I’d like to share one of the hundreds of tips contained in my online Thriving Force Programme with you each week. If the tip resonates with you, please apply it, and let me know how you get on by emailing me at emma@emmajbell.com.

This week’s tip is inspired by Poppy Cleall, English Rugby Union player, following her team’s astounding 56-15 victory over opponents, New Zealand during the Six Nations tournament. To be honest, I am not a Rugby Union fan, but Poppy’s passion for the game and her devotion to her teammates is truly inspiring. During her interview on Radio 4’s Today programme (of which I am a fan), Poppy defined resilience as,

“Being comfortable, even when you’re in an uncomfortable position.” 

I think her definition is bang on. If her teammates had pulled back in the face of potential discomfort, they’d have been trounced by New Zealand. Instead, England’s Six Nations team pushed through one obstacle after another to victory.

What if you could learn to be comfortable, even when you’re in an uncomfortable position? 

Poppy’s Six Nations squad had a clear goal which drove them on. Likewise, you need to have your eye on a clearly defined prize if you want to live in the Stretch Zone. What’s your goal this week, month, year in the context of your career, finances, relationships or personal growth? The more specific you are, the clearer the staging posts on the way to achievement become.

Poppy Cleall and her team trained hard to prepare for the Six Nations tournament. They had a plan, executed over days, weeks and months that stretched each of them in ways that built self-belief, fitness and strength. When you actively look for ways to stretch and grow each day, especially if it enables you to achieve an outcome you care about, your confidence grows too. You also get used to feelings of discomfort. They’re not a sign to stop, but to keep going because those feelings dissolve as your comfort zone expands.

Here are some tips to try this week so you can ‘get comfortable, even when you are in an uncomfortable position’.

  1. Focus on living in the ‘Stretch Zone’ every day by doing new things, or old things in new ways. It’s how we do the small things that determines how we tackle the larger goals in our life. 
  2. ’Look after the asset’ by eating well, moving your body in ways that make you happy, getting enough sleep, being in nature – and also around people who remind you how to have fun. 
  3. Create a ‘success mantra’ such as ‘I will be the best of which I’m capable’ to spur you on and remind you that you’ve got this (and that growth happens in stages, and will involve ‘failure’ from time to time). 
  4. Lean on your ‘Cheerleaders and Challengers’ – those who believe in you, and will support and challenge you to grow.
  5. Celebrate all of your successes (yes – every single one) and review what you have learned and how you have grown or changed. 
  6. Visualize successful outcomes, using mental rehearsal. 
  7. Connect to your ‘why’ and be clear about how the goal or outcome will make a positive difference to you and/or others. 
  8. Get curious about feedback and select what serves in your growth. 
  9. Focus on how you can serve others and make a positive difference, rather than on what others think of you. 
  10. Stop comparing yourself to others, and focus instead on whether you are better today than you were yesterday.