Updated: Jan 11
People deeply desire comfort, and it feels unnatural to push past our comfortable limits into new, unchartered territory. But, there are thousands of people who have crossed the unknown and come back with so much more. I have always been the type of person to cling desperately to any sense of comfort or assurance I could reach. In new settings, my anxieties often feel too large to allow me to flourish in the unfamiliar. And honestly, the natural instinct to seek safety and comfort is a crutch I still lean on too often. Staying in a small corner makes me feel safe and assured. But, life is unpredictable and cannot be placed inside a neat little box.
I recently went on a Christmas vacation to Mexico. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I dipped my feet in the sand and looked up at the sun everyday in awe that I could be witnessing so much beauty. However, getting to this gorgeous, tranquil place was not quite that easy. I had to go through an exhausting red-eye flight and then hours of driving with little to no sleep to arrive. I had no food, no sleep, and I was outright exhausted! But, would I do it again? Absolutely! I had to go through something very uncomfortable to reach something so beautiful. I braced myself for the discomfort because I knew there was something more rewarding to come. After all the chaos I was so grateful for the outcome. The experience reminded me that sometimes I need to welcome and receive discomfort to fully appreciate the beauty in my personal life and journey. I had to embrace this kind of mentality in everything, especially when it came to something as new and uncertain as my career goals.
It took some time in the beginning of my career to understand that being uncomfortable is not a bad thing, or a symptom of failure
When I first started pursuing my career I felt the same exhaustion and uncertainty of that red-eye flight. I felt defeated, like I would never get to a point of calm in my circumstances. It took some time in the beginning of my career to understand that being uncomfortable is not a bad thing, or a symptom of failure. I’ve stopped looking at discomfort like it's a plague and realized the opportunity it could open for me. There were parts of myself that remained undiscovered because I was too scared to go beyond my comfort zone. So, I fought for myself and broke the boundaries that I had created. I stopped putting the label on myself that said if I’m not comfortable with it then I must not be able to do it. And, there have been many times throughout my career that have pushed me to acknowledge my abilities beyond what I’m used to. I’ve had to go beyond anything I could have imagined to feel capable in facing difficult situations.
I open up to the possibility that maybe just maybe I am far more capable than I have ever credited myself.
When I was first given a leadership position, I was so nervous. I genuinely didn’t feel competent to lead someone else. From the start, I put a mental block in my mind, which made the situation too large and scary for me to succeed. So I went forward fearfully and wary about my abilities and the result proved that my mind was focused on the fear rather than the responsibility. I went into it blinded by my own feelings of insecurity. I had to learn that breaking new ground meant breaking apart from that fear of discomfort. Like my time in Mexico showed me, beauty often appears after pushing beyond my comfort zone. Eventually, I pushed myself, leaned into the wisdom of the leaders in my life and learned to embrace my fear and uncertainty. I’ve grown considerably from that point and can attest to the power of facing the unknown and growing because of it. Do I always feel comfortable with the new opportunities that come my way? Definitely not, but I no longer cower in fear and hide within myself. I open up to the possibility that maybe just maybe I am far more capable than I have ever credited myself.
I want to reach my arms so far and wide that I will continue to soar into the unknown.
Although the concept is simple, I'm still fighting to break new ground within myself and the world around me. I’m allowing myself to go beyond what I can easily reach and stretch my arms out for more of what’s good and right. My goal for 2023 is to continue to be bold. I want to fight that instinct within myself that says I am not capable of doing new things. Yes, I’ll face them with a little fear and uncertainty, but I'll get to see what comes out of it. I want to reach my arms so far and wide that I will continue to soar into the unknown.
Editor: Jessica Carrera, Associate Editor at TSE Worldwide Press, holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in writing from Biola University. She aspires to touch the lives of others through her words.