Growth is not comfortable. It never has been.
Since the moment you were born and your itty-bitty tiny baby bones decided to rapidly expand you have been experiencing growing pains.
Without pain, you remain small.
When you work out (run, lift weights, do cardio, jazzercise, yoga…whatever) you feel the burn. You feel your body getting stronger.
Without pain, you remain weak.
When it comes to your career, the pain can be more of an emotional wall that you have to break through. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
It’s makes so much sense that so many people that are wildly successful also incorporate working out into their daily routine. They are used to pushing themselves physically and emotionally. They train for it. They know that on the other side of uncomfortable is an incredible place to be.
I personally, have found that I use my to-do list and daily tasks as a cop out. I love going running. I love to be out in the fresh air. But I find myself getting to the end of my street where my comfort zone ends and I say to myself “good run, now get home and knock out some of to-dos”. No. Keep going. There will always be new to-dos. If you really want to run a half marathon someday, you can’t just run a mile or two. You can’t just wake up one day and throw on your Nike’s and run a half marathon. I mean someone probably could, but I would die. My weak little legs would give out. I would probably barf. I would be so uncomfortable and I wouldn’t make it to the finish line. Unless, however I trained ahead of time.
I decided that I needed to challenge myself. I told myself that I was going to walk as far as I could before I couldn’t walk any further and only then I would turn around. I wasn’t going to turn around because I needed to get the house clean or send out emails for work. I packed my tiny sidekick in his stroller, a diaper and wipes, loaded up on snacks, a few toys and juice boxes and water and off we went. I wasn’t going to give myself any excuses.
I used the Kimmy Schmidt method and decided that I could handle any kind of physical paid for ten second increments, then I would just start counting to ten again. I had already birthed a tiny human so running couldn’t be that bad. About two hours later my feet started to hurt and I decided that it was time to turn around.
What I didn’t realize is that I had pushed myself so far out of my comfort zone that my aching feet now had to get us all the way back home. Hahaha, jokes on you sucker. So that was real fun (and my pride got the best of me so I refused to call anyone for a ride which was even more fun).
I had blisters, my feet and legs ached, I was ready for a nap BUT I was so impressed with how far I had gone. I didn’t stop. I kept going.
I heard a runner say once that “the first mile sucks for everyone” and that couldn’t be truer. Once you push yourself past that first mile or milestone, the rest feels a lot easier because it’s exciting. Your muscles are warmed up, and your already in motion so stopping doesn’t seem like the only option. When you push yourself, you give yourself the opportunity to see how far you can go and each time you try you will go a little further and get a little stronger.
Remember that next time your working something hard. This would suck for anyone, not just you. THEY CALL IT A COMFORT ZONE FOR A REASON. It’s comfortable. Anything beyond that zone is not.
Sometimes leaving your comfort zone can be exhilarating and easy, sometimes it can be terrifying and one of the most challenging things you have ever done. The thing is, you won’t know how you are going to feel until you try it. If you want to grow you have to try new things. You must walk a little further to get there even if it means you must walk a little further to get back. If you don’t like where you end up, go back.
What a pity it would be to live your whole life wondering what’s beyond your comfort zone. How it makes you feel. What that version of your life, of your looks like. You might be uncomfortable for a while but DAMNNNN if you don’t love that new life.
My challenge to you is to spend a little bit of time every morning deciding what you can do to get out of your comfort zone. If every day you step out of your comfort zone, even if it’s just a little bit, a baby step, you can go to sleep at night knowing that you are a better person than when you went to bed.
Please make me (scratch that) make yourself a promise that every day you will take a tiny step out of your comfort zone.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable EVERY. DAMN. DAY.