Since I’ve began this journey of allowing God to use me and the gifts he gave me, I have truly learned and understood the importance of being uncomfortable.
Uncomfortable means going to the place you don’t want to go.
Admitting things you do not want to admit.
Opening your heart when it’s been shielded for so long.
Speaking up when you had no voice.
Crying when you pretend to have it all together.
Standing out when no one used to notice you.
Being around people that don’t look like you, talk like you, or think like you.
I’ve recently gone through each of those. And I’m here to report three things.
- ) I made it through!
- ) It’s one of the most difficult things I’ve done in my life.
- ) This is only the beginning.
For those of you who are scared to step out of your comfort zone because of fear of rejection, fear of failure, or fear of judgment, I offer this to you – God did not create us to be fearful and dull. He created us in the likeness of Him. And He is light. Therefore, we have a natural- better yet, divine- duty to make our light shine brighter.
How many times have we heard this before? How many times have our elders, pastors, mothers, and fathers told us that we can be anything we want to be, but we somehow end up believing the opposite? It happens too often, especially with young black women, that even when we have a positive role model, we tend to not believe we can achieve the same thing.
Why do we assume, “Oh, she’s just lucky” or “She had opportunities that I didn’t have”?
We label our role models as “different”and therefore deem their position unattainable.
The problem is you have to accept that in order to be anything you want, you MUST put in the work – and by put in the work, I mean GET OUT of your comfort zone. Stop waiting for someone to save you. Stop throwing yourself pity parties that you invite all of your friends to. Prepare to lose friends and gain enemies. And look forward to the unspeakable joy you’ll feel when people acknowledge and affirm your work. I promise you that feels much better than sitting safely in your comfort box. Also follow these these 4 essentials steps to help you along the way.
After a while, after repeatedly breaking your patterns, fighting against the grain, and exposing yourself to new territory, you’ll feel more and more comfortable with being uncomfortable. As a matter of fact, you will pray for a new and unfamiliar situation to test your newfound strength.
One of the clinical treatments of phobias is exposure therapy. In exposure therapy, you are exposed to your fear in small increments until you are comfortable. Then over time, the exposure to the fear progresses more and more until eventually you are no longer afraid and can tolerate any amount of exposure.
Exposure therapy is exactly what is required to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Begin with something small until you feel your anxiety slowly melting away. Do it however many times you need to. Then once you’re ready (starting to feel comfortable) do something a little more challenging.
Are you hiding your drawing and artistic ability out of fear judgment? Start by posting it on an anonymous website or under an alias name.
Are you afraid to share your heart with others out of fear of being hurt? Start by writing it down and letting them read it on their own time without you around. (As you can guess- this is what I started with)
Are you afraid to apply to a job out of fear of rejection? Start by volunteering or asking for more responsibility in your current role.
You get the idea that you have to start small and once you find yourself getting comfortable, look for the next stage to remain UNcomfortable. Slowly and gradually push yourself to the next step and be cautious to not jump into the deep end too fast. Jumping straight to the end goal will have you feeling overwhelmed and wanting to give up. A person who is afraid of heights wouldn’t start their healing by jumping off the Empire State Building! So put one foot in front of the other and trust me when I say, you’ll look back and be so grateful of how far you’ve come.