I’m Trying to Learn How to Embrace and Fuel Up on Discomfort

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Hi everyone! Some people, when things get hard, shut down completely – get paralyzed, get depressed and stall out like a car out of gas. I see this a ton with people in marketing, but it hasn’t ever affected me like that – not in this area of life.

It has in others, though.

Becoming a Business Machine

With me, when business or finances are tough, it literally fuels me to wake up earlier, go to bed later, work as hard as I can, as smart as I can. It always has. I’ve worked my butt off on my own business from day 1. 

When things are toughest is when I’m most driven and successful. I get very strategic with my time and push and push, almost oddly enjoying the discomfort because I know for a fact, it’s what gets my butt in gear.

There are a few of us (you’ll recognize yourself) who say we “work best under pressure.” When I know it has to be done and when finances are at stake, I work like a mad woman – cranking out 40 pages a day, etc.

Nothing can stop me – not sickness, not schedules, not anything. I will mow you over if you try to get in my way.

It’s when the pressure is OFF and things are going smooth that I often have zero (or close to it) urge to push myself. There’s no adrenaline rush like there is when I’m pushing on a deadline.

My favorite thing to do is what if myself about the worst case scenarios – what if I don’t make money and can’t pay a bill and can’t pay tuition and my kids get kicked out of school? In this case, I’m working to avoid the pain I don’t ever want to experience.

Using Discomfort to Fuel You

I’ve been studying David Goggins a lot lately. I watched his videos and started following him on social media. I got my book called Living with a Seal yesterday and and it’s such a good read (thanks Justin for recommending it to me).

His approach is to become a machine – almost inhuman – and use discomfort to fuel yourself and as I study his advice, I totally see it in business.

But when it comes to my weight battle – I’m struggling to find the key to make me ENJOY that discomfort and let it fuel me to success.

What I’m hoping is, I can somehow find out how to do it in weight so that I can share how to do it for those of you who lack the same drive in business.

Because with business, I get it. With weight, I sit here telling myself, “I’m going to allow myself to feel hunger again.” Yet before hunger even hits, I’m spooning food into my mouth to avoid that feeling.

With work, I know if discomfort hits, I plow through work with ease – driven and powered up. I know with business – seeing money coming in and having the pressure alleviated is a satisfactory feeling – like a high of sorts.

So why can’t I see that seeing the scale move down and feeling better physically would be just as satisfactory if I could just get through the yucky moments?

I’m trying. This is a weird puzzle to me. You and I can both stick our heads in the sand and try to avoid it but if we truly want to see success with our goals, we have to endure the annoying parts. The parts that don’t feel good.

The only thing I can tell you so far is I’m not quitting on myself. You can. But I’m not. I’m driven to find out how to do this. I’m becoming obsessed with unlocking the key to this and I’m starting to really enjoy the process of discovery. It’s almost sickening.

Self Sabotage

Yesterday, after being trapped in an elevator for 57 minutes at the gym, my son (and personal trainer), said, “Well you’ve been through a lot today so I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to go on home.” I said no. I came to work out, and I was going to do it.

I did.

But damn if I didn’t wait until right before bed to eat when I wasn’t hungry – I’m a saboteur to myself. I worked so hard that day only to sneak up and sabotage my efforts.

How are you sabotaging yourself with mindset? How are you planning to stop?

For me, I’m hunting her. That person inside me who is ruining this for me. I have her in my crosshairs and I’m going to take her out. I almost see it as a war. It is a fight for my life – whether or not it’s life and death or simply being able to live a fulfilling life (one where mobility isn’t an issue, embarrassment isn’t an issue, etc.). This inner traitor is going down.

In business, I think a lot of people act as if they’re struggling because they don’t know what needs to be done. It’s the “be done” part that’s lacking. No one is actually completing any projects to even see if it’s doable.

Same with my weight. I know exactly how to lose it – it’s the action part I’ve been abandoning and it’s pissing me off. Are you pissed off at yourself for lack of follow through in business?

You should be.

Not everyone responds to this form of motivation or drive. I do. Anger at myself makes me change. Patting myself on the head when I make an excuse does nothing for me but make me weaker.

My goal right now is not to go to bed satisfied every night. I want to beat myself up a little, feel that discomfort, and let it fuel me to change. No “good enough” anymore.

That’s like a sickness to me. Gets me nowhere.

Focus on the Negatives

Some people like to focus on goals. I think it’s great to have goals and all, but it’s not what drives change for me. Change for me is driven by avoidance of things I don’t want.

I was happy today to read this article and how it talks about making lists of things you don’t want. Having that focus is an “in your face” reminder of why you’re doing the uncomfortable stuff.

I don’t want to keep my eyes to the floor when I enter a grocery store because I don’t like looking at people as an obese woman.

I don’t want to have to dread walking across the track field to reach the bleachers because of my weight making me so tired.

I don’t want to have to shop in fat lady clothing stores anymore.

I don’t want to lay there at night wondering when and if my weight will catch up to me with a serious health problem.

