Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

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“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” – Brian Tracy

With spring in full bloom here in California, I love spending time in our yard looking at the gardens that my husband and daughter have planted. It’s always a joy to see the plants break through the soil and begin their journey to bloom. I see that some are so much more vibrant than others and I imagine that it is because they probably encountered more difficulties and resistance than the other plants. Having overcome rocks and weeds fighting for space, they were victorious and would let all the other plants know by being especially vibrant.

Recently, we had the opportunity to spend the day with a remarkable woman. After a wonderful breakfast, Tina raised her glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and made a toast to her 38th anniversary of arriving in the United States from Vietnam. She then shared her story of what it was like for a frightened seventeen year old girl abruptly pulled from the only life she had ever known to come to the United States, be separated from her parents, not know how to speak a word of English, and survive a Chicago winter without a coat or a pair of covered shoes.

I did not know these things when I first met Tina in 1992. I was interviewing her for a management position at our company. I only knew she was a nurse with managed care and case management experience which is what I was looking for to open our Chicago office. In the twenty years since, Tina has become an executive in the healthcare side of the insurance industry enjoying a very successful career.

Just like plants, at times we all encounter some tough going getting the water, nutrients and sunshine that we need. Being out of our comfort zone, dealing with new situations feels awkward and uncomfortable.  And just like plants, remember it’s only one stage of it’s growth; we need to keep focused on the colorful and vibrant bloom!

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