No one likes to be uncomfortable. In fact we tend to avoid it at all costs. I, for one, love to be comfortable. Really comfortable. I love hot baths, massages, movies. And in my work, sue me, but I want to be in my comfort zone. I don’t want to be stressed.
But as I look back over my life, the things that I am most proud of, the things that are my greatest works and contributions to this earth, were quite frankly things that made me really, really uncomfortable. Having three kids was really uncomfortable and brought me to the brink of physical exhaustion, and emotional collapse. It was beyond uncomfortable. But they are the greatest treasures in my life.
And as I think of my creative life, my One Woman Musical stands out as my greatest, deepest, most rewarding gift and it was so, so uncomfortable. Beyond uncomfortable. Self doubt and fear flooded my whole system when I stepped on that stage. The vulnerability and exposure was enormous. Shockingly – I lived! It didn’t kill me although I thought it might. I am so grateful that I crossed that threshold and allowed myself to be uncomfortable. I learned so much about myself. And I gave something to the world that was valuable.
Even with those experiences and all that I’ve learned along the way I continue to avoid being uncomfortable. I guess it’s just part of being human. I wish I could tell you that you only had to cross that uncomfortable threshold once in your life and then you’re done once and for all. But unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. You have to face this threshold many times over especially when you want to reach for your deepest, most fulfilling creative projects.
But this is where the gold lives – in the “Uncomfort Zone.” This is where growth occurs.
Watch out for all the “shadow thinking” that wants to derail you from embarking on the uncomfortable projects. This is where fear lives. It tries to convince you to wait. It tries to convince you that it may not be your path because it makes you uncomfortable. It makes us confused and overwhelmed.
I have found that truth often lives in paradox which makes life quite a mystery and puzzle. We hear things that resonate with our hearts like “follow your bliss.” That makes sense on a deep level in our hearts. That feels comfortable. The world makes sense and we feel safe for a moment.
But then comes along a message like this – “Be Uncomfortabe” – and damn it – we don’t want to hear this! But we know on a deep level that this is true too!
So what deep in your heart is your bliss but that makes you really uncomfortable. Is it time for you to write your Solo Show Musical? What deep in your heart have you been putting off because you know it’s going to make you really uncomfortable on so many levels; something that makes you vulnerable in front of others because you’re going to stand there and expose your heart; something that makes you vulnerable to yourself. Can I do this? Will I be good enough? Maybe it’s just a matter of being uncomfortable spending money to invest in a solo show coach.
Here’s the good news. Your heart knows! It will always lead the way. It knows what it wants. But it needs you to say yes. It needs you to move past fear. It needs you to be uncomfortable standing on that cliff, peering over that edge. It needs you to jump into the unknown and learn how to trust yourself and grow wings to fly!