Sharing a room with a swim team member, I am constantly hearing her talk about how her coach preaches how important it is to be uncomfortable in life. This is the only way to push oneself out of their comfort zone. Being pushed out of this is how we grow as individuals. I’ve taught myself how to deal with being uncomfortable throughout this past year by putting myself in new situations as much as possible.
I recently received a job on campus. I work in the writing center and try to help others become better writers and start to enjoy writing, if they don’t already, the way I do. I forced myself out of my comfort zone of only focusing on my academics throughout the school year and just working at home. I am teaching myself how to balance my time in a new way, while getting paid on Fridays. Instead of sitting in the library and studying all day, being ahead of my work constantly in fear of being behind, I taught myself to take my time. I let myself have breaks when I need them since I have to divide my free time up. I no longer feel the anxiety of doing my homework the day it is due because that may be the only chance I can have to do it.
Another example of pushing myself out of my comfort zone is coming back from my ACL tear. I knew I was ready to start playing lacrosse again, physically, but mentally was another situation. I was so used to running on my own and working hard without other people around. Once it was time to take the field, it was a new world. I was scared to be pushed by someone playing defense. I was nervous if I took the shot, I would somehow hurt myself again. I knew I had to put myself in these situations in order to get out of my own head. I continued to play through the anxiety and after two weeks, I feel much better. I know I can only go up from here because of how well I adjusted to being uncomfortable.
In addition to the mental toughness of coming back from an ACL tear, it physically is difficult to run with a brace the size of my leg. I can feel it slowing me down which makes me feel out of shape and behind in my sprints. The more I push myself in the brace, the faster I will be once I take it off. I know it will make the difference because I will continue to be uncomfortable, until I’m used to it. Once I’m used to the extra weight, I won’t have it anymore and I can run lightly. Taking off the brace is also going to be uncomfortable because my support won’t be there anymore. That is a situation I have to prepare for so I can keep myself positive and know that I will only be uncomfortable for a short amount of time.
Continuing to stay comfortable being uncomfortable can be used in any of these new situations. It is, again, a reminder to stay out of one’s comfort zone and push oneself to grow. We will get no where in life if we stay in the same spot we were ten years ago or ten months ago. This is something that should be a challenge each day, as I have learned to do. I know that the more I do this, the better of a person I will become, especially when it comes to careers in the real world.