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Discomfort Wins

“The one who is willing to be the most uncomfortable wins.”

I was talking to my business coach about my goals at the beginning of April, and this is what she said to me. A few years ago, I would have hated to hear that.

At that time, I was living in our newly-purchased, newly-renovated home. My husband had a comfortable paycheck, and our home was placed on a rolling hillside with a lovely view of the swans in the pond across the road. We had three beautiful kids, family and friends who could drop in for coffee, and a front porch with rocking chairs and a hummingbird feeder. Life was a postcard. No discomfort allowed.

Three years later, prices have gone up, paychecks have gone down, homes have been sold, friends and family have been left behind, and lives are wildly less comfortable.

If I hadn’t altered either, we’d be in big trouble. But I have. Because when the whirlwind was at its peak, I found mindset coaching. And through coaching, I learned that discomfort isn’t what I thought it was.

I thought discomfort was dangerous. I thought it would end life as I knew it. Frankly, I thought it would kill me. If you want specifics, I thought living without standard health insurance would land us all in the cemetery (it didn’t: we tried it). I thought moving away from my family would destroy me (look at me, totally not destroyed!). And I thought I couldn’t survive emotional turmoil during my fourth pregnancy (the baby’s turning two this year).

I was right about one thing: discomfort did end life as I knew it. But not in a bad way.

Here’s what I’ve learned about discomfort from a coaching perspective:

  • It’s an invitation to grow into who you are meant to be.
  • It reveals possibilities that you didn’t realize were there.
  • It gets you to talk to God more, in a way you simply don’t when you’re happy and content.
  • It gives you the opportunity to see how truly generous your friends, your family, and your God can be.
  • And last but not least: no great story has a comfortable hero.

So when my coach said, “The one who is willing to be the most uncomfortable wins,” the New Me laughed. I’m not (as) scared anymore because now I know how to think about discomfort.

I lean in. I see what God wants to show me. I trust I won’t die. And when it’s all over, I know I’ll have self-awareness, a deeper relationship with God, and maybe even the plot of the next New York Times best seller.

Bring it, Discomfort. I’m winning this round.