Holy Moly! The last couple of weeks have been crazy for me, to say the least. I’ve celebrated 3 family birthdays, including my 6 year old daughter’s at Chuck E Cheese, and my mother’s at the Indian casino. I had a “rock bottom” cold that left me feeling so low that I became hopeless and depressed as I lost my voice for more than a week. Just as I was starting to feel better, I boarded an airplane with my toddler, headed to California for a scheduled visit with my best friends. Despite my efforts to entertain her, my 15 month old angel screamed for the majority of the time and I wanted to just disappear into the seat. Due to all of these life hurdles, I was unable to muster up the energy or focus necessary to push out an inspiring post last week, and even now I am struggling to collect and organize my thoughts into something tangible. So instead of trying to “Wow” you, I’m just going to do my best to get my thoughts out, because for 3 weeks I’ve been ruminating on the concept of discomfort and its necessity for growth and change. I could call it a coincidence that I have been so physically and mentally uncomfortable in the last 15 days that I literally don’t feel like myself, but I know better. This is life’s way of testing me on the very principle I want to share with you….getting comfortable being uncomfortable, and its necessity in life for providing us with a path toward growth and change.
While I was in California, I got a chance to stay with one of my favorite people in the world, Jen, and her boyfriend Kris. They both have jobs where they deal with putting people in uncomfortable physical situations; Jen is a yoga instructor and Kris co-owns a gym and is a personal trainer. In order to help them train the minds and bodies of their clients, they are constantly pushing people to try harder, reach higher, and embrace discomfort as a tool for growth and change. Jen told me that in Yin Yoga, a discipline she teaches, the goal is to contort your body into a very unnatural, uncomfortable position and to hold the position for a predetermined amount of time. She emphasized that the point isn’t to be comfortable, instead the point is to rest in the discomfort so that you can train your brain to recognize that it can handle difficult situations and survive. It’s actually a conditioning technique for the mind! Kris told me that at his gym he doesn’t like to stand behind people just counting reps for them, he likes to let them find their personal strength to overcome the challenges they face by acting as their educated guide and coach. He often tells people to “get comfortable being uncomfortable”, a slogan he learned from a fitness mentor he respects and follows. Kris knows firsthand the kind of mental strength it takes to reach your goals, because as a boy he weighed over 300 pounds. Now a strapping 200 lbs and in the best shape of his life, Kris is able to inspire people at his gym to want more for themselves and believe they can do it! He’s living proof that if you want to change you can, but its not going to be easy, and it’s definitely going to feel uncomfortable.
I will be the first to admit that I hate being uncomfortable. I dress up for work because I have to, not because I want to, and any chance I get, I am in my “comfies” looking like a frazzled mom instead of a professional hairstylist. Becoming a blogger has been, and still is, incredibly uncomfortable for me. Every time I think about putting myself out into the blogosphere with a new post, I hear a voice in my head say “Who do you think you are?” I push on because I know a secret about being uncomfortable – eventually it becomes comfortable. I’ve recently started wearing bright lipstick, but for years I never did because I have large lips (how stupid right?) and I felt self conscious about all that color on my face. I also love the way high heels look, but they don’t feel as good as flats, and at 5 foot 9 inches I’m already tall. When my desire to become a person who wore lipstick and heels overwhelmed my desire to blend into the background, I decided to push past my doubts and do it anyways, just like I’m doing now with my desire to be a life and beauty advice blogger. Being uncomfortable isn’t a good enough reason to stop following your dreams, it’s a conditioning tool to train you to make you stronger! The road ahead will be challenging, thats a guarantee, but the reward will be worth it!
I want to challenge you all to identify something in your life that you want to try but never have because it makes you uncomfortable. I also want to challenge you to share your experiences with me and the other readers by telling your story as a comment, or on my Dear Hairdresser Facebook page. Now that you all know about me, I want to know about you!