Episode #122: Why Getting Uncomfortable Is Part of Running An Aligned Business

It is a privilege to get uncomfortable in our business, even if it doesn’t feel like it, and often what feels “easy” is not what’s ultimately sustainable or true to who we really are. I am digging right into this juicy topic in today’s episode on why running an aligned business requires discomfort.

Listen to the Episode:

It is a privilege to get uncomfortable in our business, even if it doesn’t feel like it. And often what feels easy is not what’s ultimately sustainable or true to who we really are. I am digging right into this juicy topic in today’s episode on why running and aligned business requires discomfort. You’re listening to quietly ambitious with conversations about how it really feels to build a business that honours your whole self unapologetically. And that includes who you are, how you feel, what you really desire, the impact that you want to create, and importantly, the money you want to make. I’m your host, Ruth Poundwhite. And my superpower is supporting sensitive and ambitious humans to make more money by fully expressing and owning all of who they are. Let’s dive in. Hi, and welcome back to the quietly ambitious podcast. Now, it’s just gonna be a bit of a short and sweet episode for me today. But I just really felt drawn to coming on and talking about why it is normal and probably required, that it’s going to be uncomfortable, to build a business that is truly aligned to who you are. And I think most people, most of you listening to this will know that in order to figure out what it is that you want in order to figure out what it is that works for you personally, what it is that works for your personality, your energy, your unique needs. As a human, you need to get out there and you need to try things you need to experiment. And I’ve talked about the importance of imperfect experimentation. I think quite a lot on this podcast, right. But what I’ve learned over the last probably two years is that even though I’ve done so much work so much, unlearning so much deconditioning so much unravelling of all the stuff that has made me think false things about myself or think false things about who I am and what a person like me is capable of. Even though I have done all that work, it is still deeply, often it is deeply uncomfortable for me to choose the thing that is most in alignment with who I truly am at my core. And I think this is where I have changed a little bit in my stance over the last few years. I think that I don’t know, let’s say five years ago, when I was really deep on this journey. And I was really unlearning a lot of things I was really changing the idea I had about myself, I kind of thought that I would build my self confidence, I would build my self belief. And you know, then it would be easy to know what to do, then it would be easy to put myself out there to put my business out there to do the things that were in my heart to follow my dreams. And I think that what has become clear to me now is that this is a process that for all I know, as far as I know, is going to go on for my entire life. And the stuff that feels really harsh, where it once was, like exhausting. And it once was like, you know, I can’t wait till I’m past this. I can’t wait till I do things differently. It is now something that I see as an absolute privilege. And this is absolutely not me bypassing how hard it really is. And I know that there are times when we need to pause from the growth from the stretching from the unlearning because it is hard. But I see the fact that I get to do this work in my business that I get to use my business as a vehicle for full self expression which to me means full freedom to be myself to one why want to be who I am in this world to express who I am in this world. Freedom of speech and expression freedom of money and wealth right that’s what it means to fully express myself and my business. I just went off on a tangent there. I can’t remember the original sentence those doing but it is a privilege. It is such a privilege to do this work. And I think that there’s a lot of talk about, you know, letting things be easy, letting things be easy running a simple business running an ease for business, and I still believe in that stuff. I still believe in that stuff. And and it is actually quite important for me to get on trouble to question my feelings when something is telling me that, you know, I want to play it safe. And I want to stay where I am. And I want to choose the route that feels like it keeps me protected in my heart or something like that. It’s really important for me to ask myself, which part of me is doing the talking, which part of me is wanting me to do this thing, and which part of me is wanting to do that thing. Because we are all made of a multitude of different parts. We all have fearful little children inside of us. We all have empowered, ambitious business owners instead of I mean, we might not all have that. But if you’re listening to this podcast, you probably have it. And it’s really important to ask ourselves, which part of us has the reins in our life? Which part of us is calling the shots right now? Which part of me do I want to listen to? In which part of me do I want to be in control when it comes to the life that I want to live? And the more and this is not, by the way, about denying those scared parts of us? Not at all. In fact, the default mode for most of us is to deny those scared parts of us the default mode for most of us is to say to those parts, I don’t want to hear it, please, I don’t want to hear it. You’re holding me back. You’re sabotaging me? You’re ruining things. Why do you have to be here? Actually, I want to say listen to those parts, that part of you is real and valid and wants to be heard and wants to be recognised. And something really interesting happens when you do allow yourself to listen to those parts. And by the way, it’s not always easy, you might not even be aware that those parts of speaking. And this is some of the work that I do with my clients. Like literally today I supported one of my clients to tune in to this feared, fearful, not feared part of herself, and to hear what it had to say. And when we actually take the time to listen to those parts, we may think that they will have more control, and they’ll stop us from doing the thing that we want to do. But it’s actually on the contrary, like it is the opposite. When we actually listen to those parts, it makes sense. bringing awareness to what is going on for us is so important and so overrated. But overrated, underrated, underrated, overrated. bringing awareness to what those parts want to say is so underrated because what we are all looking for is the secret path or secret technique, this secret strategy, that magic strategy that will take me from A to B. But what we really need to do is listen, we can’t shut those parts down, we can’t pretend that they’re not there and just get on with it. Because that’s what leads to, you know, the feelings of extreme discomfort of resistance and resistance can show up in many ways, perfectionism, you know, critical self talk, it can show up in feeling like nothing is fair, getting overwhelmed getting confused all of these things, right? When we actually take a moment to listen to the scary parts of us and become aware of why we might be having some sort of feelings of resistance in the first place, it can instantly sometimes dissolve those feelings or defuse, I should say, when it makes sense that we’re scared, we get to tell ourselves a new story from our most, you know, experienced adult self that we are right now in this moment, we get to tell ourselves tell that part of us what it might need to hear, we get to ask that that part of us what it is afraid of, and we get to reassure that part around what might happen or what we will do and how we will deal with it if it does. And we get to then recognise Okay, you’ve been quite loud and clear which other parts of me Can I call on now. And if you tune in for a moment, if you take a moment to tune in and think about this feeling of you know it all working out for you your wildest dreams. I can bet you that if you take a moment to tune in there is a part of you that believes that there is a part of you that knows it is possible for you. There is a part of you that is excited to make it happen. There’s a part of you that comes up with the magical ideas to get there. There’s a part of you that comes up with the experiments to practice whatever it is that you need to figure out to get there. And there’s a part of you that just trust without even knowing any of those details. And there are parts of you that are scared. There are parts of you that don’t want you to do it. There are parts of you that are afraid what will happen when you do do it. There are parts of you that want you to do it perfectly that make you wait right?

