Being uncomfortable is necessary for growth

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I said it last year, but I want to elaborate – I like writing in the last moments of the year because I feel like I’m giving myself space to reflect and think about those events that impacted me most.

Not forcing myself to relive everything that happened, but find those points that caused the path to change. Maybe think about the expectations I had and what reality actually looked like.

This year, my goal was to do things that scared the shit out of me. That’s really how I had phrased. Not just things that were intimidating, but things that really made me feel frozen.

I had ideas in mind, like competing in a powerlifting meet and performing my poetry, but I also wanted to be flexible with this concept. I’ve always set goals for the New Year because like many of you, there is something still sparkly about a new year or a new week or a new month.

But I’ve learned over the years that a new hour is just as beautiful – so taking advantage of those is important too.

I did accomplish both of those more concrete goals, and they’re still things I’m working on each day, each week.

Here are some things that I will always work on:

  • drink enough water
  • meet myself where I am
  • be satisfied in the moment, but give myself permission to want more
  • getting to bed “on time”
  • get comfortable with being uncomfortable

It’s interesting to me to reread last year’s post and see how I had already started to put myself into places where I would be uncomfortable, but could grow like having hard conversations with friends around politics and religion. This gave me a better understanding of my circle – what I will and won’t tolerate. I also got to practice how to engage in these conversations in a more empathetic way.

I thought about what do I want to accomplish here, and how can I respond in a way that helps me listen and educate.

This year pushed me further in these talks. I got to see how those I thought were good humans actually really aren’t. Some things aren’t political even though they are politicized like Black lives matter, healthcare, access to food and shelter and other basic needs. These are not debatable, and I found myself being much more vocal in public spaces.

Being vocal is something that has always scared the hell out of me and I know this is connected to never feeling like I could stand up for myself at an early age. As an adult, I’ve thought who will it push away? The answer is: It doesn’t matter because if it turns them off, I don’t want them here anyway. Hate has no home here.

These are conversations I continued in my coaching practice, offering space for clients to also be vocal and learn so that they could go back into their lives feeling more powerful when they have hard conversations.

This is really where the magic of writing poetry blend into other parts of my life and work.

I’ve been able to combine them and actually find a niche within health coaching and training that is unique and meets people where they are.

Dissecting events in my life through poetry, exploring thought distortions through journaling – it made it easier to break down these conversations with clients to figure out what really holds them back so that they can move forward in their health goals. This connection helped me see how I may be preventing myself from growing too and how I can continue to create space to be more vocal and honor my beliefs.

Growth doesn’t happen in a vacuum – we can grow together and this is a point that I think has been made abundantly clear as I’ve seen other health professionals start to show up authentically and break down traditional barriers of how professionals share their struggles and their wins.

I know I will never be where I think I should be…see what I did there? But I know that each day, each week, each month, each year I’m getting better and becoming more the person I want to. The role model I wish I had growing up.

So like I asked last year, why are you waiting to take a step forward?

What does a step actually look like for you?

What could help you take a baby step so you can dabble with discomfort?

How can you breakdown those expectations so you can meet yourself where you’re at?

I’m still pondering what I want for the new year because while it’s shiny, I’ve been embracing flexibility and how my evolution can show up throughout the year.