Momentum Podcast: 20
Are You Tolerating Too Much
by Alex Charfen
Welcome to Episode 20, Are You Tolerating Too Much. I'll start this episode with a simple thought. If you don't have a system in your life through which you're offloading where you are uncomfortable, chances are you are tolerating far too much. And this has a long deep-rooted history in entrepreneurial existence, this belief that we should tolerate being uncomfortable. In fact, we often hear things like, “You should get comfortable being uncomfortable.” Or “Fake it until you make it. Never let them see you sweat.”
We should keep all of the things inside that are bothering us, but the fact is, strategies like this create little more than denial. Fake it until you can make it equates to lie and deny, and the fact is that's just not how it works for an entrepreneurial to create momentum, move forward, get the protection and support we need to go and create our greatest contribution.
Every successful entrepreneur has had to overcome, deal with issues, and create success when everyone around them thought it was an impossibility. We have all felt the pain of not knowing how we could create momentum but everyone of us has somehow broken through and moved forward anyway. It's this very resilience that makes us entrepreneurial personality types, however it is also this resilience that can cause us to tolerate far too much.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen, and welcome to the Entrepreneurial Personality Type Podcast created for empire builders, game changers, world makers, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and obsess on creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure we pay attention to their rules, but only so we can bend, break and rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We've all heard sit down, stop talking, quit going so fast and making everyone else uncomfortable, but we are hard wired differently. We are evolutionary hunters, the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive, human evolution, and we always will be.
Welcome to Episode 20, Are You Tolerating Too Much. I'll start this episode with a simple thought. If you don't have a system in your life through which you're offloading where you are uncomfortable, chances are you are tolerating far too much. And this has a long deep-rooted history in entrepreneurial existence, this belief that we should tolerate being uncomfortable. In fact, we often hear things like, "You should get comfortable being uncomfortable." Or "Fake it until you make it. Never let them see you sweat." We should keep all of the things inside that are bothering us, but the fact is, strategies like this create little more than denial. Fake it until you can make it equates to lie and deny, and the fact is that's just not how it works for an entrepreneurial to create momentum, move forward, get the protection and support we need to go and create our greatest contribution.
One of the greatest leaders in corporate American history, one of the greatest entrepreneurs to ever run a company was Lee Iacocca. What it did at Ford, and then subsequently did at Chrysler was amazing. At Ford, the invention, the creation, the release of the Mustang. Then at Chrysler the creation of an entirely new category of car, the mini van in a company that was literally imploding on itself. Iacocca's leadership was amazing, and he a statement, a phrase that he used that is often misinterpreted. He was known for saying, "The speed of the boss is the speed of the team." Well, we all know what's happened with that quote. It's been co-opted to mean we should hustle at all costs. We should be in constant kinetic movement. We should be running. We should be going forward. We should be doing what we do all the time without ever taking a break, without ever slowing down, without ever off loading where we are uncomfortable.
And it doesn't take much digging or research to look at what Lee Iacocca was really saying. See, the speed of the boss is the speed of the team was his intention, but what he meant was the speed with which you, as the boss, are off loading where you are uncomfortable, and changing your behavior is the speed with which your team grows. I'll say that one more time in a different way. The speed with which you, as the boss, are off loading where you are uncomfortable and changing behavior, is the speed at which your company grows.
And the fact is, if you don't have a system to offload where you are uncomfortable, then you are tolerating too much, and here's what we know about being an entrepreneurial. If our days are getting more tactically difficult, then we are building a house of cards. It's just fact. If your days are getting harder, if each day your to do list is growing, if the stress is getting higher, if there's more pressure, more noise, we are literally building a house of cards that is guaranteed to come tumbling down unless we stop tolerating too much.
Now why is it as entrepreneurs that we do this? The fact is that we've all been in uncomfortable situations. In fact, we are accustomed to uncomfortable situations. We know what it's like to be in a classroom, in a meeting, in a room where you don't want to be. We know what it's like to be in constraint following somebody else's rules, answering someone else's question, and trying to pursue their outcomes, and here's the challenge. Is it that in some point in time in your life, I'm willing to bet that the cards were stacked against you. You didn't have adequate resources, there wasn't enough of whatever you needed to move forward, and everyone in your life was saying, "Hey, you should stop. It's not going to work. You should back off. You should go get a job. You should change what you're doing. You should change your strategy. You should do what I'm doing." And you could see a small sliver of light at the end of the tunnel, and where the world tried to convince you it was a train, you pursued it, went after it, got there, and that's where you, in fact, created your life and who you are today.
But I have news for you. That's not how it has to continue to be. Fail forward, fail fast is a great strategy to get someone out of the gate, but it is not a longterm success strategy. In fact, as entrepreneurs, when we've realized we are tolerating too much, everything in our lives changes because the day you declare I am an entrepreneur, you become a commodity. We become timid about telling people what we really are. We start making up a veneer, a story about what's really going on. We cut down the transparency with which we share with the world, and I want you to know we have all been there including me.
And the challenge is, when I look at, when I've observed, when I've been around, when I've researched the most successful people in the world, here's what I can tell you. They do not tolerate being uncomfortable. In fact, on a daily basis, they do whatever it takes to remove the pressure and noise in their lives so that they can increase their awareness, increase their ability to see the future, increase their entrepreneurial talents because we know when we lower pressure and noise, that's when our true skills and abilities, that's when our true powers as entrepreneurs are unleashed into the world.
