This post is the second of a three-part series on learning to change one’s mindset and actions in order to shift from a life that has become stagnant and sluggish to one that is vibrant and constantly evolving towards happiness and fulfillment.
My life, at this moment, is so uncomfortable!
Have I peaked enough of your curiosity so that you are wondering what is making me so uncomfortable? Simply put, it’s happening because I am doing and learning new things, which are not easy and therefore are taking me outside of my comfort zone.
I am excited that this is happening, because I know that personal growth comes from facing our fears, and learning new things. I have learned so much in the last month about having an online presence and it has been very uncomfortable.
When I started developing the website and managing content, I could only do it in one-hour spurts at best. After an hour of working I would begin to feel anxious and unskilled. I felt I was ill-equipped for the task and intimidated by the fact that others could do it, and made it look so easy.
Experiencing fear, anxiety and discomfort are natural, human reactions to life. Everyone experiences it, daily. The intensity may vary, but its important not to become paralyzed by fear, or it will inhibit our growth.
“99% of the time, you are not afraid of failing. You are afraid of other people seeing you fail.”Rachel Hollis – The Courage to Make Mistakes & How to Stay Motivated Difficult Times
Remember that if you give it your best shot and fail, you’ll have learned something valuable that prepares you for whatever will come next. If you let fear persuade you to not even try, you’ll be left with nothing but regret.
In order not to quit, I would tell myself that I could do this. After all, I have learned many other difficult things in my life (including math!!) so I could learn this too. I might have to read the task a few times more, and focus on each word, a few more YouTube videos and focus on each word, but I convinced myself I could learn.
I broke it down in small bites, doing some of the hard focus work until I learned one new thing or task, and then I would take a break. I felt good about my accomplishment and it built up my confidence to try another bite. Sometimes that one task was the only thing I chose to learn that day, and then chose to do others things that I was more comfortable doing, like reading, or cooking or going for a short walk.
I know change is difficult for most people. Left to our own devices, most of us would rather carry on as we are. But if you’re holding yourself back from your potential, or if you feel stuck where you are, life is telling you it’s time to make a change.
If you’re uncomfortable with discomfort, you probably run away from uncertainty and change. If we learned anything in the last two years, its that you can’t run away from change! Everything in our world is in a constant state of flux – our skin changes, the grass changes, people change- and even what we know about the Covid-19 virus and science evolves on a moment to moment basis. Change is everywhere and so we are uncomfortable everyday.
Hiding from the tough issues may feel like you are playing it safe and avoiding risks. But if you are always steering clear of difficult conversations at home or at work and avoiding conflict, you may not be challenging yourself and more importantly – cheating yourself from taking the next step to a better life.
To live fully, you must be willing to be uncomfortable and step into the unknown, now more than ever. The digital and global world we live in requires it. As someone who has spent the last few months in great discomfort learning new technology I can tell you that you must be willing to challenge yourself to grow and change. And change feels uncomfortable for most of us.
I have learned that discomfort brings gain, and accomplishment, and the satisfaction I experience when I reach my goals is so great, that it helps me get through the uncomfortable stages.