Throughout life, we face hundreds of awkward, uncomfortable or embarrassing situations.
Getting turned down by a girl you wanted to ask out. Failing at your first venture, Giving the wrong answer in front of a class filled with bad kids or simply falling flat on your nose on the street because you stepped on a wondering stone.
The fear of feeling uncomfortable is dangerous.
It’s disguised as a defence mechanism. But it is also the 1# killer of potential life changing and personal growth events.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is the key to progress and ultimately success.
Don’t fear to feel awkward.
Last week, I gave a talk to a Chinese delegation as part of a special FuckUp Nights events. (Yes, my second one this month!).
Their main focus was – how do you fail and feel OK with it. How do you have the guts to talk about your failures, embrace and own them?
Culturally, there’s a big difference between how Israeli’s see failure and the Chinese do.
Before we finished our panel, talking about “dealing with failure” we discussed the awkwardness of facing your failure in public. In front of strangers, or even friends and family.
I think the key is that you have to embrace feeling awkward. And only once you feel completely free outside your comfort zone, you can do amazing things.
To do that, you have to feel so comfortable in uncomfortable situations that you are now immune to that feeling.
So how do you master feeling uncomfortable?
Here are three tricks that worked for me ( I learnt the first two from Tim Ferries and Noah Kagan):
1. Stand up and lift your hand for 30 seconds
Next time you’re at a cafe or a crowded place, Stand up, raise your hand in the air for 30 seconds. Don’t justify it. Just do it. Yes, people will start staring. But guess what? It doesn’t matter. Just do it. Do it in various scenarios until you don’t feel awkward doing it!
2. Ask for a discount
Go to a coffee shop. A record store – wherever you like and request a discount. Why? just because. Don’t give them reasons. Don’t say it’s your birthday. Just ask for it because you feel like it. You might even get it 😉 but if not – then so what? Master the uncomfortable situation.
3. Talk to someone new once a day
This is a fun one. Find someone who’s sitting around you. Coffee shop, restaurant, store, bar. Wherever you hang out – and strike a conversation about whatever you feel like. Don’t have the courage? That’s why you’re doing it for in the first place!
Go on. Do these three things in the coming week and write in the comments
1. How did you feel while doing it?
2. How did you feel the moment after?
3. Would you do it again?