Discomfort Is The Currency To Your DreamsDec 23, 2021
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
The idea of leaning into discomfort is a tough one for me. I’d love to blame it on age, but I have always been this way. It feels safer to take the road more traveled. There is security in the well-worn path. And to be honest, I had never really questioned it. Things were fine. Smooth sailing. What could go wrong? One word: COVID. Had it not been for a global pandemic, I probably would not have started to question my safe and steady existence. Things were fine. Right?
Pre-COVID, my wife and I went to work. My kids went to school. I would hit the gym two or three days per week. We went on family vacations. We spent time with family and friends. My paychecks were sure to come every other week. Then one day, without proper warning, everything changed. Everything closed. Everything, including my comfortable existence, just stopped. I was thrust into discomfort. We all were. And discomfort has no redeeming qualities, right? It just sounds terrible. Discomfort sounds hard. It sounds like something I would rather not deal with today or ever. Where is the comfort that I had grown to know and love?!?
In fact, discomfort is incredibly useful. It doesn’t always feel good, but it is the first sign of growth. Through coaching, I learned about the 50:50. Fifty percent of the time, everything will feel amazing. Life will be great! The other fifty percent of the time, well, not so much. But, you need to allow the negative to experience the positive. Without sadness, there is no happiness. Without discomfort, there can be no comfort. And comfort sounds fantastic! Who wouldn’t want to live in comfort? Comfort feels warm, cozy, relaxing, and secure. But when you dig deeper, there is a cost to feeling comfortable. Comfort is not motivating. Comfort does not push us to try new things, accomplish challenging tasks or set impossible goals. So, what is the antidote? Just look to the other half of the 50:50: Discomfort.
Discomfort is the feeling we need to explore uncharted territory. We use discomfort to grow and experience progress. It helps us push past what we once thought was a boundary and allows us to soar to new heights. The more we embrace discomfort, the fuller our lives become. The problem with discomfort is that it doesn’t feel very good. And when it comes to uncomfortable feelings, most of us would prefer to avoid feeling them altogether. I am certainly no exception. Being seen is my greatest discomfort. Putting myself out there and publicly admitting my faults brings so much discomfort. So, why would I choose this path? Have I already moved past the stage of discomfort? Of course not. All of this is incredibly uncomfortable. But, my desire to help other doctors conquer overwhelm, find balance and navigate life transitions far outweighs the discomfort of putting myself out there. I realized that if I could help other doctors live their best lives, my discomfort doesn’t matter. And that is how we grow.
Time marches on. Whether we like it or not, this moment will never exist again. As physicians, we see death more than we care to admit. And when I look back on my life, I want to know that I explored every opportunity, felt the highs, persevered through the lows, and lived every moment to the fullest. What are your goals? Where do you want to be next month? Next year? Five years from now? Will you allow yourself to dream? Will you keep thinking, researching, and practicing or, will you take that next step to turn your dreams into reality? What if you allowed discomfort, fear, and anxiety to come along for a ride on your amazing journey? You might see that the most challenging part was getting started. And when you achieve that long-sought-after goal, you’ll wonder: Why didn’t I do this sooner? Before you know it, you’ll be pushing yourself back into discomfort on a mission to achieve your next impossible goal.
Are you ready to figure out that next step? Are you interested in moving into the discomfort so that your dreams can come true? Would you like to talk through the challenges you are experiencing? If so, schedule a complimentary discovery session to see if physician coaching is right for you.
PS. I get a lot of inspiration from music lyrics. Many people use inspiring quotes (and I may too), but music lyrics really speak to me. I hope you find inspiration in the lyrics too.
Shakira - Try Everything
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