Personal Development


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Chapter XXXII – Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort 

I am Jude. There seems to be a universal desire to be comfortable. And why not? Being comfortable feels good. There is an absence of stress, risk or difficulty. 

However, life is hard. It requires that we adapt, demonstrate resilience and GROW – and that mandates discomfort. 

Remaining in the comfort zone is costly. Dreams, aspirations and potential can’t survive there. They need challenges, setbacks and disappointment to take root and grow. 

Becoming comfortable with discomfort requires that you dispense with perfectionism and embrace failure. Setbacks and disappointment are unavoidable. In fact, being willing to fail is one of the most important factors in being successful. 

Our comfort zone can be defined as a behavioral state operating with minimal stress or adversity. There is ease, familiarity and contentment there but it is also a wasteland for  personal development.

Staying in your comfort zone means failing to explore your unique talents and abilities. It is remaining in a job that you hate or failing to exercise and eat better. It is refusing to try something new or pursue your passions. 

We get complacent and maintain convenient patterns of behavior even though they limit our growth. 

Unfortunately, it denies us opportunity, stifles our potential and limits our ability to fully realize our dreams. It encourages apathy and acceptance of our current circumstances. 

Essentially, true growth only occurs in a state of discomfort. 

When we operate outside of our comfort zone, we open ourselves up to limitless possibilities and the full range of the human experience. The decision to act will lead to places and spaces you never imagined and introduce you to people who will transform your life. 

So, how do we get out of the comfort zone?

  • Face your Fears. Identify the resistance holding you back from taking on new challenges and confront it. 
  • Prepare Don’t Procrastinate. Develop a plan, start where you are and put yourself out there. 
  • Create Incremental Changes. Build your confidence through small wins and demonstrated success.
  • Surround yourself with Mountain Climbers. People who constantly challenge and reinvent themselves 
  • Review your Progress. Acknowledge all of your accomplishments – Big and Small and celebrate your efforts.

Embrace Discomfort

I have been personally challenging myself to regularly step out of my comfort zone and embrace uncertainty. 

The results are nothing short of amazing. I am meeting interesting, like-minded individuals, developing new habits and finding unexpected opportunities to learn and grow.

I have begun taking cold showers every morning, I am making daily efforts to connect and collaborate with complete strangers and I am sharing my personal thoughts with the world. 

Sometimes it’s terrifying, but the rewards inevitably outweigh the emotional angst – once you can overcome the internal resistance. 

As far as I can gather you have two choices. You can remain in your comfort zone, defer your dreams and settle for a life that is never truly lived, or you can open yourself to the limitless bounty of discomfort by trying new things, saying yes more than no and taking some chances. The choice is always yours.

So stop living like you have 1000 years to live. Life is short and unpredictable. The truth is, you are here today and gone tomorrow. Develop a sense of urgency and take action.

Get out of your own way! Accept the challenge and pursue your passions by embracing discomfort and daring to Be More. 

Side Hustle – Unshackled Solutions Life Coaching and Consulting

Life coaches collaborate with their clients to improve their relationships, careers, and day-to-day lives. They help you when you are stuck or want more yourself. 

They are thinking partners who can help you clarify the vision of the life you want, identify  obstacles holding you back and develop strategies to help you realize your goals. 

Good life coaches rarely give advice. They pose thought-provoking questions, they challenge self-limiting beliefs and provide accountability. 

They remind you of your unique gifts, limitless potential and that you possess everything you need to solve your own problems and create the life you envision for yourself. 

They bring all of their experience, knowledge and intention to help you create the life you want, using reflection, active listening and a specific coaching  process. They are completely invested in your success. 

How could life coaching alter your life? 

What goals could it help you reach? 

What vision could you create for yourself and your future?

Consider investing in a certified life coach. The returns are tenfold and include happiness, joy and living the life you always wanted. I am a living testimonial.

Your Next Best Read – The High 5 Habit by Mel Robbins

I continue to be blessed with GREAT books that inspire, educate and provide strategies to Be Better. 

The High 5 Habit is a self-improvement book that aims to help anyone who deals with self-limiting beliefs take charge of their life by establishing a morning routine, ditching negative talk, and transforming their life through positivity and confidence.

Mel Robbins is quickly becoming one of my favorite influencers, authors, speakers and  podcasters. I like her irreverent style and I enjoyed her narration in the audiobook. She is extremely funny and openly spills the tea, sharing examples of her personal shit.

Quite literally, one of the strategies in the book is to give yourself a high five in the mirror every morning. 

As a basketball coach, this immediately appealed to me as. I have always been a firm believer in the power of high fives.

I believe that one of my best attributes has been my ability to connect and encourage others. I ascribe any success I have had to getting my players to work hard and believe in themselves; and a huge part of that has been high fives.

