I've always loved horses and used to ride regularly. When Mum passed in April 2021,…
Growth – Uncomfortable But Necessary
Most of us have heard the adage that outside our comfort zone is where the growth is. I believe this is true, where valuable lessons are learned and our boundaries expanded. But very few people mention the discomfort that goes with growth. It’s uncomfortable because growth means change.
Discomfort is a necessary part of change and one that we must accept as our ‘new normal’ if we want to learn and grow more into our true selves. The American Entrepreneur Ali Brown once said “Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable”. This really stuck with me because I believe this is applicable for all of us, not just entrepreneurs.
Painful, Battered and Bruised
Recently watching an interesting programme on Netflix about our planet, it really struck me the similarities between how our planet was born and our own personal process of growth.
It took massive, violent collisions to form our plant. It was literally battered and bruised into existence. Yet to look at all the beauty and wonder that surrounds us daily, we wouldn’t know this is what it took to form our home.
Growth for us is a similar process, thankfully, the same level of ‘violence’ isn’t necessary. However, we cannot skirt around the discomfort of the growth, we must go through it. The experiences we have and the lessons we learn along the way are what shape us and enable our growth.
We come out the other side of each growth period stronger and more capable than before. Because of this, the journey really is the most important part of the process, not just focusing on the final destination.
One of my biggest growth experiences was in early 2018 when attending a conference in Tampa, Florida on my own. It was the furthest I’d ever travelled to attend something like this, I didn’t know one other person that was going but felt the pull to attend. I didn’t fully understand why at the time but knew I had to be there.
I was massively uncomfortable talking to my husband about going but took the plunge one night after dinner and broached it. He’d have to stay home with our son during my six-day trip so I required his help to be able to attend.
The night before my flight I nearly came home and the next day I nearly didn’t get on the plane. I felt sick, scared and very tearful all the way there, questioning myself and wondering what the hell I was doing leaving my family behind to do this.
I was so far out of my comfort zone I couldn’t even see it! How I was feeling I now understand was my sympathetic nervous system trying to keep me safe. It’s the whole fight or flight scenario – no sabre tooth Tigers just a conference in Florida – but my brain didn’t understand this at the time.
Talking to my husband the next morning helped massively and gave me some perspective. After explaining how I felt (still a little sick) he said to me “This is your experience. Go or don’t go (to the conference) it’s up to you, or just go to the parts you really want to go to. Then have the rest of the time to yourself, go shopping (he’s well trained)”.
So this is what I did. I realised that if I didn’t make the very best of this opportunity I’d regret it as soon as I got back to the UK.
Keeping up my morning yoga and meditation practise for the whole of my trip helped me remain calm, grounded and centred. Having my morning routine (which I’ll write about in another Blog) and my family back in the UK supporting me, really did make all the difference.
I felt a little sick with nerves every day but I kept moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other. I walked to the conference and back each day. Getting the exercise, fresh air and Florida sunshine really boosted my mood, kept my mind occupied for all the right reasons and gave me so much to be grateful for each day.
Here’s what I learned from my experience:
- I can do it – I survived, which means I can do it again.
- Setting my intentions for the trip before I went really helped; to meet new people and learn something new. I achieved both.
- Taking time out for myself once in a while like this is vital for my growth.
- Next time I attend something like this, it must be for something I am truly passionate about if it’s taking me away from my family for a reasonable length of time.
- The reason I felt the pull to go was to get me way out of my comfort zone and show me that I am more than capable of managing all the aspects of the situation and that with the right support, anything is possible.
- I have proven coping mechanisms.
The fact is that at every phase of your growth in any area of your life you will go through the discomfort. Each time you uplevel any area of your life, boom, there it is again.
So, it’s time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, accept that the only way out is through and that growth is a necessary part of life. Because if we don’t grow we stand still, we stagnate, we become apathetic.
Can you imagine if the plants and trees decided not to bother growing? How bland and colourless our landscapes would be? My wish is for you to bloom, to be gloriously colourful and continue to grow.
Ladies, if you would like to know how I can help you discover your energetic harmony; emotional, mental, spiritual, physical – get in touch for an informal chat.