Leaning Into Discomfort

While my instinct is often to shrink back, I’ve learned that lowering my shoulder is the only way forward.​

Hey Friend!

Have you ever shrunk back when you knew you needed to drive forward? Basically anytime we shy away from discomfort, we halt our progress. To empower me to do hard things, I remind myself to mentally “lower my shoulder” into the challenge. 


Let me explain. In football, the key to a solid tackle is a lowered shoulder and 100% commitment. Coming in too high or too slow is a recipe for a missed tackle. 


As I’d sprint downfield toward a ball carrier, I knew a collision was coming. I had to lower my shoulder, accelerate through contact, and drive with everything I had. But despite how much bigger the other guy might be, when done correctly, was very satisfying. 


This meant willingly embracing discomfort to reach the goal.


In life, we too must lower our shoulders and lean into our obstacles. Every worthwhile endeavor involves friction, maybe even a collision, but that’s life. While my instinct is often to shrink back when I’m worried, tired, or unmotivated, I’ve learned that pushing ahead is the only way forward.


After my injury, recovery demanded lowering my shoulder day after day into grueling rehab. Today, it can be having an uncomfortable conversation, writing when uninspired, or just resisting phone distractions. 


Just like on the football field, avoiding discomfort and half-hearted efforts lead to little progress. Lasting gains require tirelessly grinding forward even when it’s difficult, just as making a tackle requires total commitment without regard for comfort. 


To achieve big goals and dreams, you must be willing to lower your shoulder and embrace discomfort. Expect challenging days that test your will. But with relentless drive, you will break through.

Where in your life do you need to lower your shoulder into?


Your friend,


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