Momentum Podcast: 886

Identify Discomfort for Momentum

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

“On this episode of the Momentum Podcast, Alex delves into the crucial yet often overlooked aspect of discomfort. As eternal optimists, entrepreneurs tend to ignore their discomfort, hindering progress and creating operational drag. Discover a transformative daily practice from the momentum planner system that addresses this issue. Through candid discussions, Alex shares personal experiences and universal challenges faced by entrepreneurs, offering practical strategies to identify and tackle discomfort. Uncover the power of self-awareness, optimism, and adaptability in navigating the entrepreneurial journey, and learn how acknowledging discomfort can pave the way for massive momentum, increased productivity, and a more fulfilling entrepreneurial life. Tune in for valuable insights, actionable tips, and a fresh perspective on achieving success in the dynamic world of entrepreneurship.

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Full Audio Transcript

This is the Momentum podcast.

As a coach, as a consultant, I have obsessed over how do we get more done as entrepreneurs, how do we create more momentum? How do we move forward consistently on a daily basis so that we can create the outcomes we want in the world? You win in the day. Every day is where the rubber meets the road and we actually make things happen as entrepreneurs and as part of winning in the day. I have a practice that you can add to your day that will help you eliminate constraint, feel way better about things and understand what's going on and create massive momentum. But this is a practice that for us as evolutionary hunters, as entrepreneurial personality types, is not an obvious one. That's why I'm so excited to share it with you.

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast. Made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. And we always will be.

As a coach, as a consultant, as a person who works with entrepreneurs, and as an entrepreneur myself, I have been obsessed with how do we get more done? How do we create momentum and stay in momentum? How to create more forward progress? How do we move our lives forward every single day? Now, this is my expectation. I want to move my life forward every single day. I don't know that it always happens, but it happens a disproportionately huge percentage of the time these days because I have perspective about how things used to be. And as entrepreneurs, you know, we are totally different wired or we have totally different wiring than the rest of the world. We want to be in momentum. We want to be making things happen. We want to be moving things forward. And as a result, we often don't ask an important and revealing question: Where was I uncomfortable yesterday? I just want you to think about that. Where was I uncomfortable yesterday? I want to share a practice with you that comes out of our momentum planner that I think is probably one of the most important practices I have, and it's one of the most important practices I coach. In fact, I teach this to everyone who's in our high ticket program, and I also show this to everyone who buys our momentum planner system that if you're interested in checking it out, you can go to charfen.com/mps as in momentum planner system. And one of the questions on the daily pages is where was I uncomfortable yesterday?

And I think this is a crucial question for us to ask as entrepreneurs. Here's why. There's really three major reasons. Number one, as entrepreneurs, we are eternal optimists. In fact, if you take the most non optimistic entrepreneur, they're probably twice as optimistic as an average person because that's just who we are. In order to be an entrepreneur, you have to be optimistic in order to get up every day and say, ‘Hey, I'm going to challenge the status quo’, ‘I'm going to change things’, ‘I'm going to do things in a different way’. ‘I'm going to show people a better way’. You have to have massive optimism. You probably have to have an unrealistic amount of optimism in order to stay in the chair that we occupy. And I know I am an eternal optimist. And sometimes that optimism causes me to overrule, override, ignore and stuff down where I'm uncomfortable. Optimism can definitely do this to you. You know, it's one of those things where I want to look at the positive. I want to look at momentum. I want to be moving forward. And so I don't look at where I was uncomfortable yesterday. And this habit of ignoring where I'm uncomfortable creates a massive constraint for me, creates a massive constraint for all of us.

See, when we don't look at where we were uncomfortable, when we don't admit it to ourselves, when we don't bring it to the surface, here's what happens. We continue to move forward. We continue to try and be optimistic. We continue to try and see what direction we should go and we continue to try and continue forward progress. But if there are things that are making us uncomfortable and they're piling up in our lives and we're not identifying them and we're not admitting them, then we're not doing anything about them. They create massive operational drag. Operational drag is what slows us down. And it just feels like that. It feels like operational drag. It feels like we're dragging something behind us. It feels like we're wearing a weighted vest and weighted ankle cuffs. It feels like we're in constraint, like we're running through molasses, like we're not making the progress that we want, like we're spinning our wheels. You know, you can hear it in our language because we say all of those things. And what I've found is on a daily basis, if I sit down and I write down where I was uncomfortable yesterday, it actually helps me. I start identifying the things that I need to change and I'll write down all kinds of stuff. I'll write down I was uncomfortable that my kids were arguing in the evening. I'm uncomfortable because the light switch in the garage doesn't work. I'm uncomfortable because one of our doors isn’t closing right. I'm uncomfortable because I had an argument with one of our team members, which rarely happens. I'm just making it up. You know, I write down why I'm uncomfortable and then I can examine it. Months and months and months ago, I was uncomfortable because I had a morning where I weighed 240 pounds. I'm six foot two. 240 pounds is the most that I've weighed in a long time. And I actually wrote that down that day. I crossed 240 pounds, I think it was 240.3 pounds. That was in June of last year. It's now November. And in that time frame I've lost 33 or 30 or actually more than that. It's like 248 pounds. So I've lost like almost 40 pounds, almost all of that body fat. Why? Because I wrote down where I was uncomfortable in the morning and it started eating at me and bothering me. And then I put a plan together to fix it. So the first reason why we deny and minimize where we are uncomfortable is because of our eternal optimism.

