I just attended an amazing conference last week in Charlotte and one of the key takeaways I brought home with me is to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

When we were born, most, if not all of us, were uncomfortable living outside our mother’s womb. That’s the reason why babies cry but over a few hours, days, weeks and years we get comfortable. It’s hard to be born, that’s what I remember the nurse told my newborn when she is consoling him. It is hard to live on your own when for the last 9 months you have been taken care of, when you don’t have to breathe and eat on your own. We are comfortable because we know we are being taken cared of.

Fast forward to our toddler years, we were happy-go-lucky. We tried eating whatever we could get our hands on and we would climb whatever we can climb on. We were comfortable doing things even when it can harm us. We cried when we wanted to, when we were sad, hungry, when we didn’t get what we wanted or when we were sick. In short, we were comfortable with our feelings and we expressed it anytime we wanted. Don’t you wonder when you started to become uncomfortable?

I think the moment we start to think about how we can fit in is the moment we start being uncomfortable. When we were a child, we didn’t care what other people thought. We asked questions when we didn’t know the answer knowing that it’s ok to not know some things. We were honest and we would say what we wanted even if other people might get hurt or even if we would be scolded. We would do things the way we wanted it and not how society or our parents would tell us how to. We were confident, honest, emotional and self-loving.

I remember being uncomfortable as a child when most of my classmates had expensive toys and I didn’t have any. When I had to talk the way they talk, watched the shows they watch, played the games they play just so I could relate and befriend them. Imagine as early as that, I started to lose my identity, my courage, my honesty, and my expressiveness just so I can confirm with the norm. Makes me wonder now, how much of me did I really lose over the years because I so wanted to be part and be comfortable with the norm.

What’s my point? There are a lot of things that can make us uncomfortable. We might think we are not good enough, smart enough, skillful enough but you have to ask yourself, who is really? We are so comfortable with what we have right now that we become afraid to do things that aren’t certain. We are so comfortable that we play it small. We are so comfortable that we forget that we each have a purpose, a gift that we need to impart to this world. We are so damn comfortable.

Stop playing small, stop thinking about what other people would think, stop thinking you are not good, smart, skillful enough. You are more than enough. The moment you think that is the moment you’ll become comfortable being uncomfortable. Whenever we do something outside our comfort zone, we expand that zone and we include that “uncomfort” zone to our comfort zone.

So what’s the secret? Keep doing things that make you uncomfortable because, in the long run, you’ll get comfortable doing something uncomfortable, you’ll expand your comfort zone and you’ll achieve heights you never knew was possible.

PS: Do things that make you uncomfortable!