Stand In Your Discomfort With Comfort

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A man on a weekend hike spotted a cocoon. Looking closely, he saw a small opening. He watched amazed as the butterfly struggled to force its body through hole and out of the cocoon. It seemed to be stuck.

So the man took his pocket knife and cut through the cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily, but its body was swollen and its wings were shriveled. It was unable to fly.

In his kindness, the man did not realize that the butterfly’s struggle through the opening of the cocoon was nature’s way of forcing fluid from its body into its wings.

We may often wish for our business to go more smoothly and our lives to be easier. Sometimes the struggle and demands leave us feeling like a failure, and we can’t see that we’re making any progress at all.

But the times that are the most difficult are the times that give us our wings and help us eventually fly.

So if you are upset and frustrated by the struggles you’re going through, remember no one soars too high if they soars with their own wings.

Every discomfort is pushing us to the next level. It’s easier to live with comfort, no doubt, but the sign that something truly amazing is about to happen will always come when we cross the border out of our comfort zone.

Every mistake is teaching and helping us. Mistakes are not just inevitable but necessary; it’s the way we think about them that needs to change. Mistakes are the pathway for acquiring knowledge. When you make a mistake, tell yourself, “I did not have enough information and now I am acquiring more.”

Every failure gives us a chance to try again and work for meaning. We can only be truly successful after we have failed—and failed many times. Staying safely successful is the most dangerous thing of all.

Every miscalculation shows us how to calculate more accurately. So often we try to cover up miscalculations because we feel betrayed by our judgment. We say, “I should have known better!” But maybe we’re learning exactly what we need to learn, and we’re asking too much too soon of ourselves.

Before we can acquire the kind of success that brings more meaning and not just more wealth, we will struggle, miscalculate, misunderstand, and make many mistakes. All of this is necessary, all of this is normal, all of this is acceptable.

We all have to struggle and strive because there is far more to us than we can imagine. When life and business become too much, we must prepare ourselves to accept the struggles in order to obtain the wealth of meaning.

Lead From Within: How we manage our feelings and stay in charge in times of struggle will determine how we earn our wings.



N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Susan Mary Malone

    21. Jul, 2015

    Great reminders, Lolly. As with the man and the butterfly, sometimes it’s just so difficult to stand in the discomfort, whether ours or another’s. Often the choices are to fight or flee, but often the best decision is to slowly work ourselves out, assuring that whatever “fluid” is holding us back gets worked out along the way.
    Thank you for this!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Muange Emmanuel

    21. Jul, 2015

    To Lolly,
    Thank you for clearly pointing out that we need to embrace our discomforts and be willing to learn from our mistakes.No one is perfect,being uncomfortable means your striving hard for a better comfort.Lets learn from our mistakes so we may fly higher in future.

    Muange Emmanuel

    Reply to this comment
  3. PAnteli Tritchew

    22. Jul, 2015

    Learning matters, and our deepest learning happens from our deepest mistakes.

    Thank you for reminding us that “We all have to struggle and strive because there is far more to us than we can imagine!” Often, in the midst of the struggle and the strife, it’s easy to lose sight of the greater purpose. Love the butterfly metaphor!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Camilla Hallstrom

    25. Jul, 2015

    Hi Lolly,

    Great post! “But the times that are the most difficult are the times that give us our wings and help us eventually fly.” – this is spot on. Everyone goes through something similar to what the butterfly did – some a longer process, some a shorter – and it all goes to show that if you persist and keep on working, you’ll eventually develop your own wings.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Scott Helle

    25. Jul, 2015

    Great blog post, Lolly. I appreciate all these examples of how to learn. Another valid one is to be self aware, and aware of others around you and how they are perceiving you. I know when I act or behave in a certain way that is ‘normal’ to me, it may be too direct for others. If I am paying attention to how others perceive me, I can modify my behavior to make them feel more comfortable, safe and hopefully vulnerable with me.

    Reply to this comment
  6. milany

    27. Jul, 2015

    i got teary eyed when i read your post.this time my marriage is on a rock situation,in short we are facing many problems.but as i read your blogs its like an opening to my eye.Every mistake is teaching and helping us..ohhssss…yes.. thank you for this,,,this will help me think positively.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Chris

    30. Jul, 2015

    I am reminded of the 10,000 hour rule as it relates to mastery. Progress is not linear and comes in bursts. Great improvement seems to happen overnight but is actually the result of the hard work that preceded.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Christopher Solimine

    10. Aug, 2015

    Being uncomfortable is a great sign of growth. Last time I checked, growth is a good thing! Thanks for sharing, Lolly.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Michael

    02. Oct, 2015

    Hi Lolly,

    Words are true. They have helped me in a difficult time. Thanks for what you do. Truth is…I am very uncomfortable. A good reminder that pain has meaning. Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Sunil Shah

    02. Aug, 2016

    Every person who achieved a success must have learned from mistakes and discomfort. Thanks.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Doug Drosin

    07. Dec, 2016

    Well said, Lolly. Thanks for posting this.

    Reply to this comment

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