We all have Those parts and the key is to learn to tune into the most empowered parts and to listen to the fears of the protective parts as much as we can. And where this comes back to the importance of being uncomfortable, when we are running a business in alignment with who we are, is the fact is exactly this. All of ourselves and our true self and our core is expressed in in so many different ways through these parts. And to reach this full expression of our true selves or our core, we have to move through the discomfort of these various parts of us. So it makes sense that and I’ll give you an example. So when I first launched my group programme, restaurant rise, which is now actually coming to a close, I will have a new group programme coming in 2023. So watch this space. But it has been an incredible programme for me to run when I first launched that, I think, early 2021, I spent a long time thinking it through putting together all the details, doing it really properly behind the scenes. And I knew what I wanted, and it was all ready to go. And I put it out there, I launched it had people sign up to it. And the people could sign up to it a little bit of time ahead of when it started. So there was a few weeks gap between the launch closing, and then the programme actually starting. And in those few weeks, a fearful part of me, took control. A fearful part of me was telling me this is not the right offer. It’s not in alignment, you don’t want to run this. And I came this close to cancelling the whole programme. And bear in mind, I already had people signed up for this. So it wasn’t about not having people sign up. I already had people signed up already had people who had said Yes, I came this close to cancelling the programme. And looking back, and by the way, let me tell you like this was so uncomfortable, it was so uncomfortable. It felt really, really hard. And the only reason I didn’t cancel it was the fact that I was supported. And I brought my feelings to my own coach. And we talked it through and we realised that, you know, this was a more extreme manifestation of that kind of protective voice than I had ever experienced before. Because you know what, that’s probably not true. I probably had experienced it before, but I just didn’t have the awareness to recognise it. Because the thing is that this protective voice sometimes just manifests as just but sometimes it manifests as like fear feelings, and diet, anxiety, and all of that. But sometimes it sounds very, very logical and very persuasive. And when something seems so logical, it seems to make so much sense. You know, this programme isn’t right for me, why on earth am I going ahead with this? It is really scary to go against that logic. And I say logic like in quote marks because it’s not really logic, it just presents as logic. So I felt really deeply uncomfortable. And I was really nervous to run this programme. And I had to really dig deep to find the Empowered parts of meat to listen to the parts of me that knew you know what I have, it’s not like, I’m just sort of haven’t thought about this. I have been thinking about this. And I have been planning it and I have done it really intentionally from the start. And it just so happens that this discomfort is coming up just when I’m about to start it. So would it make sense that maybe this is me stretching and growing, and my protective parts are coming out to play. So I had to really trust that and it was really nervous going into it. I’m not gonna lie like it was nerve wracking for me to start that programme and to start the group calls. But it has turned out to be I think, one of the things in the last couple of years that has grown, that has grown to me was the phrase that has led to so much growth for me personally and in my business like you know, I’m closing this programme now, but because it is no longer in alignment, and I’ll talk about that another time. But it has been such an important part of my journey. The clients I’ve worked with have been amazing. I have become a better coach from working with them in the way that I did and, and that was another thing about this programme, like the way I actually work with my clients was a bit different to how I’d done it in other programmes. So that was changing as well which is rife, you know, perfect breeding ground for this discomfort as well. And I’m going to be blunt, I made a lot of money from that programme as well, it has totally improved my life and business. And if I had listened to that discomfort at the time, I wouldn’t have grown, I wouldn’t have grown, I wouldn’t be here now. I mean, I’d be here, but I’d be saying something different. So what I’m trying to say is that there’s so much talk on the internet about, you know, growth being on the other side of your comfort zone. And a lot of it is kind of tricky, right? A lot of it’s kind of just feel the fear and do it anyway. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m not saying just feel the fear and doing it anyway, and do it anyway. I’m saying, feel the fear, listen to the fear, talk to the fear. Ask the fear what it wants, give it what it needs a tune into an empowered part of you and do it anyway. It’s so much more nuanced, and messy and compassionate, self compassionate than these memes, and quotes, make it sound. But this is why running and aligned business is going to be uncomfortable. None of us have lived our lives, having fully expressed all of who we are. And all of who we are, is changing and growing, constantly unveiling it and to constantly unveiling itself to us as we go. So there are going to be times when it shifts that are going to be times when we do something completely new that are going to be times when we have to take a leap of faith because those protective parts of us sounds so logical, and so persuasive. I’m so glad I didn’t listen to that part of myself in the sense that I didn’t listen to what it was telling me to do. But that I did tune into that part of myself. And I have absolute like boatloads of compassion for that part of myself. I know exactly where they were coming from. And they’ve got so much more evidence now of what I’m capable of and what their role is. So yeah, running an aligned business is uncomfortable. I absolutely believe in the transform the transformative power, I absolutely, I can’t say I couldn’t get that sentence out. I absolutely believe in the transformative power of being uncomfortable. I also believe it’s totally fine to be happy where you are right now. And to want to grow and get uncomfortable as a human. And I go through ebbs and flows. And what I’m, what more are more willing to stretch are more willing to lean into the discomfort than others. But ultimately, I see it as a privilege. I see it as a privilege that building a business that fully expresses who I am. It’s not just about business obviously, comes with discomfort, I see the discomfort as a privilege, I see it as an opportunity is always an opportunity to grow. I love myself exactly as I am right now. And I accept myself exactly as I am right now. And I love the ways in which I still get to grow. I love the ways in which I still get to be tested, get uncomfortable. And to know that choosing the easy thing easy in the sense that it’s aligned with who we are, is not always a comfortable thing. And PS One thing I haven’t gotten into, but it’s really important to all of this is that the easy thing, the easy thing that avoids the discomfort is often not sustainable. So I could have not done that group programme could have done something that felt easier, I could have changed it. But if it wasn’t aligned to my core self, then ultimately it wouldn’t have lasted or something would have to give. Do you see what I’m saying? It’s kind of like when I was running my old business and it was working. But something had to give I couldn’t keep doing it. It wasn’t what I wanted to do. It wasn’t the ultimate zone of magic that I wanted to be working in. So just remember not getting uncomfortable is not sustainable either, if it means sacrificing who you really are your core.

