Fear feels like something is wrong or out of place. But the truth is, it is the most fertile ground for growth.
When you were a child and going to school for the first time, chances are, you were scared and unsure. But without a simple experience like that, you wouldn’t have learned basic social and communication skills. Discomfort positions us to challenge new heights and thrive in difficulty.
Because difficulties in life are unavoidable, it is imperative that we prioritize thriving in discomfort. The difference between people who achieve their dreams and the people who don’t is the ability to use discomfort as a training ground instead of a roadblock.
We live in a culture where comfort is promised to us around every
“Buy this to make your life easier!”
“Take this and never feel pain again!”
“You deserve better.”
We hear narratives villainizing discomfort.
“You should never have to feel hurt by this!”
Or, we learn to blame others when something goes wrong.
We’re told to get out of that situation, or to find someone to hold responsible. In some situations, of course, getting out or moving on is the only healthy option. But this is over glorified, romanticized and utilized today.
What if instead of using our default, “How can I get out of this difficult time that I don't deserve” we turn it into, “What skill am I lacking to get the outcome I want right now?” In this way we can use fear or discomfort as an opportunity to deepen roots of self discipline and wisdom.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from Vashti. When faced with difficulty and adversity, she told me, “Don’t leave on the downswing. Push through until you get a victory, then make your decision to walk away or stay.”
I've used this many times in my life when I wanted to quit due to circumstances that felt out of my control or were not my fault. I learned to look at what I can influence. My own reactions ranged from cultivating a grateful attitude to practicing humility when untrue things were being said about me. I learned to take personal inventory of areas that needed growth in my own life and put my energy there. When I felt I got the win, I could decide if that was a place I wanted to stay or leave.
When we are victory minded, we focus our energy on our desired outcome, not how big the challenge feels. Viewing discomfort as an opportunity will always leave you better for it. And ultimately, you make it out on top. Every. Time.