Put yourself into situations that make you uncomfortable.
That’s probably the worst advice that no one ever gave you because it’s bad advice, right? Wrong. Really wrong, and it’s actually the good advice I’m giving you today.
While I am of course not an advocate of anyone putting themselves at risk, I am a proponent and encourager of individuals stepping out of the box that they so comfortably and happily reside in.
There are many things that make me uncomfortable: confrontation makes me want to vomit, public speaking does the same, small-scale social situations make me go from somewhat normal to a bumbling idiot, witnessing spontaneous accidents, talking sex, politics, religion, death — it all makes me want to crawl inside a hole.
And you know what? I have always done that. In the past, I have more often than not shied away from anything that was less than pleasant. That was until I became a parent. And then again when I turned thirty, and ultimately when I launched my business.
Becoming a parent has forced me to deal with uncomfortable situations because there’s no way in hell that I wouldn’t stand up for my child being bullied or a parent judging them, and there is no chance I would ever not be an advocate for them at school or with regard to their health.
Turning 30 brought me more self-confidence and less worry about what others think of me. This new decade re-energized me and has led my focus to change from external to internal; to only wanting to associate with people who inspire me and who challenge me to be and do better.
Being around people that you admire, are impressed with, and want to emulate can be very intimidating and can make you uncomfortable, but to quote an author unknown, “If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room”. I totally agree with this.
With regard to launching my business, so much about it made and still makes me squirm; mainly the rawness and honesty I put forth in my content. It is far from easy to put yourself out there in the way that I and so many other writer’s do — to put your heart and opinions on paper and hope they don’t get ripped to shreds — but allowing myself to feel vulnerable has enabled me to connect with my readers, and ultimately is leading me to many business successes and publishing milestones.
Listen, believe me when I say that I understand nothing about putting yourself in uncomfortable situations is cushy or painless. In fact, you will probably feel anxiety and uneasiness leading up to, during, and possibly even post-situation. But you know what else you will feel? Exhilaration. You will feel proud, and more often than not you will reap the benefits from forcing yourself out of your comfort zone. Maybe not immediately, but your courage will affect your karma, and it will come back around and reward you — maybe with a business success, maybe with a new networking connection or friend, or possibly even just via some self-improvement and a confidence boost.
What will you do today that will make you uncomfortable?