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Sorta Random Sunday: Choose Uncomfortable Enlargement

In pretty much all aspects of life, with everything that we do, we have a simple choice. We can choose uncomfortable enlargement. Or we can choose comfortable diminishment. Reading it like this, it seems like a simple and easy choice. But in reality, it rarely works out as such.

Let’s take a closer look at what it means to choose uncomfortable enlargement and what that decision can do for us.

Choosing uncomfortable enlargement over comfortable diminishment

As we go through life, we come to any number of crossroads multiple times. Whether they be in a professional or personal setting. If they occur to us individually or in relation to others. Regardless, we always face them.

uncomfortable enlargement

In these situations, the choice we face is whether to continue on via the status quo or to move forward out of our comfort zone.

The problem is that many times we don’t even realize that we are facing one of these crossroads. They can come in the form of what seem like very insignificant things.

  • Should I speak up about an issue at work?
  • Do I let my kid continue with screen time or push to play outdoors with him or her?
  • Should I sit and go through my expenses today or order something else and hope it all works out?
  • Should I learn this new technique or stick with what I am doing in the OR?

Too often it’s the automatic System 2 part of our brains that make these decisions. The problem is that System 2 wants to maintain homeostasis. It’s not about upsetting the norm. And thus we most often choose to keep things the same. Even if they are small things that don’t seem to have a huge immediate impact but can build to become something big.

What we need to do instead is to bring these decisions into the rational and thinking System 1 parts of our brains. We need to make the choice to step out of our comfort zones and into the arena. To make the changes that will lead to our best lives.

By the way, I still fall into choosing comfortable diminishment. None of us will be perfect. And that’s not the point. The point is to try to be better!

But why is comfortable diminishing and uncomfortable enlarging?

Basically, what is so bad about the status quo?

Well, sometime nothing is wrong with it. But often there is. Especially when we focus on our personal growth.

Research on experts shows that they become experts not because of their innate abilities or IQ. It’s due to persistent and focused hard work. Practice. And the most effective form of practice is called deliberate practice.

There are a few critical components of deliberate practice but one of the biggest is that it must push the participant slightly out of their comfort zone. Not too far. But the one thing that you absolutely cannot do if you want to grow is to stay in the comfort zone.

More over, good research also shows just how effective the tutor effect is in helping us learn. If we teach others something, usually before we even fully understand it ourselves, we learn that skill or knowledge better too!

Unfortunately the opposite is true too

When we stay still and in our comfort zone, maintaining status quo, we actually start to lose ground.

It’s actually a lot like inflation. If we stay in our comfort zone and are not growing by making ourselves uncomfortable, our skills are losing power just like a dollar not invested loses purchasing power. (You can learn 3 ways to beat inflation here by the way.)

Research even shows that this is the reason doctors actually have worse outcomes as they get older. It’s not because their physical or mental capabilities decrease. It’s because they stay static in their knowledge and techniques, which start to diminish as a result!

My challenge to you

Take the time throughout your normal daily activities to identify opportunities for uncomfortable enlargement.

And then choose that uncomfortable enlargement! Put yourself in the arena. Foster a growth mindset and go for it.

I promise it’s worth it!

Here are some ways to choose uncomfortable enlargement in creating financial well-being and financial freedom in your life right now!

What do you think? Do you choose uncomfortable enlargement over comfortable diminishment every day? How or how not? Let me know in the comments below!

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    The Prudent Plastic Surgeon

    Jordan Frey MD, a plastic surgeon in Buffalo, NY, is one of the fastest-growing physician finance bloggers in the world. See how he went from financially clueless to increasing his net worth by $1M in 1 year and how you can do the same! Feel free to send Jordan a message at [email protected].

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