Attention Sales World… Are You Ready to Embrace Radical Discomfort?

Feb 13, 2023
Attention Sales World… Are You Ready to Embrace Radical Discomfort?
"Be not afraid of discomfort. If you can't put yourself in a situation where you are uncomfortable, then you will never grow. You will never change. You'll never learn."
Jason Reynolds

Why are so many afraid of discomfort?

Think back to your childhood, you embraced learning, you embraced change as this all was a part of growing up.

Why do so many adults find it so difficult to embrace change?

Why do so many in sales take the road most traveled?

Why do so many in sales seek the "sales success magic pill", instead of just doing the work?

We do know this... Transitions are unavoidable, as no one person can stay the same forever. In pursuit of personal and professional growth, you'll have to embrace change at some point.

You can either be comfortable and stagnate or stretch yourself to become uncomfortable and grow.

Discomfort is a stimulant for growth. It forces you to change, stretch, and adapt.

Embrace discomfort. Become purposeful about doing things that push you outside of your limits. Difficulty helps you to grow, and this is what sales professionals do better than sales reps.

If you desire long-term success, you must stop avoiding what’s hard.

To become more means creating new perspectives, acquiring new skills and pushing the boundaries.

Learning to be comfortable with discomfort is one of the most important skills you can ever have to live a truly fulfilling personal and professional life.

Repetition expands your comfort boundaries, and this fuels growth.

Think back to the start of your sales career and reflect upon this question... How many things were once uncomfortable for you which you now accept without difficulty?

It concerns me how many salespeople and for that matter sales managers avoid discomfort.

You all do everything you can to avoid it.

Have you become too comfortable to be pushed or you just can't be bothered to make a change to improve your lives?

I love this quote courtesy of Pastor Craig Groeschel,

"If you change your behavior but do not change your heart, the behavior will come back."

What is in your heart when it comes to change?


"If you're never able to tolerate a little bit of pain and discomfort, you'll never get better."
Angela Duckworth

What are you willing to do to become a better sales professional?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Michael Easter's book, "The Comfort Crisis, Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self"

Early in the book, Michael says,

"Most people today rarely step outside their comfort zones. We are living progressively sheltered, sterile, temperature-controlled, overfed, under-challenged, safety-netted lives."

With my warped sense of humor, let's unpack this quote tying it back to sales...

How many salespeople are living progressively sheltered lives as they are being overfed lead after lead, being under-challenged and coddled by their managers inside their safety-netted environments?

Continuing "The Comfort Crisis" journey,

"Comforts and conveniences are great. But they haven't always moved the ball downfield in our most important metric - happy, healthful years. Perhaps existing only in our increasingly overly comfortable, overbuilt environment and always obeying our comfort drives has unlimited consequences and caused us to miss profound human experiences."

Whether you are a sales leader or a salesperson... Has becoming comfortable being comfortable caused a sales crisis? I will leave that answer to you.

One last reference to "The Comfort Crisis", Michael Easter refers to the Japanese term, Misogi.

The word Misogi translates to "water cleansing" and is generally done by standing under an icy waterfall while winter pours over the body.

He references in the book where he sites Misogi "as not being about physical accomplishment but what are you mentally and spiritually willing to put yourself through to be a better human."

So, this got me thinking... What is your Misogi in sales?

What are you willing to put yourself through to become a better salesperson?

Are you willing to break out of your comfort zone in a world that is rapidly changing day by day by day?


Honesty is a huge part of embracing change. Become radically honest with yourself and ditch the delusional thinking. In chapter 2 of Selling from the Heart, I write about sales chaos.

Has turmoil set in within your sales career? Has pure chaos kept you from seeking the truth?

If you're not honest with yourself then how can you expect to learn and grow?

When you're dishonest with yourself, you choose to see what you want to see and you brush off, ignoring what you don’t want to see. This may provide you short-term happiness but, in the end, it’s unhealthy, destructive, and screws with your mind.

Sales professionals are honest with themselves. They know this is hard work and can sometimes be painful, but it’s a necessary component to long-term happiness and success.

Are you ready to embrace radical discomfort?

Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable is what radical self-honesty is built upon.

I encourage you to think about this one...

How can you become radically self-honest if you struggle to deal with any discomfort in your sales life? You can’t and you're only fooling yourself.

In this hyper-competitive world of sales, those who are willing to take risks, step out of their comfort zone and create some discomfort for themselves will be those who will reap the biggest rewards.

All of this leads to this...

If YOU, can't challenge yourself to improve then how can you challenge your clients to improve?
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"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.
Anthony J. D'Angelo

At this very moment, what specific skill do you bring to the marketplace that allows you to stand out from the other salespeople?

I encourage you to look in the mirror and ask yourself...

  • Am I reading to feed my brain?
  • Am I making a difference?
  • Am I going the extra mile for my clients?
  • Am I serving others?
  • Am I serving the cause?
  • Am I developing a deep, genuine concern for my clients?

Gut check moment, isn't it?

Unfortunately, way too many of you in sales are stuck looking into the rearview mirror waiting, wondering, and wallering around, as you continue to operate in a state of comfort.

What got you to where you're at in sales today will not keep you there moving into the future.

Stop the excuses as they only act as a deterrent.

Examine what's inside your own heart and look within to improve yourself.


As we get bit by the "success bug" in sales we also get bitten by the "comfort bug".

Success can become blinding, as success breeds comfort and complacency.

Take off the dark sunglasses and uncover ways you could change to become even better at what you do.

Think of the 1% rule. What would happen if on a daily basis you made a 1% improvement to your personal and professional life?

If you make a 1% improvement every day, it would be an increase of 3778% over a year, meaning you would be 38 times better off compared to when you started. Isn't this worth the investment in challenging yourself every day?


Becoming radically honest with yourself requires you to become vulnerable. Are you willing to become vulnerable and accountable to yourself? This alone presents you with several learning opportunities. If you’re consistently nurturing your mindset, you will build up a tolerance against negative thoughts, procrastination, self-doubt, and insecurities.

This helps you to break the stranglehold of comfort.

Becoming radically honest with yourself can be painful but massively rewarding. When honesty collides with your willingness to change, there's no stopping your growth.

"You have to believe in yourself, challenge yourself, and push yourself until the very end; that's the only way you'll succeed."

I encourage you to build confidence in your abilities. I challenge you to get radically honest and hold yourself accountable.

  1. Seek to become an expert in your field of work
  2. Constantly crave feedback on YOU
  3. Set goals and create a business plan
  4. Never ever stop learning


Sales professionals are sales hungry. They are lifelong learners.

Sales professionals are educators. You can't become an educator without being a student first.

You must gain a thirst for new knowledge. You must stay up to date on new developments, always looking for trends and changes before they happen.

Getting uncomfortable, it's okay. Show up every day and be present. Sit with the discomfort.

"You can make excuses or you can make progress but you can't make both"
Craig Groeschel

Acknowledge discomfort. Shake hands with it, get used to it, and welcome it on the journey to better yourself.

How can many of you in sales grow if you're constantly carrying your own dead sales weight of the past?

Way too many of you are living in yesteryear. You will consistently struggle with the mentality of "that's the way I've done it."

I ask you to think about the following questions...

  • Am I reaching my sales potential?
  • How do I rise up and rise to the top in sales?

In today's sales world, comfort will stunt your sales growth.

Originally published on Larry Levine's LinkedIn.

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