The Leading Edge: Get Uncomfortable to Grow

LE Contributor Randy Wheeler

By: Randy Wheeler

“Growth doesn’t come from staying in your comfort zone.  You can’t improve and avoid change at the same time.”  -John Maxwell, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth

For most of my life, I have been involved in strength training or lifting weights.  As you may or may not know, in order to see growth in muscle size or improvement in muscle tone, you have to break down the muscle so it can grow.  Any of you who have worked out before know the misery of soreness you experience after the very first workout.  If you stuck with it, you know your body adapts, and you grow stronger muscles.

We are the same in our personal growth.  In order to grow as individuals, we have to get out of our comfort zones.  A little over a year ago, I read the book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell.  In the book, law number ten is The Law of the Rubber Band which says, “Growth stops when you lose the tension between where you are and where you could be.

You see, I like being comfortable.  I have a comfortable life in a comfortable house in a comfortable community with a comfortable job.  Comfortable, though, is safe.   A number of years ago I was getting quite restless because I don’t want to live safe; I want to live brave and to my full potential.  In order to do that, I need to get uncomfortable.

To start the uncomfortable journey, I invested in a Masters in organizational leadership.  That was a great academic experience, but nothing compared to a year after I finished when I invested in my growth through joining the John Maxwell Team.  I invested in a constant state of stretch.

I come from a non-profit background with a brief stint of failing at owning a business franchise where we had an outstanding manager handle the daily operations.  Because of this, I had to be stretched and develop certain skills I did not have, such as learning how to sell, market and launch programs.

I could have said No, I will stay comfortable, but, instead, I needed to apply the Law of the Rubber Band.  I saw, and still see, the potential of how, through developing leaders, I can impact many more people than I do now, but, in order to do that, I need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  I have learned that, in order to grow a business, I have to dive into new experiences . . . scared.  I surprise myself when I do better than I anticipate.

Over the past couple of years since learning this principle, I have become more comfortable with being uncomfortable and, therefore, have grown closer to my full potential.

What about you?  What do you need to be stretched in?  Where do you need to apply this law so that you can grow to your full potential?  Keep striving to grow to your full potential and become comfortable with being uncomfortable.


Throughout his professional career, Randy has helped individuals and teams work toward reaching their goals and developing as leaders where they are.  He is an Independent Executive Director of The John Maxwell Team and has a Masters in Organizational Leadership which he uses to help individuals develop their personal and professional leadership skills in a way that will increase their impact among their colleagues, friends and family.  He lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife and three sons.  You can learn more about Randy and his business at