Become comfortable being uncomfortable
Whenever I hear some well-meaning soul admonishing the masses to “just get comfortable with…” (fill in the blank with your most anxiety-riddled conquest), it rarely sits well with me. Whether you are battling the fear of public speaking or presenting, initiating a conversation with someone you don’t know, leading out on a project, or working in a team with unfamiliar people, most individuals will never get comfortable with many of these endeavors. This line of thinking, “just get comfortable with…” can actually create a deficit mindset in most people, because when they realize they just can’t get comfortable ever public speaking or presenting, initiating that conversation during a meet and greet, et cetera, then they think there is something wrong with them.
Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘uncomfortable’ as “feeling discomfort: uneasy,” while defining ‘comfortable’ as “free from vexation or doubt, free from stress or tension” (www.merriam-webster.com).
With these definitions in mind, the better, more realistic, and victorious strategy that I equip folks with is to get comfortable being uncomfortable with…” This is an entirely different mindset that is much more reasonable, realistic, and achievable. For example, where I may never get comfortable with public speaking or presenting, I can certainly become comfortable being uncomfortable with having to speak publicly. I sense a positive response already!
One can apply this rationale to any, yet to be conquered feat. I, personally, am very uncomfortable at networking events, schmoozing and starting that conversation; however, knowing that I am comfortable being uncomfortable with this scenario, makes me okay with this, and empowers me to do what I need to do and to do it genuinely well, and with requisite authenticity.
It should go without saying, but just in case– exercise common sense and sound judgement in the things you endeavor to become comfortable being uncomfortable. Fool-heartiness is not recommended.
I once heard a story, whether true or not, I do not know (however, the biology component is confirmed for the most part); but I felt illustrates the value of becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. It goes something like this:
There was a young boy, while walking through the woods during a fabulous fall day, noticed butterflies emerging from underneath the bed of leaves blanketing the ground. Upon closer inspection, the lad saw that they were hatching from cocoons. Wanting to aid in this metamorphosis process, he gingerly gathered several unhatched cocoons and brought them home. After some weeks, his butterflies broke out, but with bloated bodies and wimpy wings. When the boy inquired about this to his grandfather; the wise old man asked his grandson if he had done anything to the sheaths, to which the child responded, “well yes, I wanted to help them out, so I poked holes in their cocoons.” The grandfather smiled, and responded “in your eagerness to help them, you actually crippled these budding butterflies, as they need the challenge and friction of breaking out of the cocoon to help trigger the process of fluid draining from their bodies into their wings, so their wings can develop properly, and these wonderful winged creatures can break out and fly.”
Too many times, we poke holes in our own cocoons, and others, in an attempt to be helpful in securing our comfort-ability in our cocoons, rather than creating the challenge and friction of striving to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, so we can break out of those areas that have been holding us back, and truly soar to new heights.
When I started introducing this approach to my students, and to those professionals in my workshops, I realized that it was indeed a mental game-changer. To this end, I knew it was time to write an article so that others can adopt this winning strategy toward stepping in to the best version of who they desire and are called to be.
Are you feeling a wave of victory rising from within? Good! Then get out there and start becoming comfortable being uncomfortable!
With warmest regards,
© 2018. SuperNatural Life Coach, Incorporated.
(Photo credit: Black Salmon on Shutterstock.com)