Think of something that you’re proud of, and then ask yourself if it was easy to achieve that very thing. More than likely, what you are most proud of took a lot of hard work, and maybe even some struggle or pain. But in the end, it paid off and maybe even led to more possibilities and happiness in your life.
Growth is Uncomfortable
Growth and comfort cannot co-exist. Although we crave the idea and the feeling of being comfortable, chronic comfort is secretly killing us both mentally and physically. If we’re always comfortable, we are less willing to change or step outside of our comfort zones. The longer we remain in our comfort zones, the harder it is to pull away from old habits or patterns that keep us comfortable.
Forcing yourself into discomfort is where the growth takes place; it’s where we discover what we’re truly made of. Whenever there’s an element of uncertainty, there will be some fear. The reason we question ourselves has everything to do with fear. Overthinking and dysfunctional behaviors are most always driven by fear. But when we push through it and come out on the other side either the same or better off, we take a step up this ladder that has potential to lead to something amazing.
Stop and Reflect
There will always be something that scares you whether it be public speaking, asking for a raise, quitting a job to pursue something new, asking someone on a date and the list goes on… But when we reflect on where that fear originates from, nine times out of ten it is based on a story that WE’VE created about ourselves. The truth is, the reason we typically fear something is because we don’t feel like we’re good enough, worthy enough, smart enough or suitable enough for the task. It’s not because our ‘audience’ thinks we’re not cut out for the job; it’s because we do. No one judges us harder than we do ourselves.
The thing that hurts us the most is our minds. Our mind’s perception of not being enough keeps us from stepping outside of our comfort zones. We tend to hide our insecurities, and this creates a gap within our relationships. Most of us spend so much time worrying about ourselves that we have trouble noticing what’s going on with other people. If we shifted our focus from our own anxiety and nerves, we might begin to clearly see the people, person, situation, or challenge in front of us.
Is it Worth it?
If doing something new doesn’t scare you even a little, consider that it may not be worth doing at all. Every decision made leading to growth will always be covered in a thin (or thick) layer of fear. Feeling nervous simply means that we’re moving forward and doing something important when it comes to our personal growth. We are stepping into this scary place of the unknown which takes determination and courage. But when we come out on the other side, we find ourselves proud, overjoyed, and free.
As Neale Walsch once said, “life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.” So frame your challenges instead as opportunities. Don’t let mental barriers prevent you from seeking more. Step right into the things that scare you. Chose the very thing that brings you anxiety or fear. Each time you do this, you strip away a chapter of this story YOU’VE created about yourself. Start a new story, trust in your own abilities, be you, embrace you. The path to true happiness and growth is never easy.
What is it that you’re resisting out of fear? Whatever it is, you are more capable than what you think, and it’s probably not as scary as it seems.
By Erica Matechuk, RYT 200