it as quickly as possible. It feels amazing to remove the pain from our lives…to resolve uncomfortable situations.

Are you ready to leave your comfort zone? Tell me about it.

Philip Uglow is the President of Renshi Consulting Group. Renshi lowers clients costs by pulling ideas from your people in the moment, when they are most busy with real work. This is when they learn. This is when they change.