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Finding the Magic in the Mess: Embracing the Good Stress of Discomfort for Long-Term Growth

Seemingly lifetimes ago, I started off my career as a cosmetic dentist, eventually selling my large million-dollar practice. Since then, I’ve transitioned careers many times over as a best-selling author, international educator, speaker, investor, emotional health advocate, and serial entrepreneur. Yeah, starting fresh, on your own, can be intense; but, here’s the deal: stress isn’t always the bad guy. In fact, there’s a type of stress that can supercharge your growth and catapult you to success. It’s called “good stress” and it’s a game-changer when it comes to embracing discomfort!

In my 5x award-winning & best-selling book, That Sucked. Now What? How to Embrace The Joy in Chaos and Find Magic in the Mess, I explain that within positive stressful situations, we can make micro-leaps of resilience moment to moment by doing something different incrementally over time. In other words, the small steps that you take along your entrepreneurial journey will result in big gains. You just need to change the way you’re looking at your trajectory, so I’d like to share a few shifts that have helped me transition.

Find People that Challenge You. (Not only “yes” people!)

The people around you define who you are. Proximity is power.

When was the last time you took a step back and examined the people in your life?

Your family, your friends, your colleagues, and even your pets – yes, pets! Our pets are companions that give us emotional support. If you feel more support from your pets (or even other beings outside of your circle), then it is time to take a look at the people around you.

Ask yourself how the people in your life make you feel.

Do they drain you? Or do they ignite you?

Do they challenge you to grow? Or do they hold you back?

The people in our present can influence our future. Even if someone has good intentions (like holding you back because they want to keep you safe), actions still speak louder than intentions or words.

This is where you have to reflect on whether they truly have your best interests at heart.

Making space for people who uplift and inspire you feeds your soul energy to thrive.

The Power of Pressure

You know what? Pressure isn’t all that bad. It’s like that spicy jalapeno in your salsa, adding that extra kick of flavor. In feeling and embracing discomfort, pressure pushes us to think outside the box, make tough calls, and hustle harder than ever. Don’t fear it—embrace it! The right amount of pressure can ignite your innovation, boost your resilience, and take you places you’ve never imagined.

Building Unshakeable Resilience

Let’s face it—discomfort isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a wild adventure full of ups and downs. We are wired for ease and certainty and what comes next. But guess what? Those challenges are your secret sauce for building long term resilience. The good stress you experience as you embrace the uncomfortable toughens you up. It’s like a mental & emotional CrossFit workout that pushes you to adapt, learn from failures, and bounce back stronger. You’re a badass, my friend, and this ‘good’ stress is your training ground.

Fueling Personal and Professional Growth

Discomfort isn’t just about being in a constant state of struggle—it’s about personal and professional growth, baby! That good stress? It’s the jet fuel that propels your development. It stretches your skills, expands your knowledge, and transforms you into the most audacious, confident version of yourself. Embrace it all, because that’s where the magic happens. It’s your ticket to leveling up and achieving success–on your terms.

Have Brave Conversations with Grace

Hold up! Before you go all-in, let’s talk about leaning into hard conversations; that doesn’t mean burning bridges. Remember, stating your boundaries on your terms, may upset or even piss off a few people. As a former people pleaser, I know firsthand how tough it can be to put your own needs over and at the expense of others because you were taught to put yourself last. Yet, resentment slowly grows and builds- and then finally, erupts. Practice having more brave conversations, it’s uncomfortable and you may suck, yet it is the greatest gift you can give yourself. This is a full skill for life, love!

Embracing and sitting in discomfort, without squashing, suppressing, numbing or distracting is definitely a challenge AND you’ve got what it takes to become a true master at it. Your key to flying forward amidst the ups and downs is to embrace the magic in the mess. Let the good stress within your environment work for you, not against you. Your Soul Posse will be your support. Pressure will push you to new heights, build your resilience muscle, fuel your personal and professional growth, and help you unleash your full potential. When those sucker-punch moments hit, just remember to take a break and breathe, find your balance, have brave conversations to bounce big along the way.