My alarm clock goes off every day around 4:45 am and I have to make the life-altering decision of whether I will get up or keep sleeping. Let me explain. I have a king-sized bed with a memory foam topper, four over-stuffed pillows and the perfect room temperature for snoozing. So yes, I have to ask myself if I’m actually going to get up when it is time to start a new day because laying there is so comfortable. And getting up is…uncomfortable. Here are a few other things that are uncomfortable for me:
Communicating unpopular decisions at work
Wearing bright colors
Admitting that I don’t know something
Embracing the moment instead of worrying about the future
While all of these things can be extremely uncomfortable for me, I do them because I know that discomfort isn’t a bad thing. There are some people in this world who get really excited about it. I’ll be honest, I’m not one of those people. But I am someone who loves to accomplish a goal and move on to the next challenge. And I am someone who hates to live with the regret of missed opportunities because it was more comfortable for me to stay within the boundaries of familiar surroundings.
If you are anything like me, the pros of discomfort significantly outweigh the cons. I remember the feeling of leaving my tiny town of Springfield, Ohio and moving to New York at the age of seventeen. I remember starting my first job out of college, watching the company go bankrupt and then recreating a career path for myself. I remember the first time I asked for a raise – and got it! I encountered fear, self-doubt and uncertainty in all of those experiences. But I pushed past those feelings and found out that I was stronger, better and smarter than I previously believed myself to be. Looking back I can clearly see how they were all temporary moments of discomfort that positioned me for growth and success.
Now here I am…making the choice to get up every morning because I want a lot more than my comfortable bed can offer. And it doesn’t end there. I have developed the habit of embracing uncomfortable challenges all throughout the day because I know they will help me achieve everything I want in life.
The New Year is about to begin. Now is a great time to assess where you are and where you want to be. If you are looking for something more – or just something different – I recommend you make a habit of stepping out of your comfort zone as I did. Shake up your routine living by learning a new skill or exploring an interesting hobby. Join a professional or social network that will expose you to different people. View this day as an opportunity to face one of your fears or cross something off your bucket list. New levels of creativity, resilience and confidence will naturally develop. You will experience the growth and achievement you desire when you choose to get uncomfortable.
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