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­čĺ¬Overcoming the Discomfort Change Brings

change management resilience well-being Jul 18, 2022
Change Leadership

In my last post, I wrote about fresh starts - how many people are searching for a new beginning and how Apogy is flipping the page to a new chapter too. For those who seek out and embrace change, the idea of a fresh start can be exhilarating, but for most of us, new beginnings come with feelings of discomfort and fear.

It’s common to experience discomfort when pursuing a fresh start if you don’t know how to address or manage your worries. The important thing is to empower yourself with the right skills, mindset, and behaviors to confidently embrace the unknown, because you know the growth and results you've been looking for are on the other side of that fear and discomfort. 

The fear of discomfort

Far too often, people avoid change because they fear discomfort. I see the fear of discomfort in yoga all the time. As a yoga teacher, I encourage my students to evaluate their intention behind the subtle movements they make when transitioning into a new pose. I invite them to reflect on whether they are avoiding the discomfort they may be feeling (the burn of muscles, for example) or if the subtle shifts and adjustments are helping them deepen into the shape.  

There’s no right or wrong answer. Some days the burn may be more than we can handle, and we choose to avoid the discomfort at all costs. Other times, students might push beyond their perceived limits, using their breath to deepen into a pose or try a new shape altogether. No matter what they choose to do in that moment, my reminder is the same: growth happens at the “edge.” In yoga, this refers to the place where the student is “comfortably uncomfortable,” where they are safe but are testing the limits they’ve unconsciously (or consciously set) for themselves about what is or isn’t possible. 

Approaching the “edge”

One of the quickest and most effective ways to find your “edge” - whether it is in yoga or at work - is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. So, how do we embrace discomfort, and where do we start? According to Verywell Mind, things like taking risks, trying new foods and activities, and accepting uncomfortable social settings are great places to start.

As a yoga teacher, I’d also tell you that embracing the “comfortably uncomfortable” moments during your practice is not only where you’ll experience growth but build muscle memory for how capable you truly are, which is foundational to developing resilience. 

Where Apogy fits in

I’ll never forget the first time I could maintain crow pose, which is a simple, yet challenging inversion. The path to success took practice, perseverance and in the most literal sense, a “leap of faith” as my feet lifted off from the floor.  The same process and mindset apply to leadership and change management

Understanding the core concepts and best practices at an intellectual level isn’t the hard part. It’s the successful application of information in real life that’s challenging. When you don’t know what you don’t know because you don’t have the muscle memory or experience, the fresh start that initially felt full of promise and potential now feels uncomfortable and unpleasant.  

When this happens, people often make the mistake of labeling the discomfort they are feeling as a sign of being incapable or unqualified. This isn't true, of course, but unfortunately the lack of distinction causes people to give up or go back to more familiar patterns and behaviors. This may provide relief temporarily, but the cost of comfort is high - especially when it comes to change and transformation. 

Having someone guide your process (like a yoga teacher or change coach!), who has the knowledge and experience to support your growth and help you find your "edge" can ensure your fresh start is not only successful but that the benefits for taking the leap are realized and sustained. Curious to learn more about how Apogy can support your professional development? Email us at [email protected].

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