You might be thinking welcoming the uncomfortable does not sound like a good time. You are right, but you are also wrong.
In life we have to face things that make us uncomfortable in order to grow. Growing as a person does not happen by staying in your comfort zone. Whether you are training to lift heavy weights, learning a new computer skill, or learning how to conquer the demons inside your head, it requires getting uncomfortable in order to grow.
In life it can be easy to start coasting and staying where it feels comfortable. Who would want to go out and brave a torrential downpour when it is forty degrees and pitch black outside when you could stay inside with a cup of hot tea, a cozy blanket, a warm fire, and your favorite movie?
Do we have to brave the storm in order to grow? I really believe we do.
I do not think going through a growing phase is comfortable. If you have gone through a growing phase in life and you were happy and comfortable the whole time, I would love to hear about it!
I will take you through one of the many growing phases I have gone through and talk about how it is normal to feel like you are failing, alone, and uncomfortable right before it gets really good.
This growth phase of mine that I am talking about is how I stopped letting other people dictate how I live my life and how I took charge of what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be.
This is the setting:
I am nineteen years old. I am enrolled in school at a four year college and studying to become a lawyer. I copy what other people do and I value the opinions of others more than my own. I drink a lot because I don’t like to be left alone with my thoughts. I feel lost and like I don’t know who I am or what I want anymore. I struggle with being honest and lying becomes so natural that I am not even sure what is the truth anymore. I stay up until eight am and sleep until two pm routinely. I feel like crap always and I feel lost. I feel like there isn’t a reason to be doing what I am doing and all the passion has been sucked out of me.
This was not how I wanted my life to be. I figured out that I was so unhappy because I was living my life trying to impress others by doing things that did not make me happy. I figured this out when I was on a trip nannying. I had a two week break from college, I was by the ocean, playing with a kiddo, not paying so much attention to my phone or the people in my life. I got clear on one thing. I was about to do something that I was sure was going to cause my parents to kick me out of the house (spoiler alert they didn’t), I was going to drop out of college.
I had a presidential scholarship to my college and paid more for textbooks than I did for tuition, but by dropping out it would mean that I would never get that money back. I didn’t know if I was for sure making the right decision, but I knew that this was a choice I had to make. This was the first time in nineteen years that I felt like I was making a choice by me for me and no one else. This was the start of me sticking up for myself and doing things that align with what feels best for my life, and boy now do I do my life differently than most people around me.
Within a few months of dropping out of college people who knew me would comment on the fact that they had never seen me so happy. Although I didn’t need the approval of others anymore, it was nice to hear that other people could see the difference living for myself was making on my happiness.
Making the decision to start living my life by my terms is something that has improved my quality of life greatly, but making the choices to level up my life is not always easy.
I had to go through one of my lowest points to figure out who I was and what I wanted. It was wildly uncomfortable to get to the place I wanted to go. I had to swallow my pride and say that I was going from being a 4.3 GPA student to a college drop out. I had to figure out what I was going to do for a job and what I would want to do for a living. Figuring these things out required me to go through some other uncomfortable moments, but without them I wouldn’t have grown.
Every uncomfortable decision and journey I have gone through has brought me to where I am today, and let me say I love my life. I am so proud of what I have done and I can’t wait to see all I do in the future.
You, like I, can do whatever you want with your life. Do you want to stay comfortable and keep living your life the way you have been or do you want to invite getting uncomfortable into your life as a way to grow?
For me, I always choose the latter.
I hope you know that you are strong enough to grow. You can brave the storms to get you to where you want to go.
Take a deep breath and be prepared for the most wild ride of your life.
Until next time,