Get comfortable with the uncomfortable

It's only by pushing through our comfort zone that we are able to learn and grow to become a better person.

This November, I’m challenging myself to write every day. You can read them all under the “Shorts” category, where each post should be around 500–1k words. Think of them as “less polished” than my usual longer blog posts. This is Day 24.

Whenever I try something new, there's this discomfort in my stomach. It's almost as if my body is trying to persuade and protect me from doing something terrible. It's easy to decide "yeah this isn't right, maybe I'll stick to something I'm used to instead" because your body is literally telling you "nope". In many cases, we should trust our body's responses to threats. However, we should be able to discern that trying new things doesn't pose any danger to us at all. It's normal to feel uncomfortable when trying new things, because we're leaving our comfort zone to explore unknown territories. I used to be really uncomfortable in social settings but this could also have been my low self-esteem. I had to rely on myself most of the time when I left home to study abroad. I can't even begin to describe how uncomfortable I felt back then, but with time and effort of pushing myself bit by bit, I began to enjoy myself. It felt liberating. From then on, I slowly started to do more on my own such as having a meal, watching a movie, or going to dance classes alone. In many cases, we need to feel uncomfortable to grow and learn. Otherwise, we'll always remain safe and sound inside our comfort zone, unable to grow and become a better person. It's easy and enjoyable in the short term to binge-watch your favourite Netflix series (I just did, but Castlevania is amazing), but your future self will thank you if you work on your personal growth. A healthy balance of both is great, but if you must prioritise, invest in yourself first.
It's not always easy, but the first step towards pushing through your discomfort is to just start and embrace it. If it's too much, start small. If you're writing an article for the first time, don't force out a heavy piece yet. Start with 100 words. It's not a lot, but it's about getting used to new things and breaking out of your comfort zone one step at a time. Once you get the hang of it, bump your word count up. Slowly but surely, the more you repeat, the more you'll see your progress grow. Your first few times will be bad, but that's how everyone starts when we try something new. Accept that we all suck at first, but with practice, we can grow and improve. To fully experience life, trying new things and experiences is part of it. We must be willing to ask ourselves what's stopping us from trying. Is it only the discomfort, or are there other hidden emotions that have yet to be revealed? Embarrassment? Fear of failure? It's a lot to process, but I've been there, done that, and am still trying. However, I'm slowly accepting the fact that there is no escape to avoid feeling uncomfortable when trying new things. So, I started to become a bit more comfortable around the discomfort. If you haven't done anything outside of your comfort zone in a while, perhaps it's time to give it a shot. Start with the thing that you've been telling yourself to do, but haven't done yet due to the discomfort. Change is hard, but it will be worth it in the long run. It's time to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.