Ahhhh the discomfort of change and uncertainty and new.
Doing anything new for the first time as a kid is…well, new. It’s shiny and exciting and the unknown is something that children seem much better equipped to handle.
But as we get older, we start to get comfortable.
We know what we like. We know what has worked for us. We know how we want things to be.
And we like to stick with that.
Change means a disruption to the habits and the things we’ve come to rely on. It means sitting with the discomfort of new things. It means the possibility that we might fail, or the uncertainty of not knowing what comes next.
But, if we can get real with feeling uncomfortable (maybe eventually even find joy with it), we can learn to let go and live the life we are meant to.
Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
The other day I got an email asking me how – as an introvert – I was able to get up and speak in front of a group of people. I had to think for a second because, in all honesty, the thought of public speaking and the lead up to that particular event was wrought with discomfort.
I even left the state for the weekend and considered not getting back in time (just kidding).
But each time I speak in front of a crowd, I work through the discomfort. I feel more confident. And it has actually started to feel better.
The same thing happened when I got into rock climbing. Terrifying. Physically draining. Mentally challenging. But the more I do it, the better I feel about it.
And I keep pushing myself to new heights and more difficult climbs.
I know the change and the challenge is going to be uncomfortable, but pushing myself has enabled me to feel more comfortable with being uncomfortable – and this translates across to other new endeavours.
Practice Makes Awesome
Just like with public speaking, or rock climbing, or working towards a goal, or writing, or learning a new language, or putting yourself out there – the more you do it, the better you will get at it.
Something that felt uncomfortable or hard a few weeks ago becomes second nature if you do it often enough. It might take you a few tries at first, but eventually, the unknown becomes known to you and you start to notice new things, or ways you can improve.
With practise and determination to keep going and not give up, the uncomfortable becomes manageable as you become better.
And, suddenly, you adapt to your new environment or your new skill and – like that – it becomes second nature.
The Joys of Being Uncomfortable
The joy is that, if you can embrace the discomfort of change and the unknown, you can grow and learn exponentially.
If you’re willing to be uncomfortable for a while.
If you’re able to get comfortable with that uncomfortable feeling and know that it’s all part of the learning experience.
And if you can keep going after that slightly uneasy feeling that comes when you try something for the first time, when you embrace change, or when you open yourself up to learn and to possibly fail a few times until you succeed.
Staying in your comfort zone is easy. Doing what you always do and knowing that the results will probably be the same means that you’re going to probably be in the same place in a year or two that you’re in now.
There’s nothing wrong with that but the choice is yours.
What can you do this week to start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.
It could be doing something you’ve never done before. It could be putting yourself out there. Or signing up to learn something new.
I’d love to hear from you!