Getting Comfortable with Uncomfortable
You know that feeling when you sit in the same position for hours and then try to move…
Life has suffering, or so the Buddha said. He wasn’t a total downer, he did say there was a way out of suffering, which he called the eight fold path. If you’re interested, look it up, it’s pretty cool stuff. For our purposes here, it’s enough to know that life has suffering, but we knew that. When we were born, the doctor picked you up and slapped you in the ass. “Welcome to Earth!” (At least that’s what I’ve seen on TV. I don’t know if that really happens anymore.)
Whenever I do something knew I get real uncomfortable. I get upset. I get angry. A lot of times I’ll do it in fits and starts. Why? Because I hate doing things I don’t know how to do and I hate to fail. So it’s a lot of effort to keep doing something and learn something new, try something new or, the absolute worst, network with strangers.
I’ve recently been interviewing for sales and marketing roles at various companies. Some companies I felt right at home with. Sales? No problem, Marketing, You got it. Manage the entire East Coast? Wait, what? That is definitely not comfortable. There was a time when I was managing 50 people and handling millions in sales, but that was about 8 years ago and since then I’ve been involved in startups and self employed. The doubts are there? Do I remember how to manage? What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail?
When I have these feelings I know I am pushing myself. Pushing forward. Pushing my boundaries. Pushing my self imposed limits and growing. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. But that’s what happens when we try new things, start new things. It’s a terribly great feeling. When I started my first company, it was me and a couple of guys. I didn’t set out to have 50 employees. It just happened. You don’t even really realize it’s happening until you poke your head up, look around, and think, “wow, when did this happen?”
What are you doing that makes you uncomfortable. Are you doing anything that makes you uncomfortable? If not, what’s holding you back. When the body is still, it atrophies. When the mind is not challenged, it shuts down. Growth comes from agitation, physical and mental. Muscles are torn apart and they grow stronger. The mind is pushed to learn and you grow in experience, wisdom and intelligence.
Whatever it is, get uncomfortable. Read a challenging book. Pick up a guitar or paint brush. Write a book. Take a new, job or position. Learn a trade or skill that you always wanted. Pale vouz francais ? (Have no idea if that is spelled right…) Life is fun when you are challenged. Yeah, it’s scary. But do it anyway.
Thanks for taking this journey with me. It wouldn’t be the same without you.