Surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you, who are at the next level, is an excellent way to push yourself to grow. However, as an active participant in personal and professional growth, you’d think that at this point I would know what to expect as I go through another cycle of transformation. Today’s post is a reminder to all of us that when you truly stretch yourself to grow to the next level, that feeling of extreme discomfort is a sign of success, not failure.
Be Careful What You Ask For
Recently, I was in a situation where I immersed myself in a new community of people who have some skills I would like to elevate. They are highly successful entrepreneurs who are exceptional at sales, marketing, communications, negotiation, and project management. When I first joined the group, I thought since I had previous experience in all these categories, it would be easy for me to assimilate and simply polish my own skills. Very quickly I realized that I was now a tiny fish in an ocean full of giants. I could physically feel my body tensing up with the uncomfortable feelings, thinking about what it would take for me to grow from where I am to where these legends are now.
Stories Make Reality
As I interacted with these people, I could feel the noise of imposter syndrome drowning out all the clear thoughts in my head. For a moment, I allowed myself to believe there was no way I could ever be as amazing as them. But then, it was as if I was shaken awake from a dream when they started telling stories of their less than perfect beginnings. Surprisingly, many of them were once just like me, with no clue how to actually accomplish their goals but with relentless determination to figure out how to pursue their big dreams.
Acceptance is Part of Transformation
Using some techniques, like meditation and tapping, the chaos in my brain calmed down and my physical body relaxed. I had finally reached a point where I could accept that it was OK for me to be uncomfortable. I remembered that this state of being was not a symbol of failure, but rather the embodiment of growth. By accepting these uncomfortable thoughts and feelings as "normal", I was able to transition my mind towards hope and my body into action. I transformed my fear into fire, and fully leaned in to this transformational, albeit uncomfortable, growth experience.