No, this is not a review of an older movie starring Clint Eastwood. Rather, it is looking at states of being and determining which state you happen to be in at the present time. If it is a state that is not giving you the success and fulfillment that you desire, but maybe it’s time to shed that feeling and adopt a new one.

Over the years I have coached people about learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable. But I suddenly realized that that needed some clarification. For simplicity sake I look at the state of being uncomfortable from three separate positions, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. So, let’s review these in reverse order.

The Ugly is a state where you know you’re not happy with your present situation, your life, your ambitions and drives, your very existence. But you look at things and lie to yourself by believing that this is all there is, that you have no choice, and the you were stuck in this role of life. Basically, you are allowing yourself to make this uncomfortable feeling your Comfort Zone. That Is really Ugly.

The next state is the Bad form of uncomfortable. Over forty years ago I used to have a horrendous smoking habit. Believe it or not, I used to go through five packs of unfiltered Camel cigarettes a day. But then on December 23 I woke up and I could not even think about having another cigarette. Ironically, I also couldn’t wait to have my next cigarette. The taste in my mouth was nauseating and the smell on my close was abhorrent. I became so uncomfortable with that state that I tossed my pack of cigarettes into the trash and proclaimed to the world, “I am a non-smoker!” The first three days were hellish, the next thirty were fairly difficult and for several years after that I was still plagued by the habit of having a cigarette in my hand or watching the smoke as I exhaled. This was exceptionally true when I was out drinking with friends or playing cards. But since that December 23 I have not had one more cigarette.

So the Bad form of uncomfortable is one that we embrace and use to change our present state of being.

The final stage of uncomfortable in this simplistic example is the Good. This is a state we should all set as our goal. It refers to that state where you are actually comfortable being uncomfortable, but unlike the Ugly state, the Good state of uncomfortable allows you to be outside of your Comfort Zone because you are taking some risks, achieving new goals and taking actions that you have never done before. The Good state of uncomfortable allows you to grow, to expand, to learn and to do more than you ever expected. Every person who has succeeded and has been fulfilled has done so by living and taking action in the Good state of uncomfortable.

How great would it be to join them?