Now, it's also because every one of us and I'm sharing this with you because I want you to just listen to me and see if you know this is you. Because having an awareness of this condition in the lives of entrepreneurs, and it's universal, this happens to all of us. If you have an awareness of this, it will actually help you have a better awareness of where you're uncomfortable. Every single one of us has had a time in our lives where we didn't have what it takes and we didn't have enough. We didn't have the resources. We were too young, we were too old. We weren't ready for what we were going to do, and we could see a light at the end of the tunnel. And we charged through that light. And that is what we created, who we are today. So we put up with a tremendous amount of pressure and noise and discomfort to break through and become who we are today and make something happen. And what happens is this second reason. So first is optimistic. The second reason is we've all had a timeframe where we've overcome to succeed. And what happens is that can psychologically condition us that we have to have a ton of pressure noise we are overcoming in order to create success. That can be a false reality, because if we're experiencing discomfort and if we're frustrated and we're uncomfortable and we're not admitting it to ourselves and we're pressing forward and we're not doing anything about those things that can slow us down, stop us and hold us in place, it can make us feel constrained and can get a second, can burn out our adrenals and give us all cortisol down. It can help get us to where we're gaining weight like I was because we're not admitting where we are uncomfortable. We're in that place where we feel like the discomfort is a gateway to success. But sometimes discomfort is just discomfort. Sometimes discomfort can be fixed. Sometimes when we admit where we're uncomfortable, we'll take steps to fix it, and that creates massive momentum for us. I get frustrated with all the people out there that teach people how to set goals and outcomes because what they don't do first is say, “Hey, what are we getting rid of?” “Where are you uncomfortable?” “What are we discharging?” “What are we moving away?” “What are we moving aside so that we can create the room to plan for, to dream about and to visualize, dare I say, even manifest the things that we want in our lives?” When we remove operational drag and get things that are making us uncomfortable out of the way, that happens infinitely easier.

Now, the third reason that this happens to us is the first one is optimistic. I just shared with you, we've all overcome challenges in order to succeed. And the third one is that as entrepreneurs we are highly adaptable. We can adapt around anything else. Oftentimes we're called things like chameleons because we're so good at adapting in situations, and that adaptability has served us. I know my adaptability has. I adapted to being a consultant. I adapted to being in rooms where I was the youngest person and still the expert. I adapted to learning how to speak on massive stages. I adapted to do… I did go on live TV to do all kinds of things. Adaptation and adapting around issues and challenges is one of the things that makes us great. It's one of the things that makes us massively successful. However, that highly adaptable attribute of the entrepreneurial personality type cuts both ways. Here's what happens when there is low pressure and noise in our lives, when we are dealing with what makes us uncomfortable, when we're not tolerating too much. High adaptability allows us to adapt and change the behaviors we need to change to become the person we want to be, to have the success that we want. I often share with entrepreneurs, “If you don't have the business you want, you haven't become the person who can run it yet”. And when we adapt and we change behaviors, we become that person. When we make the decision that we're going to delegate, When we make the decision, we're going to empower our team. When we make the decision that, you know, we are going to build an organization around us, when we make the decision that we're going to go from doing everything to delegating everything to managing and leading and having the team do everything, those are all behavioral changes that we must make in order to continue to move forward if that's the situation we're in. But the issue that we have as entrepreneurs is when there's high pressure and noise in our lives, when there's a lot of things that are making us uncomfortable, what happens is that high adaptability makes us addicted to change and programmed to accept failure. That high adaptability, we will start adapting and adapting and adapting and adapting and adapting to a point where we look up one day and we can't even see where we started and we don't understand where we are. And it feels like we need to start everything over.

