6 Uncomfortable Things That Will Make You More Successful

April 26, 2016

5:25 pm

It would be wonderful if the path to success was an easy one. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. To become successful, you must do some things that can feel really  uncomfortable at first. Fortunately, once you get past the initial discomfort and anxiety, it’s always worth leaving your comfort zone. Here are 6 examples of uncomfortable things that will lead you to success.

1. Learning to Speak in Public

If you are fearful of speaking in public, join the crowd. Glossophobia is an extremely common fear. However, if you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to learn to speak publicly. Whether it’s sales presentations, giving speeches to motivate your employees, or pitching your ideas to investors, speaking in front of others is simply going to be a part of your life. So, learn to take a deep breath, relax, and just start talking. Remember, your audience really does want you to succeed.

2. Standing Your Ground in Negotiations

One of the most gut wrenching feelings is being in the midst of negotiations and turning down an offer, when you don’t know if the other party is going to accept your counter. The anxiety is doubled if you are a hungry entrepreneur trying to nurture your startup. It can be tempting to take a subpar deal in order to get some cash rolling in, but you just can’t do that. First, you don’t want to develop a reputation as a milquetoast negotiator. You also don’t want to allow somebody to undervalue your products and services.

3. Issuing an Unqualified Apology

It’s bound to happen. You’re going to blow a deadline with a client, you’re going to say something clueless on social media, you’re going to snap at an undeserving employee, or you’ll make some other gaffe that leaves you in the position of having to make a sincere and humble apology. Most people know how to do this. They just don’t know how to do it without qualifying the daylights out of the apology. Here’s a great formula. I’m sorry that I ___________. I realize that it caused (hurt feelings, loss of money, inconvenience, etc.). I’d like to _______________ to make things right.

4. Asking Somebody to Be Your Mentor

Mentorship is so valuable. Anybody, in any field who is able to find somebody to act as their mentor is off to a great start. Mentors can help you with career planning, give you advice and feedback based upon their experience, and introduce you to the people you need to know. The hard part is picking up the phone or composing the email asking somebody if they will play that role in your life. If it helps, remember that the vast majority of people will be absolutely honored to receive such a request.

5. Starting Your Network

There are many ways to begin building your network. However, all of these involve reaching out to other people and asking to form a professional connection with them. This can be uncomfortable, and it can be embarrassing, especially if your effort to make a connection is rebuffed. Unfortunately, this is going to happen as some people will only network “up”. In spite of this, having a strong network is a big part of running a successful business. So, keep making those LinkedIn connections.

6. Changing Your Thoughts And Beliefs When Confronted With New Evidence

Successful people make their decisions based on facts and figures. This means that they are open to new information, and that they are willing to change their minds when new evidence comes to light. This can be uncomfortable because many of us have certain beliefs that we really cling to, and it’s difficult to accept when these thoughts do not hold up under scrutiny. However, the path to success requires that we modify our thoughts and actions based on new information.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien