Getting Comfortable with Discomfort

    Ever get that anxious feeling inside your stomach, the top part just under your ribs that feels like you’re going to explode from the pressures within? The one that keeps your palms sweating endlessly even though it may be cold and the feeling of your heart beating in your ears, eyes, fingers and toes? I’ve felt this many times and it often comes moments before I’m about to jump out of my comfort zone. 

By nature, humans as we know are “creatures of comfort”. Most of us are attracted to life’s predictable moments that make us feel content and satisfied. Some evolutionary reasons being with comfort we are saving mental time and energy when going about our daily lives. [http://bigthink.com/think-tank/creatures-of-habit] Stepping out of that comfort zone, whether it be something as miniscule as changing your route to work or, on a grander scale, deciding to quit your job, can result in success or in discomfort and failure. And by nature the latter seems much less appealing.

While comfort can be, well, comforting, what follows may result in laziness and boredom. Think about how many routines you already follow in your daily lives. Personally, I wake up check Instagram, eat my oatmeal, go for a coffee, go to the gym, watch the same series every night with my same snack… Although it’s nice to be able to do these things, on a personal growth level what am I gaining by checking my Instagram feed over and over again simply because it has become a (bad) habit? What I’m currently striving for is foregoing the endless Instagram scroll, waking up with a meditation, stretching out my muscles and reading a few good articles before I jumpstart my day. The benefits of tuning into my mind and body at the start of my day will far outweigh the minor satisfaction I get from seeing what’s new on social media.    

On a grander scale, far bigger than breaking bad habits such as watching T.V before bed is the ability to get out of your comfort zones for personal growth. With respect to this topic, generally speaking there are two types of people and different ways in which they deal with the stresses of discomfort. Those who are resilient and open to change and those who are change resistant and stuck in their ways. [https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-main-reasons-that-people-stay-in-their-comfort-zones] Those who are resilient are striving for bigger better things and are on the path of constant self-realization. While I definitely fall somewhat in the middle, someone who seeks change but often holds back because of fear, I am aware that these bigger better things will never come from remaining comfortable. The goals that I have set and continue to set in life aren’t achievable by being lazy. 

With regards to starting my own company, a sustainable one at that, I knew that if I didn’t launch this past January of 2017, I would be waiting years in order to perfect myself and my vision (which is near impossible), and by that time those goals would be much harder to achieve. I chose to start a sustainable company without any prior studies in ethical or sustainable fashion, and found I was giving advice to my peers on something that I could barely understand one year prior. With trembling fingers and an Instagram picture ready to be shared, I declared my new venture to the world in order to hold myself 100% accountable. My friends, co-workers, and peers found out about my newfound obsession with sustainability in fashion and it was up to me, and my ability to step out of my comfort zone, to make that post a reality. 

In addition to the gratification of sharing my project with the world, I was also able to rediscover myself and instead became a leader not a follower. The power to learn new things and figure out how you handle difficult situations are not going to be learned inherently. [http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/6-reasons-why-your-comfort-zone-holding-you-back-life.html] Now, when I set out to accomplish bigger better things, with that same pit in my stomach, sweaty hands and accelerated heartbeat, I know the potential for achieving my goals is there. Whether I ‘get it’ the first time or not, I know it will be better than having not tried. It’s by no means as easy as sticking to what you know and you have to be okay with facing failure and rejection. Those who are truly resilient are able to let said negativities glide off with the rest of them and continue on their own path (not anyone else’s), to success.