My greatest moments were born from my greatest discomforts.
I’ve been pushed, pulled, and dragged into situations that I felt ill-prepared for and totally blindsided by; yet it’s those moments where I had to dig deep within myself that I discovered what I was made of. I am a combination of glitter, warmth, creativity, and boss shit.
Having to be uncomfortable, on my own, in situations that required me to perform has been some of the best life lessons I’ve experienced.
Many people prefer comfort. Hell, even I love a good, solid routine that doesn’t kick up the dust of my anxiety. Needing discomfort is a real thing though. It is a necessity that doesn’t feel so great in the moment but does the most good for our growth.
Growing in a hard place allows you to rely on your natural abilities unlike a comfortable place. With comfort comes resources and assistance. With discomfort comes self awareness and reliance. Being pushed to know what your capabilities are, your strengths, your skills, your weaknesses are all lessons learned through discomfort. Reflecting inward to discover your internal resources is a gift that will continue to benefit you across all environments.
There’s so much growth in your discomfort. You learn yourself more when you’re not settled into a comfortable routine that encourages stagnation.
Discomfort can be growth.
Discomfort of nonconformity
As a natural outlier, discomfort is a part of my day to day life. The same is true for many of you. This discomfort of never quite fitting in or being what others expect has led to the revelation that I often seek acceptance as a people pleaser. I want to be liked. I want to belong. The topic question:
“What have your greatest discomforts taught you about yourself?”
Allowed me to dig deep into other people’s brains and discover even more ways that discomfort has been a teacher in my own life. One response centered on nonconformity. Naturally having a personality that can seem too much or too little for the majority. You make attempts to dull yourself down to make who you are palatable. We want acceptance.
Yet, how can we form true friendships and relationships if like an iceberg we’re only revealing 20% of ourselves. I understand the need to stuff down parts of you not meant to be shared with the group but it’s a fine line to walk. Hiding who you are in advoidance of others being uncomfortable just means you aren’t accepting who you are just as they aren’t . If my laughter makes you uncomfortable, that’s a problem you have to deal with. If my independence makes you uncomfortable then I suggest you figure out why. If me just simply being me without disrespecting you makes you feel a way; then you’re just going to always be uncomfortable. I hate to say it. *in my KeKe Palmer voice* Don’t allow others to encourage being uncomfortable with yourself.
Know that acceptance starts with you. Some people will simply not be equipped to perform that level of acceptance and that’s another great lesson the discomfort of nonconformity can teach: F*** what other people think.
Seeing a direct correlation between my self-acceptance and the discomfort of others with that acceptance is no consequence. Some people will be uncomfortable with the level of freedom you showcase in your self acceptance; again not your problem. The people pleaser in me after many seasons of discomfort is now focused on pleasing only one person.
Fear of vulnerability
Now that I sit in rooms where decisions are made that effect large groups of people I realize that I’m never truly comfortable. Speaking up and out draws attention in a way I still haven’t grown completely fond of. It’s in those moments that I am pushed into the spotlight that I have to work with my discomfort to keep me humble while my assertiveness keeps me goal oriented. “I’m not ready” was my mental mantra when I thought about being placed in positions or environments I thought were too massive for me to handle. Projects that seemed enormous compared to my experience and tasks that laughed in the face of my novice approach. How many times have you let discomfort sike you out of an opportunity?
Moments when I buckled down, and pushed my fear of failure aside have sparked creativity, originality, assertiveness, and decisiveness in me in a way nothing else could.
The experience of performing while uncomfortable forced me to get to know myself internally so that I could focus my energy in the right direction externally. Discomfort has been my greatest teacher. I was uncomfortable when I decided to leave home and go to college; first generation 4-year student in my family. I earned friends, knowledge, and a degree from that experience. I was uncomfortable when I got off the bus at basic training knowing that I had to rely on my mental strength to keep me resilient for the next 5 months. That experience showed me my own strength, independence, and it was one of the first true glances I saw of my quiet leadership style. There’s a job right now that you’re afraid to take because the change of routine would be uncomfortable for you. There’s someone right now wanting to spend time but the thought of getting close to anyone make you squirm a little, it makes you uncomfortable.
See, discomfort doesn’t just happen on the job or workforce. It happens in our homes, in our beds, in our hearts.
Our disdain for discomfort spans into the relationships of our lives even intimate ones. Allowing others to come as close and dig as deep as we’re “comfortable” with. This surface level love is the reason why we don’t feel fulfilled in our engagements with others because how could someone truly know us if we don’t show them? How can we expect others to love us as deeply as we desire when we’ve locked certain places off to them because the thought of sharing those hidden skeletons is too uncomfortable. Noticing that discomfort and allowing it to make you aware is necessary; pushing pass it to reveal what lies underneath is also necessary.
Discomfort throughout my life has propelled my ambition to get to a comfortable place whether that happens through acceptance, hard work, or a change of scenery. Discomfort usually means I’m in a transitional period of life. If I successfully make it through I will find the comfort I’ve been longing for on the other side but if I allow the discomfort to distract or deter me; I’ll never get the lesson and growth meant for me.
Discomfort is the teacher that calls on you even when your hand wasn’t raised. It’s the friend that tells you to pay attention. Discomfort can be a red flag or caution light. My greatest moments were born from my greatest discomforts. Progressing through my moments of discomfort has allowed me to get to greener grass. The start of a new job, the conversation you were afraid to have, the boundaries that were uncomfortable to set. Think about it.
Discomfort is not only the feeling but the spotlight being drawn to a place that requires your focus. Why are you uncomfortable? Where does that discomfort lead? Asking ourselves these questions can help us to build the best lessons even from our discomforts. Isn’t that what life is all about?
Hey Builders! What have your discomforts taught you most about yourself?