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Today's Takeaway with Florine Mark

Nov 13, 2023

With Sterling Hawkins, Motivational Speaker, Business Consultant and Author 


Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your life is falling apart and you feel like a total failure? Perhaps you’ve been laid off from your dream job or a long-standing relationship is suddenly over. You might feel as if your entire world has come crashing down.


When we’re at a low point in our lives, the obstacles in front of us may seem insurmountable. We know things will eventually get better, but how can we dig ourselves out of this hole and find the strength to go on? It’s hard to even know where to begin.


Perhaps the answer might be staring us right in the face. Maybe the very thing we fear most can become the pathway forward. According to business consultant, motivational speaker, and author,

Sterling Hawkins, fear shouldn’t paralyze us or be an excuse not to pursue our dreams. Sterling says we should actively seek out the source of our discomfort, and then face it head-on rather than run from it.


During an interview with Florine in September of 2022, Sterling spoke about his book, “Hunting Discomfort.” Sterling shares how he overcame his own deepest fear and how he was able to find success. If you want to learn more about his step-by-step plan to get past the fears that block you from achieving your dreams, please listen to Florine’s interview with Sterling Hawkins.


Please note: This episode was recorded prior to Florine’s death in October of 2023.


What You’ll Hear in This Episode:

  • How does discomfort negatively affect us?

  • Sterling describes “discomfort” from a business or corporate perspective.

  • Sterling’s fall from the top after thinking he was going to cash in selling his business. He found himself in his 30s, six figures in debt, living with his parents, and feeling inadequate.

  • Why is turning away discomfort so detrimental to us?

  • What if you are already uncomfortable and fear embracing even more discomfort?

  • What are our “discomfort defaults”?

  • How did Sterling overcome his fear of public speaking, even after his first presentation in Singapore when he felt as if he had failed?

  • The 5 Steps to Getting Through Discomfort.

  • What is a street gang?

  • Sterling gives a few inspirational success stories from clients and people he’s met along the way.


Today’s Takeaway:

Sterling’s book is called “Hunting Discomfort.” In his book, he provides a terrific five-step plan for how to overcome our biggest challenges. We don’t have to deny ourselves the career success or the personal achievements we dream of, simply because it hasn’t worked out in the past. Instead, think of today as a fresh start and a chance for a “do-over.” Are you willing to pursue your dream “No Matter What”? If so, then the first step is identifying the obstacles that have previously blocked you from reaching your goals. Allowing your past to control your future limits your true potential. It’s important to remember that the past is simply that, the past. It has little or no bearing on the present or the future unless we choose to let it. Don’t resign yourself and think this is just the way it is. It doesn’t have to be — not if you’re willing to do the hard work by facing your discomfort.


Start thinking of your belief system as a muscle that needs to be exercised. Remember the very first time you tried a physical fitness workout and you were convinced you’d never be able to do it? But over time and with repetition, you were successful. Do you remember how wonderful it felt? Despite your doubts, you pushed through the discomfort to get the desired result. It’s the same way with challenging our beliefs, we need to push past those thoughts that are crippling our progress.


Instead of accepting the status quo, dream bigger and reach higher! Challenge yourself! Stop letting those feelings of doubt and fear block you! Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Make that commitment! That new and different experience could be just what you need to jumpstart the future you dream of. Sterling teaches us that growth is only possible if we lean into the discomfort and face it head-on. Remember that every day is a gift and the gift of feeling that discomfort could lead to growth and ultimately, put you on the path to success. I’m Florine Mark, and that’s “Today’s Takeaway.”



  • “I went from this sure thing of success, we’re going to all go public and buy islands and crown ourselves the next Steve Jobs, to living in my parents' house in my 30s, which is quite a humbling experience, I have to say.” — Sterling [7:75]

  • “The only way out is through.” — Robert Frost [8:45]

  • “I said, okay, if the way out is through, I’m going to go after the things that scare me most.” — Sterling [10:00]

  • “Your greatest challenges are the doorways to what will become your greatest successes.” — Sterling [12:38]

  • “You’re not only the joy and the happiness and the good times. You’re equally and just as validly, the uncomfortable moments, the painful moments, the sorrowful moments, maybe even anger-filled moments.” — Sterling [13:37]

  • “If you want to build your resilience, your courage, your breakthrough results, you hunt the discomfort, no matter what form it’s in and no matter how it feels.” — Sterling [16:39]


Brought to You By:

Gardner White Furniture


Mentioned in This Episode:

Hunting Discomfort: How to Get Breakthrough Results in Life and Business No Matter What, by Sterling Hawkins

Sterling Hawkins