I have had a lot of this lately. I call it my life!
Coming home from a mission made my entire purpose in life and even existence confusing. This made everything about me uncomfortable. I didn’t understand how to act in the real world. I could’t comprehend things the same as normal people. The life I had lived for 2 years was in the same world, but somehow I was not connected to it.
Two years of intense dedication to one purpose, growing the kingdom of God. My purpose in life wasn’t about me, it was about this greater purpose. I guess in a way that is still what it should be, but I had so much removed from my life that allowed me to focus solely on that. My lifestyle and experience of the past two years shaped who I have become, but now I had to live in a different reality when the person I am is a product of another way of life.
This made me VERY uncomfortable. I was not comfortable watching movies, listening to music, sitting in a room for more than 45 min., or even sleeping in. I tried to repel this new lifestyle that my family was for some reason OK with living. But, that is impossible to do because it is real life. I had to overcome my huge feeling of not being comfortable, and move on.
Next situation: My job. I am a sales rep for a plant nursery. I try to get other nurseries to buy our labor saving equipment (production lines, forklift attachments, big trimming machines). I am in a good spot since labor is getting pretty hard to find, and, thanks to our West Coast politicians, much more expensive. There is a growing need for what I sell! Thankfully I am not selling Kirby vacuums. Or knives. Or dog insurance. I started working less than a week after I got home. Talk about uncomfortable!!
On my mission I was essentially a door to door salesman. Which I HATED! I loved getting past that part and developing a relationship with people who I would come to love. For the first few weeks of my job, since I was the only designated sales rep, I was COLD CALLING. Much worse than knocking doors. I had to fight to get past the secretary to a business owner who was annoyed that this young salesman would bother the head of a large company. This made me very uncomfortable, because I just wanted everyone to be happy and comfortable themselves.
I hate being uncomfortable. I don’t think anyone likes it. There are a million ways that we can end up feeling uncomfortable. Sometimes it is a choice we made, or a situation put upon us. Either way, when we feel this way, we shy away from it. Rarely when we feel uncomfortable do we stand up and say “I don’t like this!” We usually slowly try to slide out and find an escape. It’s not imminent danger, it is just not being in a state of comfort like we would like to infinitely exist in.
Unfortunately, we know that God does not plan on us existing in a comfortable state. It is OK to feel safe and comfortable, and God wants us to be like that because it makes us happy. But when we are comfortable we are not growing. And not growing has no place in this great plan for us to reach our potential. The only way to solve this is to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Makes sense, right?
We exist to evolve, grow, and become more. Not like going from monkey to human, but starting as an innocent child and ending as an adult human who has reached his highest potential. Growth is the key word, and to me the opposite of comfort.
Words that I associate with comfort? Laziness, complacency.
Now, I can guarantee you that in some future conversation this paragraph will be used against me by my parents when I have become complacent and lazy. This is all me being my best in a theoretical world.:)
Anyway, I am not completely condemning being comfortable. After a long hard day at work, there is no better feeling than sitting down on my Olaf bean bag, drinking my favorite flavor of juicy juice, and watching the newest episode of Duck Dynasty. You finally are comfortable. It is needed rest. But my point is that you are not really progressing. Unfortunately the same thing goes for sleep, which I wish I could get rid of because it is 1/3 of our time on earth that we spend doing absolutely nothing!!
I have noticed in my life that the times that have been the worst, or most uncomfortable, are the times I have grown the most. My character traits, spirituality, all have become so much stronger when I go through hard things. Why is that? Because, my situation pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me grow so I could cope and survive.
Always, before these situations, I had a time of happiness where I leveled off and was happy where I was. Then God is like, NOPE! You are too comfortable, time to shake up the snow-globe. I recognized this pattern, and now know that I can push myself to grow by putting myself in places where I am uncomfortable and using that as something that will shape me.
In my studies of history and observing successful people around me, I see that the people who have achieved some of the most incredible things and become some of the most influential beings on earth are people who rose out of a state of being comfortable and pushed themselves to new boundaries.
I guarantee you that not one of the signers of the constitution wasn’t a bit comfortable as they signed the Declaration. Micheal Phelps definitely hurt as he spend 3-6 hours swimming in a pool everyday for 5 years. Rather than waiting for an uncomfortable situation to come along, and then slink away, these people sought out discomfort, and used it as a spring board to launch themselves into a state of constant growth.
They decide not to feel comfortable.
To answer the original question…
I don’t want to “overcome” these moments that I am uncomfortable.
I don’t want to be scared of them.
I don’t want to be disabled by them.
I want to use them to become who I want to be.
Looking at the title, you probably thought, as I did, about how to un-awkwardly get yourself out of a situation that you don’t want to be in. Like that speech you gave in 9th grade. You just tried to pass and get out of it quickly. Looking at the many times I have had that approach, I see the other option as much harder.
I believe that you have 2 choices when in these situations. Either feel uncomfortable and let that fuel you to get away from the source of it. Or let it motivate you to do your best in a situation you know will bring you to a new hight! As I realized this, I have found myself stepping back a bit when I feel that way and deciding.
A lot of times I am uncomfortable because I am expected to perform at a level where I do not think my skills or knowledge are. How do you get there though? You go for it, and use it to stretch you. You have to be OK with failure. That mindset alone will get rid of a huge about of discomfort.
In my job, I felt inadequate. Same with my mission. But in my job specifically, I learned that when I feel uncomfortable to put my head down and CHARGE!!
Which also means, BS. I decided that my new job title is Professional BSer. I fake it till i make it. Still waiting to make it. But putting off the sense of insecurity and discomfort lets me grow.
My mission president would always say, “Theres no comfort in the growth zone, and no growth in the comfort zone.”
So, in the words of Shia Lebouf, “JUST DO IT”.
*I know there are a million ways you can interpret being uncomfortable, like sitting in between two porcupines in a smart car. I chose one set of ways you can feel that way, so don’t think this has to apply to everything.