In coaching, a high five celebrates effort, offers encouragement and identifies with struggles and disappointments. 

Providing players with constant acknowledgement when they succeed, try something new or fail is critical. Especially for girls, who are often lacking in confidence when they are first introduced to the sport.

I also especially loved Chapter 10 – How About I Start…..Tomorrow. It’s a recollection of a chance encounter with a Dallas taxi driver named Eduardo, who wants to be an actor. 

I found it hilarious. She is a comical narrator and the story perfectly illustrates the thinking and excuses we employ to justify procrastination and inaction. Most of us can identify with Eduardo and all of his superficial excuses. Mel sees right through them.

One of my most important takeaways was captured in a simple question she asked Eduardo – what do you have to lose? It’s a statement that I have heard a thousand times but, for some reason, this time it landed differently.

When I am provided with opportunities to learn, increase my network and participate in new experiences, I now find myself asking – what do you have to lose and what could you potentially gain?

Lastly, the chapter highlighted the importance of reflecting someone’s self-limiting thinking, partnering with them to consider possibilities and inspiring them to follow their passions. All important components in life coaching. 

Positive Reflections – What’s Good?

I wrapped up the season with my CBA Under 14 girls basketball team with a provincial tournament this weekend. 

It was not the result that we wanted but I couldn’t be more proud of everyone. We won our first game and lost the two next two closely contested games by 5pts and 2 pts respectively. 

They played fantastic full-court ‘in your business’ defence and communicated well all weekend. Check. We were one of the smaller teams in the tournament which required that we box out consistently. Check. We passed the ball well, played unselfish and sought GREAT shots instead of good shots. Check. 

More importantly, they had fun. 

They have developed meaningful relationships both within the team and outside of basketball. They have group chats, spend time together and have already begun putting in off-season work on the outside courts.

Girls have developed a sense of belonging and provided ongoing encouragement and support for one one another all year. They have become each other’s biggest fans. 

This group was a dream to coach. There was no drama, resistance, or negative energy. Girls left saying thank-you after every practice and seemed to genuinely enjoy being around one another. 

I am astounded, when I look back over the year and consider their progress despite all of the starts and stops, setbacks and adversity. 

And here’s the thing, the best is yet to come.

The future is bright for girls basketball in Truro. In fact, I have a bold prediction, CEC will be the NSSAF High School Girls Basketball Champions again in less than five years. 

As for me, I continue to receive more than I give in coaching. Nothing makes me happier than seeing players find success through hard work and commitment. It provides me with regular opportunities to provide inspiration and share in other people’s joy. 

Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash

Public Announcement

Time literally flies. My little King has already turned four(4). Where did the time go?

My grandson came into the world when he was twenty-six(26) weeks and only weighing 2.4lbs. His mother was airlifted to the IWK for his delivery and he spent his first sixty-nine(69) in the Neonatal Unit.

I remember him being so impossibly small and fragile that I was scared to touch him. I can recall his first words and tentative first steps. 

Now, he will be going to school in the fall. 

I love his personality. He is happy, curious and lovable. He has a gentle nature and a good heart. 

It’s funny, I never thought I could love anyone in the same way I loved my daughter until Kyrie  came along. Seeing him smile or hearing Papa melts my heart.

I love having him around. Whether we are playing on the floor, completing puzzles or building something together, he makes me happy. And now he has a little sister. 

It’s certainly different. They are not my children. I am simply a dedicated grandparent. However, nothing brings me more joy and I couldn’t imagine life without them. They are truly a gift.

And with age comes, patience and perspective. At fifty-one(51) years old, I believe I can better appreciate the blessing of children. I am obviously a much different person than the twenty-three(23) year old father I was when I had my daughter. 

I have grown and evolved and so have my views on parenting. 

I now respond to the whining, crying and tantrums with reason, patience and understanding. I’m more concerned about the why than the what, regardless of the behaviour. If a child is hitting, spitting or throwing, there’s generally a good reason.

My daughter missed all of that. I shudder when I consider the expectations, exacting standards and inflexibility I demonstrated as a young parent. Sorry Mama, my intentions were pure! 

I am now solely concerned with developing my grandchildren’s emotional intelligence. As long as they have confidence, believe in themselves and are willing to try and fail. I’m good. 

I’m not focusing on their academic performance. I’m done with that. I’m invested in helping them becoming good people. Period. 

So Happy Birthday Papa! You have become central to my life and a primary source of my inspiration. I am so much better because of you. I am Jude.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


Hi Jude, I really connected with the becoming comfortable with discomfort part of your Blog last week. Can I share this with my Leadership 12 class at CEC? Most of my students struggle with trying new or different things and can’t escape their own comfort zone. Love reading your Blog!

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