And I’m fighting my desire right now to say I hope that made sense. But I’ve said it now. Because this is so much more nuanced. There’s so much more complicated than I think I am able to explain right now. But all I can say is I know for a fact that discomfort is a privilege. Discomfort is necessary, and it doesn’t last forever. And it doesn’t always have to be that way. But I’m really grateful for myself for getting uncomfortable again and again and again. So I hope that has given you a nudge if there’s something on your mind. You know, that’s feeling uncomfortable moment. I hope it’s given you a little bit of clarity or a different perspective on it. And if you want to work with this, then this is something thing we can really get stuck into. It’s very juicy stuff. And there’s a lot you know, it’s not just about thinking about it. It’s about figuring out what’s going on subconsciously and what your body is telling you about it too and feeling safe in that way. So let me go my website, look up the ways to work with me one to one, I would love to work with you on this stuff, this stuff fires me up because I know you’re going to do incredible things on the other side of that discomfort. But you got to get through that discomfort in a way that honours all of who you are, and all those different parts of you. So yeah, I hope that gave you some clarity and I will speak to you again soon in another episode of the podcast, let me know on Instagram or send me an email to let me know if that resonated. Okay. Thank you so much for listening to another episode of quietly ambitious. If you have a moment to rate and review know that it really does make a difference. And if you’d like to carry on the conversation, then you can connect with me on Instagram at Ruth Poundwhite Join me in the Facebook group or my personal favourite. Sign up to my newsletter letters to quietly ambitious humans. Just go to Ruth poundwhite.com forward slash newsletter to subscribe and keep doing what you’re doing because your work really does matter.

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“I believe in the transformative power of being uncomfortable”
Ruth Poundwhite

Show Notes

It is a privilege to get uncomfortable in our business, even if it doesn’t feel like it, and often what feels “easy” is not what’s ultimately sustainable or true to who we really are. I am digging right into this juicy topic in today’s episode on why running an aligned business requires discomfort

Some of the things I talked about:

  • What’s missing from the advice to “feel the fear and do it anyway”
  • How my definition of “ease” has changed over the last two years
  • What it REALLY means for business to be a vehicle of full self-expression
  • The very sneaky way resistance can show up, and what might be on the other side of that (including a massive example from my own business)

Links from the episode:

Other episodes you might like:

“Choosing the “easy” thing – that’s aligned with who we are – is not always the comfortable thing.”
Ruth Poundwhite

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Thanks so much for listening!

When you subscribe to updates you get access to 3 bonus episodes of the podcast – exclusively for email subscribers – that dive behind the scenes of my business (I talk about failures, money, community & more!)