I'm allowing a dramatic pause here because, as I said, that I felt I've been in that place more than once in my life. I've been in that place of high pressure and noise, the world feeling like it's conspiring against me and adapting and adapting and pushing through and head down and trying to do more on a daily basis and blaming and shaming myself for not being better. And feeling like I'm not going and doing as well as everybody else. And feeling like I'm letting myself down and feeling like I'm letting my movement down. Feeling like I'm letting potential customers down. I'm letting my family down. I'm just in a place where I'm not doing the right things. I know that feeling so intimately. And any visionary who tells you they don't know that feeling is either really not self-aware or just doesn't want you to know that they felt vulnerable. I think as visionaries, we should admit this readily. Because when we get into that place of high adaptability, where we adapt and adapt and adapt with high pressure and noise, we get lost. And I have absolutely been in that place where I've adapted so much. I look back, I can't see where I started from, and I feel like I need to burn it all down and I feel like I need to go back to doing it all myself. And I feel like I need it to be more manageable and less crazy and less frustrating and less triggering and less constraint feeling. And I don't want you to push yourself there. And so here's what I do on a daily basis as I go through my planning. Every morning I sit down for about 20 minutes to plan. On the lower left hand side of my momentum planner has a question that says where was I uncomfortable yesterday? Then every day I write it down, I write down things like I was exhausted yesterday. My left knee was really sore. I have an injury that I'm rehabbing. The girls were fighting over the kitchen. You know, I write down things like I was frustrated. The power went out and I'm worried about the winter coming up. We now have appointments for a generator. See, what I found is if I write down where I'm uncomfortable, those things that need to be resolved will be resolved. And if I stop denying where I'm uncomfortable, it causes way less pressure and noise for me. And I don't get to that place of adapting and adapting and being addicted to change and programmed to accept failure.

And so every morning, here's my suggestion… well, my suggestion first is you buy the momentum planning system because it'll give you so much more than this one tactic, this one strategy. It'll change your life. And again, you can go to charfen.com/mps to check that out. But if you don't, and you don't really have to for this to benefit you and change your life when you sit down in the morning to plan. Write down the question. Hand write it out. Where was I uncomfortable yesterday? And sit there and think for a few minutes. And here's what's funny. It might be really hard. It might actually be difficult for you to bring up anything where you are uncomfortable. And let's be real. Every one of us is uncomfortable at least once or twice a day, if not way more. But because we are optimistic and we've overcome the challenges to succeed and we're highly adaptable, we often lose the muscle of saying, ‘Hey, here's where I'm uncomfortable’. We often lose the habit of identifying where we're uncomfortable. In fact, we create the muscle and the habit of being optimistic and stuffing it down and not looking at discomfort and moving forward anyway. And so give yourself a few minutes and write down whatever comes up and it doesn't matter if it feels important or unimportant. Write it down and then do it the next day and the next day. And what you'll start seeing is that there's changes you can make in your life that are going to lower pressure noise. What you'll start seeing is that even though you're highly optimistic, you can adjust things around you to make things even better for you. And what you'll start seeing is even though you're highly adaptable, there's things that you can just move aside or get out of the way or stop trying to do so you don't have to adapt around them. And all of this is going to give you more energy, more presence and more awareness to go out and achieve the things you actually want to do as an entrepreneur. When we understand where we are, discomfort, where we are uncomfortable, where we identify our discomfort, it helps us create massive momentum because we're not denying what's going on for us anymore. We're not stuffing it down and carrying around that operational drag. We're not pretending like it's not there. We're not adapting around it. And this is life changing.

I'm excited for you to try this, so make a note now, maybe even send yourself a message or set a reminder in your calendar right now for tomorrow morning to write down where you were uncomfortable today or even better today. As you go through the day, allow yourself to recognize moments of discomfort, no matter how minor or major they are, and make some notes of them so you can review them tomorrow morning. Optimism is an incredible quality to have. Adaptability helps you get way more done in the world. Overcoming challenges changes the world and it's who we are. But when we're willing to take care of ourselves by identifying where we're uncomfortable and doing something about it, all of that is infinitely easier, more effective. And we will make a bigger impact, a bigger income, and we'll go out and make a massive contribution in the world. I appreciate you listening to this podcast. I'm excited for you to identify where you're uncomfortable so you're not stuffing it all down and carrying around operational drag. And you will see the momentum that this simple strategy, this simple daily habit will create. And if you're interested in the momentum planner system, like I said earlier, you can go to charfen.com, my last name, forward slash MPS as in momentum planner system (charfen.com/mps). Thanks for being a podcast listener. I appreciate you being here and I'm excited for you to identify where you're uncomfortable and create massive momentum.

Thank You For Listening!

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With gratitude,

Alex

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