And the most successful people out there, we see the evidence of them doing everything they can to stop tolerating discomfort. Successful people don't allow people into their lives who don't give them momentum. They don't allow things into their lives that don't give them momentum, and the most successful friends I have wouldn't even think of going to a place, a location, a event, that they weren't truly excited about and knew would contribute to them moving forward and creating momentum.
Now if you're like most entrepreneurs, you've been tolerating too much for a long time, and a lot of this, if not all of it, probably rings true. So I want to share with you a simple tactic, a simple system for you to off load where you are uncomfortable on a daily basis. It's the tactic I use. It's part of our momentum planner system. It's part of the momentum master class. This is one of the simple foundational tactics I teach every private client I work with, and now you can begin it right now today, and tomorrow morning, you can renew this committeemen to eliminating what makes you comfortable so that you can move forward fast.
It's simple. Each morning ask yourself the easy question, where I was uncomfortable yesterday, and write down everything that made you uncomfortable the day before. And here's what I mean. Wherever you felt the loss of momentum, wherever there was a stall or a stop, wherever you felt physically uncomfortable, wherever someone else made you feel uncomfortable, write it down because here's the challenge for people like us. We are born optimists. When we go out into the world and we experience challenge, we automatically think to ourselves, "It will get better. It will change. It will improve," because that's what we naturally do, but that is not the default setting for the rest of the world. That is not the default setting for the rest of the people you know. In fact, most people strive for average and cling to the status quo, and so if you're waiting for the rest of the world to change so you can be comfortable, you are following the wrong path.
So each day, sit down and answer the question, where was I uncomfortable yesterday, and this is a daily discipline. And it doesn't have to be only big things. It can be anything. If there's a light switch that doesn't work in your house and it makes you uncomfortable, write it down because those little things increase pressure and noise. If there's a person in your life that's making you uncomfortable write down why because you will either improve that relationship, change it, or get out of it. If there's a place where you're going and you're no longer comfortable being there, and you know you're not getting anything out of it, write it down because over time, your life will shift because one of the most dangerous things we can do with our personality type is go day after day accepting, absorbing, and increasing the amount of discomfort we are tolerating. See this simple system will allow you to offload where you are uncomfortable so you stop tolerating too much.
And each day, when we sit down, and we think of a 24-hour period when it's most fresh in our minds, when we think back on the past day with accurate reflection, we can write down more and more about what is making us comfortable, and here's what I want you to understand. The very act of acknowledging, writing things down, and understanding what's making you uncomfortable will force change in your life. It will bring a different paradigm of success in your life.
And I'll tell you that the people who create the type of success that you have always known you were capable of, that you have always known you were meant to create, do everything they can to lower what they tolerate. In fact, I spoke last year at an event with Tony Robbins. It was one of the greatest events I've ever been to because Tony Robbins is a childhood hero of mine, and to share the stage with him was one of the greatest honors I ever expected to have. And in his interview, he was asked, "What's the advice you would give entrepreneurs in the room who are trying to get traction, who are trying to move forward, who are trying to build teams and make their mark in the universe?" And he had one simple statement. In life, you get what you tolerate.
So this system, even is aligned with how Tony Robbins would tell you how to build your business and build your life to sit down and write down where you were uncomfortable the day before. This is reticular activation to the negative. Reticular activation to what's holding us back, and reticular activation to what is causing us constraint. And here's what happens. If for 365 days, you're willing to write down where you are uncomfortable, what is causing you constraint, the momentum in your life will shift. It will increase, and it will change because for most entrepreneurs, it isn't so much that we're not creating enough momentum because I know you're working hard.
See, for most entrepreneurs, what they want in their life is absent for one simple reason. They've created the habit of tolerating far too much of carrying too much operational drag, of carrying too much weight along with them.
So try this. Right now, when this podcast is over sit down and write down what in your life is making you uncomfortable. Face the fact that once you realize what you're tolerating, it gives you the power to change it and to change the course of momentum in your life, your business, your career, your family, and whatever else you want to apply the extra attention and effort and energy you have when you off load where you are uncomfortable.
This is the secret of some of the most successful people in the world. You can see it in their behaviors. Branson buys an island so he can be all alone. Billionaires by planes so they don't have to deal with commercial airports. People buy entire neighborhoods and knock down the houses so that they can be completely isolated. Mark Zuckerberg bought all the houses around him so nobody could look into his backyard.
When we, as entrepreneurs start recognizing that the most successful people among us do not tolerate discomfort, we can shift and change how we behave in the world and the momentum we create.
And I want to just leave you with one final thought. This is no way means that you won't be vulnerable. See, vulnerability and being transparent with people and telling the world what's really going on and sharing where you really are is one of the fastest ways to achieve success as an entrepreneur. But tolerating and being vulnerable are two completely different things. So the next time somebody tells you, "Get comfortable with being uncomfortable," I want you to just think to yourself, "I'm not going to tolerate too much." And your life will change.
Thanks for being here with me. If you haven't yet, take a minute and subscribe to this podcast and leave us a review. I would love to know what you think of the podcast and what it's done for you, and thank you for being one our listeners.
Tune in for episode 21 for a little bit of a fun topic, why we as entrepreneurs, both male and female, love cars.