How to get Comfortable being Uncomfortable

Photo by dan carlson on Unsplash

What do mom jeans, yoga pants, and sweats have in common? They’re comfortable, they’re settling for mediocre, and none are flattering to one’s figure.

Too often I get comfortable in my yoga pants and I LOVE my sweats. Problem is this settling leads to decline. My physical health declines and I stop growing as a person. I stop caring.

But what’s worse? When I care but I still don’t change.

Because I’m afraid of the unknown. I worry that whatever’s on the other side of change could be worse. Or I don’t want to bruise my ego by possibly failing.

And yet I get frustrated with my children when they put up a fight to try something new. I can see all the opportunities they may miss. I can see the possibilities for them to soar! To find a new passion! A new skill that will take them to places they never dreamed possible!

(Hmm…. Perhaps I should take my own words to heart…)

Let’s get back to my kids. We’ll analyze me later in this blog. Last summer my daughter played soccer for the first time. It took a while to convince her to even give it a try. She was nervous and scared because she hadn’t done it before. The unknown was frightening! What if she was terrible? What if she failed? The other girls on the team had played for a couple years together and had more experience. This experience and camaraderie intimidated her. But after much convincing she finally agreed to try soccer for one season. Not only did she fall in love with it, she discovered that she’s really good at it. And she enjoys her teammates.

So I pushed the envelope (because that’s what I do) and I suggested that she play on her school soccer team in the fall. She declined.

She had a variety of reasons not to play. Some were legit, most not so much. What it really came down to? Fear. It was new teammates, new environment, new experience. It was an unknown.

Too often we stay in our little boxes. It’s safe. Comfortable. Known. And therein lies the problem.

That’s when we miss out on amazing opportunities to do great things.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. (Told you we’d come back to analyzing me.) Too often I find myself terrified to try new things or meet new people. Even when I want to. But I’m starting to take small steps to make small changes.

For instance, I take a deep breath and force myself to meet one new person at every meeting I attend. For those of you who know me, you may be surprised by that. The thing is, I’m social on my terms. I’m great being social with a purpose. Sell people on a career? Done. Make a vague connection with someone at a networking event or meeting? Scary!

That deep breath I take before entering the room contains a small bit of courage to face my fear head on. I also don’t pause long enough to allow my brain to process what I’m about to do. Can’t let it catch on and talk me out of doing it!

The result? Fear simmers down and takes a backseat. After talking with one or two people it doesn’t seem so bad or so hard.

I keep doing this, stepping out of my comfort zone, and the successes from these baby steps drive bigger changes, which means bigger successes. It just keeps snowballing until I start coming up with crazy ideas and achieving them.

I can’t grow unless I get uncomfortable. So when I find myself comfortable, it’s a signal that it’s time to switch things up.

Let’s face it I am what I eat. I am who I hang with. I am who I surround myself with. Like-minded sticks with like-minded.

But back to my daughter. I explain to her that if she hangs out with people whose soccer skills are the same as hers, she won’t get any better because they can’t teach her anything new. They won’t challenge her to meet their level; she’s already reached it and in some cases surpassed it.  But if she spends time with people who have better soccer skills than herself, she’s going to improve her own skills. She’ll learn new things. She’ll be challenged to keep up and will push herself more. She was surprised by this because she hadn’t thought of it from that view.

Being the person that I am, I have to drive the point home with my own behavior. (My kids are also phenomenal at calling me out on any discrepancies in my behavior. Bless their little watchful souls.) So I started this blog to challenge myself. To consistently write and share that writing with others. To be vulnerable and real about the difficulties I encounter as a mother in hopes that others may find solace in knowing they’re not alone in this. Super scary! But I did it.

Now that I’ve started this blog, it’s time to seek out bloggers who are highly successful in doing this, introduce myself, and learn from them.

You know what? I’m terrified. But I’ll do it because I’ll grow from the experience. Even if it bombs. I’ll at least learn what not to do next time!

Now let me challenge you.

  1. Pick something that you want to learn, something you want to get better at, or want to change in your life.
  2. Find five people who are experts in it.
  3. Connect with them.
  4. See where it takes you and most importantly:

Have fun flying.

So? What’s your challenge for yourself? What area of your life do you want to grow in? Mention it in the comments below. Who knows you might even connect with someone that could help you meet your challenge!

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