I recently participated in a round-table discussion that tackled a wide variety of topics, from spirituality to politics, to wellness and diversity, and self-care in the social media age. To be honest, I felt a little intimidated even being invited to have a seat at this table. This invitation was for “experts” and I found myself wondering why someone would want me there, and why anyone would want to hear my thoughts on topics such as these. Does anyone actually consider me to be an expert?
My fears and uncertainties about the invitation almost led me to decline it all together. I made up a wide variety of reasons why I “couldn’t” do it, why I wasn’t going to make it, why it wasn’t convenient. I wrote a lot of stories in my mind about the whole situation, and I almost let the story of staying safe, being comfortable, and not going, win.
Luckily, there was a tiny (very tiny) voice inside of me that overshadowed the fear with a sense of curiosity of what could be, that urged me to commit, and that called out the lies that I was thinking in my mind, and to just say yes. I accepted the invitation, made the arrangements, and got myself to the table, and I actually felt good about it all. I felt great until I had to step in, be seen, and be heard, in a room of experts who didn’t know me. I felt like I had to prove myself, and just like that let myself fall back into the stories that I didn’t belong there. My heart was beating a million beats a minute the entire time I was there. I was uncomfortable, to say the least.
Interestingly enough, the concept of being comfortable with being uncomfortable came up in discussion. We live in an age where we avoid, almost to our detriment, uncomfortable moments, feelings, and circumstances. On social media, we post the happy times, the curated and wonderful moments. When difficult emotions arise, we numb them out with a distracting habit of choice. And when a new opportunity arises, we come up with every excuse in the book of why we can’t, just to ensure we don’t feel the uneasiness that comes with something new.
The irony that I almost said no to this opportunity because I felt uncomfortable and then was presented with the exact topic at said opportunity wasn’t lost on me. It gave me pause, and really wowed me that I was being shown such an important lesson in such dramatic fashion.
Life has made it very easy for us to avoid difficulty and the awkward uncomfortable moments that life no doubt will give us, but it’s up to us to face it all head on. We must start to choose the uncomfortable to break through to new ground, and to learn that on the other side of uncomfortable is a new kind of magic.
How often do you think we’ve all missed out on amazing experiences because we were afraid? Too worried about failure, what people think, that it won’t turn out how we hoped it would? Rather than taking a leap that feels aligned, and knowing confidently that successful or not, the jump was worth it for the experiences and lessons learned.
I showed up to my seat at the table and did what I came there to do. I pushed through my uncomfortable feelings and on the other side, was a lot of confidence and pride. Feelings I would be missing today had I not said yes. I’m not worried about how I was perceived or whether I said the right things, because I know that I showed up, gave it my all, and mostly, because I was my authentic self, and I know that it’s always enough.
I encourage all of you dear readers, to think about areas in your life that you avoid because you feel uncomfortable and ask yourself what life could be if you didn’t let those feelings make big choices in your life. It could be making a truly honest post on social media, speaking the truth to a loved one, making a career change, or even just diving deep into your relationship with yourself.
What will you find on the other side of being uncomfortable? I can’t wait to find out.