After 15 years in the same house, I’m packing up and getting ready to move. New house, new city, new state.
I’m no stranger to change. When I launched my coaching business many years ago, I changed not only where I worked and what I did, but over time, I changed who I was and what I was contributing to this world. And that change was good.
I know intellectually this change will be good, too. But the furrow between my brows is digging deeper. My UP band is regularly recording four hours or less of sleep (although I think it lies).
Bottom line—this change is making me uncomfortable, more than I’ve been in a long time. And it’s exactly what I needed.
Why Make Yourself Uncomfortable?
When I started looking at all the work it would take to move, one question kept playing over and over in my head:
- Why would you put yourself through this?
- Why spend your time, money, energy, resources, sanity?
- Why isn’t the life and location you have now enough?
- Why do you think making a change will be any better than what you have now?
As I took a hard look at my “whys,” I realized there were three answers that come up any and every time I decide to make myself uncomfortable. Here they are:
1. Because the reward is worth the pain
Most of the time, we only change when we’re forced to. We’re practiced at sticking to the known and safe, and our brains are built to keep it that way.
But as the old saying goes, “a ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.” To get different results, we need to give up some safety.
For me, I wanted to be closer to my family at this stage of my life and theirs. I wanted to live in a beautiful area of the country instead of somewhere that had been chosen for me due to work many years ago.
I’ve worked hard to envision the end state–a rewarding picture–and not get caught up in the day-to-day pain of the change. I know the reward will be there.
2. Because the process forces you to grow
In my workshops and speeches, I often tell the story of the seed.
How does that seed feel on its way toward being a flower? Think about it.
First, it has to crack open its shell, which might be hard and dry so as to protect it between growing seasons. It has to push up through the ground, stretch its roots out to search for water, and fight off storms, squirrels, bugs, and any other thing in its environment that might like to nibble at its success.
But the persistent seeds, the well-tended ones, survive and thrive. The process of being uncomfortable is just the natural one they must go through to grow. Discomfort is where the growth happens.
And it’s the same way with us. Any major transition makes you think differently, try new things, and learn lots. There’s a reason we refer to growth and innovation as “breaking new ground.”
3. Because courage needs practice
A while ago, I asked you about what was happening in your lives at work. I wanted to know what was w
orking, and what wasn’t. I also asked what you needed from this blog and our work here at RedCapeRevolution.com.
Your request made me think about how I was demonstrating courage in my own life. And I found it lacking.
Like any muscle, courage takes practice. Repetition. Stretching. And so making a big decision like moving is definitely target practice for courage enhancement.
So now, I’m forcing myself to shake up the snowglobe of my world and bravely begin to rearrange the flakes again. (Apologies to the flakes.) Who knows how it will turn out? What I know for sure is that I’ll learn, grow, and be more confident about my courage to change in the future. I think that’ll be a decent result. Wish me luck.
YOUR TURN: Have you ever intentionally made yourself uncomfortable? What did you gain? What’d you learn? Share your story (or your request for courage!) in the Comments below.