When was the last time you felt uncomfortable? Like really uncomfortable? And no, I don’t mean those physical feels like waking up after leg day (even though I totally get it and highly recommend magnesium powder), I’m talking about those physiological feels that surface alongside the fear of experiencing something new. You know what I’m talking about… that little pang of anxiety you get when you’re driving somewhere you’ve never been before, the feeling in the pit of your stomach when you’re psyching yourself up to have a serious conversation with someone, or the nerves you feel when you’re about to brave it in an unfamiliar social situation.
Doing anything for the first time is scary. Think back to the first day of your job or the first date you went on with your partner. Were you nervous? Hell yes, but did it stop you from going? Absolutely not. The tricky thing is, fear can be so crippling that it makes us do the opposite of what’s best for us… but contrary to what our mind would have us believe, it’s not always an indication that we shouldn’t do something… in fact – it’s usually the complete opposite, and what you end up gaining by facing it head on is completely worth feeling temporarily uncomfortable for.
Quite frankly, doing anything new in life is scary, but the comforting thing about that is, no one, and I mean no one is immune to experiencing this feeling – not your career idol, not your favourite celebrity, not even the president. So right here right now, let’s make a pact and chase those heart beating, sweaty palm moments in life that remind us that we’re alive. It’s time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable…
Think about it like a job interview… the nerves are a reaction, but bucking up and showing up to the interview is a decision. Fear is just a feeling, and as human beings, it’s instinctive that we psych ourselves up for the worst-case scenario. But break it down. In this scenario, the worst thing that can happen is you don’t get the job. Sad? Yes. But is it the end of the world? No. But instead of fearing it, flip it and realize that the best thing that can happen is you do get the job – everything you want in that moment. As humans, we have a tendency to brace ourselves for the worst and fear that we won’t be able to handle it when it happens. But if fear keeps you from playing the game, you’ll end up worst case scenario anyway. Choose courage, and choose it every time.
Fear appears for a reason, and instead of looking at it as a roadblock, look at it as a reroute – one you should probably take. Whether it’s the thought of quitting your 9-5 to start your own business, starting a relationship with someone you truly care about or booking a one-way ticket to Europe, if it scares you, turn the fear, into fear-less-ness and go for it. Don’t let yourself get caught but in the what if’s. What if my business fails? What if I get rejected? What if I get to Europe and don’t like it? Well here’s some food for thought, what if… it gives you everything you’ve ever wanted? A career you’re passionate about, a great love story, an adventure that changes your life? More often than not, feeling fear is a sign that you’re on the right path by doing something that truly matters to you. Getting closer and closer to something you really want is terrifying, but what’s more terrifying? Never stepping outside your comfort zone and knowing what you could have been capable of.
Hand over heart, some of my greatest accomplishments and successes in life have come from things I’ve been absolutely terrified to do, but boy am I glad that I did them. Standing up in front of 1,000 teenage girls and taking them through a workout and speaking at a conference when I was suffering a serious case of impostor syndrome are just two fears I faced int the last three months that terrified me so much I couldn’t sleep or stomach breakfast. But those experiences made me realize that I’m capable of things I never in my wildest dreams though I’d ever be able to do, and they gave me a surge of motivation to keep raising the bar.
If you’re not getting out of your comfort zone, you’re existing… but you’re not living.