You're all over the place - I know, I did that on purpose
The unwillingness to be uncomfortable, to act without knowing the full outcome, is what holds people back from progress and achieving the things that they dream about.
Have you ever felt the urge to do something but find yourself jumping from one distraction to the next?
I had a college roommate who played baseball and was one of the most in-shape guys I know. He would routinely turn down offers to go out to eat or stay out late with no remorse because he knew that those two things were not in his eating plan nor his practice plan for becoming a better player. I have another friend who wants to become a Certified Public Accountant and routinely spends his free time studying for the industry exam.
Turning down a social life is not always the answer, but it's an easy way to illustrate what it takes to succeed. I'm sure you've heard these types of examples before and often the teacher/guru/coach/pastor will then talk about how it takes dedication and self-control to achieve these types of goals. However, I want to focus on a different part, a different aspect.
You have to be willing to be uncomfortable and you have to be willing to be alone.
I think the number one determining factor in sticking to an eating or studying plan is not dedication or self-control in and of itself; it's the willingness to look weird and let your friends talk about how lame they think you are at the party that you didn't go to.
I wrote an article about "Putting the Rubber on the Road," breaking down the pros and cons of following motivational advice, discussing how it doesn't sell tickets or put people in the seats to say chasing your dreams will lead to awkward conversations with your long time friends and girlfriends parents about what you are doing with your life and why, but unfortunately it often does.
To write something truly useful is hard. To get up on stage and say something that will change someone's perspective is really hard. To make a movie worth watching, with positive messages, one that makes a profit for your investors, is difficult. Starting and finishing any project will have ups and downs and large spans of gray area where you don't know if you're moving forward or moving backwards.
And then, if the gray areas didn't make a difficult task hard enough, there's a good chance a few people will be working against you, sometimes overtly or on purpose, and sometimes not, sometimes subtly by not understanding the whole vision or having a different plan in mind.
This is why my original idea is so important, prepping yourself for feeling uncomfortable helps you handle conflict better internally and externally.
I have found three principles that help me deal with getting hard things done, waiting out the gray areas while the hard things are being done, and lastly living with the people that are working for me and against me doing hard things:
Be a Jack of All Trades
Outside of specific science-related or legal-related fields, the ability to talk well, handle things under pressure, and problem solve are the only skills you really need in order to be successful and those skills translate across all industries and job functions.
This advice has been reiterated in many forms by many smart people so don't do it because I say it, do it because they say it. And because I'm saying I've watched myself lose out on opportunities from talking too much. If you have a goal or a dream, you don't have to tell anyone, just slowly and quietly chip away at completing it.
“Never give reasons for what you think or do until you must. Maybe after a while, a better reason will pop into your head.” - William T. Sherman
Resist the Urge to Force It
Resist the urge to force it. Be okay with being uncomfortable. Be okay by yourself. Be okay with not knowing the future. Learn how to wake up every day and do the tasks for that day. Don't reach for consistency or put expectations on your environment before it is ready.
The most important thing to joining successful individuals who have learned to be uncomfortable is having a bias toward action, toward making a decision, toward getting off the couch, toward turning off the TV, toward turning off your headphones and simply going. Going to do something. Pick the smallest easiest action that moves you closer toward your goals and go do it.
Let me know how it goes, I'm rooting for you.