“Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable” by Mollie Bower
Mollie Bower, MS, BA, CPT, is the owner of C4 Fitness and currently works with High Impact Fastpitch on our athletic performance training.
No one likes to be uncomfortable. In most cases, we do whatever we can to avoid it, often times preferring the path of least resistance. It is just human nature. Let’s face it, it is much easier to just sleep in instead of working out, or just eat fast food because it is easier and faster, or just lift lighter weights, or just walk instead of run. Here is the caveat though: nothing will ever change for the better if we always just take the easy route. We have to challenge ourselves and do things that make us uneasy if we expect to see positive change. Period.
I am a firm believer that the most significant change comes when we tiptoe outside of our comfort zones and do the things that make our hearts go pitter patter, and I say this from experience. Think about the major life-changing events in your life thus far…graduation, a new job, a new home, starting a family, starting a new workout regimen, etc…..Odds are that you felt some trepidation and anxiety before each of these events, and maybe contemplated not doing them and taking the easy way out. If you followed through with them, however, I ask you to take a moment and think about how you felt afterward. That sense of pride, accomplishment, and sometimes relief that comes with taking a risk and being a little uncomfortable is where we change and become different people. That is where we grow.
“That sense of pride, accomplishment, and sometimes relief that comes with taking a risk and being a little uncomfortable is where we change and become different people. That is where we grow.”
I have experienced this many times in my life, but there are a couple of specific examples that continue to resonate with me. The first was when I decided to pursue my Master’s Degree in my late 30’s, nearly 20 years after completing my undergraduate degree. I was terrified of failing, and I worked for a college which created added pressure as I couldn’t expect my students to do it if I couldn’t also do it. The moments leading up to my first quarter were the worst, but then once I started and realized I was capable, the pride trumped the fear and I managed to graduate with a 4.0 GPA. The second example was when I was offered the opportunity to purchase C4 Fitness. I had wanted to own my own gym for a long time but the idea of taking the leap was incredibly scary. I was afraid I couldn’t do it. I was afraid of letting my family and the gym members down. I was afraid of all of the unknowns that come with that space outside of the comfort zone. But, I also am a believer that you can not fail if you try. Failure only exists if you simply don’t try. I asked myself “what is the worst that can happen?’”, and although there were plenty of frightening answers to that question, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and I did it. I bought a gym and am proud to say that I have grown it to the point where I was able to leave my other job and dedicate myself to my passion on a full-time basis. Do I still get scared of failure or letting people down? Yep, every day. But, the key is using that fear to fuel my passion even more. Instead of letting fear of the unknown stop you, let it incentivize you to push even harder. Looking fear in the eye makes it a lot less frightening.
“Get a little uncomfortable. Dip your toe in the water. The only thing you are likely to regret is the decision not to try.”
I will leave you with this…. There will always be things in our lives that scare us, but take a moment to think about WHY you are scared and how you will feel if you take the step. If you take the step and are not successful, is that really failure? In my opinion, no. Failure only exists in the absence of trying. I am such a firm believer in this that I have these words written on the wall in my gym: “Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone.” I challenge you to find something in 2019 that scares you, and try it. Get a little uncomfortable. Dip your toe in the water. The only thing you are likely to regret is the decision not to try.