…and so on. I like that focus. It will help me light a fire to fight back against this stuff above.


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11 Responses to I’m Trying to Learn How to Embrace and Fuel Up on Discomfort

  1. Dana Cassell says:

    Tiff, I was reading an older article from the New York Times today, “Do you suffer from decision fatigue?” I thought of your dilemma when I got to this part:

    “The discoveries about glucose help explain why dieting is a uniquely difficult test of self-control — and why even people with phenomenally strong willpower in the rest of their lives can have such a hard time losing weight. They start out the day with virtuous intentions, resisting croissants at breakfast and dessert at lunch, but each act of resistance further lowers their willpower. As their willpower weakens late in the day, they need to replenish it. But to resupply that energy, they need to give the body glucose. They’re trapped in a nutritional catch-22:

    1. In order not to eat, a dieter needs willpower.

    2. In order to have willpower, a dieter needs to eat.”

    The article is at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html

  2. Mary Greene says:

    Tiff, I never see you as obese or even as a Honey Badger. (Yes, I’ve seen the gym pictures.) You’re a Marine or maybe a Mama Bear.

    Sorry about the elevator. In the longer run, it’s probably good claustrophobia and adrenaline trumped self-consciousness when they didn’t respond to the alarm.

  3. Kit says:

    I like the idea of lists of things you don’t want as well as lists of things you do. We are only motivated by fear of loss or hope of gain and different situations may require a different motivation. I realize I have played too small in business but have done much better on personal matters. My husband can totally relate to your food and weight struggles and now that he must lose weight for his 2nd hip surgery it is the pain that motivates him. He was able to quit smoking cold turkey 30 years ago when I was pregnant with our first born but food has always been his biggest struggle. He’s a big Italian guy and food is his comfort zone.

    So glad you are attacking this issue now. Your weight will cause problems. It’s hard to watch my husband suffer now, sad that it has come to this to motivate him, but proud he is down 20 lbs and another 30 will lower his risk to get the new hip and change our lives. Also happy he knows the pain works for him vs trying to take pain meds that could be dangerous and make it too easy to cheat on his weight loss plan.

    You are an inspiration. I’m not quitting on stretching my business success. I’ve got so much more to give and share.

  4. Isobel says:

    It sounds as if you’re saying that seeing the scales move down or feeling better in themselves aren’t motivating to you, they don’t mean enough to counteract whatever fear you’ve associated with what it would mean to be slim.
    I’ve been doing Tonya Leigh’s Slim Chic and Savvy course, which is about mindfulness above all, and she talks about “who’s in charge” in your head when you’re making decisions. Who’s running the show? The rebel wild child who says “I’ll have a chocolate bar if I want to”? The toddler having a tantrum? The adult who’s looking further than instant gratification? I used to encounter the rebel when I was “trying” to give up smoking by cutting down “I’ll have a damn cigarette if I want to, even if it’s not the right time!” (I did give up in the end nearly 18 years but it wasn’t by trying to trick myself into it.)
    I also have a friend who does stuff even when she doesn’t want to by imagining how she’ll feel if she doesn’t. Sometimes she’ll say “I don’t want to do this, but I want the feeling afterwards of having done it!” It works the opposite way around as well “I really want this (eg food) now but I don’t want to feel how I know I’m going to feel tomorrow if I have it. ” She’s phenomenally successful in business and she has a great body so I can’t really argue with her! lol

    • Tiffany says:

      Exactly. And if the scale moves 5 pounds, I have days where I’m like, “Well, I’ve lost 5 pounds, I can indulge a little.” A better motivator for me is, “You can’t walk through the mall with your daughter and her and her friends are all hoping to go,” or, “You walk through the store with your eyes to the ground every time you go in to avoid contact – wouldn’t it be nice to look UP for once?” All the emotional and physical pain is my focus. I want to know that when I sit down and stuff my fat face, I’m reaping THOSE negative rewards. I tend to block out the after negative effects and I need to have eyes wide open now. 🙂

  5. Cheryl says:

    I’m just going to toss this one into the mix… ever watch Mel Robbins’ TED talk – How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over or read her book 5 Second Rule? She is a fount of energy in the personal development so relate-able. (The *best* way to “read” her book though is in Audible. She reads it and adds to it so it doesn’t sync with the Kindle).

    Anyway, Tiff, she does a much better job of saying it… at least sample her stuff. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc_-b47jo40

    One step at a time… you got this!

  6. Tiff,

    I love the working like a business machine part. I think this is where I need to work on myself so the negative happenings around me will not affect my ability to follow my daily schedules through. It’s so sad when emotional distress hits and I’m suddenly paralyzed, unable to work or do anything productive. I believe empowering myself this way will help me push through the day, as planned, no matter what happens, or is happening, or has happened.

    I have decided, after reading this, to let my discomfort fuel my ability to follow through with all I’ve got to do to get my business going. I’m going to enjoy the discomfort, knowing fully well that it will lead to all that I desire. Thanks for sharing!

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