What’s the real deal with discomfort?

Why are we keeping people docile?

Why’s there a prevalent fear to speak personal truth knowing that feathers will be rustled but, on the other side of the coin, passions will be lit?

I believe it’s time that we as leaders start standing up and speak our truth to give people the discomfort to stop and think.

I completely understand that discomfort is, well, uncomfortable.  Nobody enjoys it.  Myself included.  I’m the first one to have a passionate up-flare to something that rubs me up the wrong way, but I’ve also learned that there’s something in there that warrants investigation.

Why this rant?

At a recent workshop I kicked the hornets nest by challenging current paradigms.  I truly believe that every person walking on the face of the earth, is fucking AWESOME with unlimited potential.  I don’t care what your background is, what your educational level is, what your title is, what your bank balance is.


I won’t treat you differently if you’re driving a Porsche or taking the bus.  I respect you way too much to do that.

I believe that you’re a born leader and as such you have certain responsibilities.

You are responsible to know yourself – your values, your passion, your mission.

You are responsible to take excellent care of yourself physically so you have the maximum amount of stamina and clarity of mind to bring your A-game every day.

You are responsible for ensuring quality relationships – from your Creator to your best mate and everyone in-between.

You have a responsibility to be the BEST in the world in your chosen field and that means comparing yourself to the best of the best to continuously identify where else you can grow.

Above all, I believe you have a responsibility to be authentic – warts and all.  And to speak your truth no matter how uncomfortable things might get.

One of the exercises I gave the attendees was to think of a role model, someone they consider to be a top leader in the world.  Their task was then to identify how they are showing up in comparison.  Are they playing full out or are they only performing to minimum acceptable standards.   Pens moved eagerly across pages with satisfied looks all around.

That’s when I threw out “How would you compare to someone like Richard Branson for instance”.


Pens dropped and so did faces.

“Well now that changes the picture completely” one brave soul ventured.  “Why?”  I was curious.   “Because he’s at the top of his game isn’t he?” was the reply.  “So then my question to you is, why wouldn’t you compare yourself to someone at the top of his game?  Why would you compare yourself to someone who is just one step ahead?”  There was a truly uncomfortable silence in the room.

Boom – I had them thinking.

This is where an interesting dynamic showed up – one came to everyone’s rescue!  “Of course not everyone needs to be a Richard Branson.  Or maybe you could look at where he was at the beginning of his career for a comparison”.

A sigh of relief – they were off the hook.

Why on earth would we make it okay for leaders to lower the bar for themselves?  How is this raising the standards for all of humanity back to BIW (Best In World) if we don’t truly aim to be BIW but just Better than the Average around Me?

In truth what this was really about for me was the discomfort felt in the uncomfortable silence.  Personally I was prepared to sit there for an hour to let the message really sink in.  I’m done with people claiming that they’re no different from anyone else but then lowering the standards for themselves so they never have to shine.  This is a really huge issue for me.

I think this is exactly why we live in a society where most people are walking around in a trance purely existing!  Because the truth of the matter is that our emotions drive us.  ALL of our emotions.  Not just the nice emotions.  Not just the comfortable emotions.  They don’t put passion in your arteries.

Discomfort is an opportunity for introspection.  It’s an opportunity to look at our triggers and ask ourselves what’s that really all about?  It’s the time when we get to really investigate our beliefs.  If they feel good to us, if they’re rock solid, we will have even more conviction after giving it some thought.  And if not, then this is a rare chance to change that which no longer serves us.

Yet none of this is possible if we’re constantly making things easy for people.  You don’t get strong through easy.  And it’s time for strong to come back because weak is fucking killing us!

What am I really trying to get across today?

My message for you today is that if you’re reading this you are a born leader.  No that doesn’t mean society needs to give you a special title or a pay raise.  Wanting those things before showing up fully is a cop-out and you know it.

It means that you’re here to start figuring out your purpose, your unique gifts that you bring to us, your truth, your values, and you have a responsibility to do the fucking work so you can start showing up as your best version, authentic, no more hidden sides, self.  It’s time for the leaders to be seen and by example inspire others to look inwards and raise their standards for themselves, do the work and step up.

Is everyone going to like you?  Hell no.

Are you going to be pulled aside and asked to please only speak about certain things because the whole of you is making others uncomfortable?  I would be surprised if you weren’t.

Being a leader is by no means easy.  When I asked the room who wanted to be a leader everyone raised their hands.  When I started getting real about what that could look like the hands came down one by one.  In the end only one stood.

Are you truly brave enough to accept your potential role as a leader?

Because if you are it’s time to stand up Darling.

What are you waiting for?

My challenge to you today is to have a closer look at your life and identify the areas where you’re not stepping up as a leader.  Where are you playing smaller than your true potential because you’re not comparing yourself to the best in the world but the best of the average?  Where are you staying comfortable by surrounding yourself with comforters?

And what the hell are you going to do about it?

Death is inevitable.  Thriving is a choice.

With love,


PS:  I happen to know that one of the reasons why leaders work with coaches and mentors is to stay out of their comfort zone whilst being supported at the same time.  To be held to a standard that nobody else has the balls to hold them to.  If you’re a born leader and you know that I’m the coach to raise your standards to excellence, to support you in dropping the bullshit, leave behind mediocrity and fully go full out in your life, then let’s connect.  Drop me a mail at anel@anelbester.com or book a consult here.