Written by: Alison Osborne
I love being uncomfortable. I embrace the awkward conversations and the nerve-racking presentations, pitches, and introductions. For me, it’s worth it. It’s the journey towards progress. If over the past three years I had learned nothing else, I would’ve learned that being uncomfortable is an inevitability of living, and you can either run from it, or run with it. Although I choose to run with it, this wasn’t always the case.
Like many people, when I was a kid, I hated being uncomfortable. My stomach would churn if anyone asked me to speak in front of a crowd. My brain would automatically go to maximum overdrive in any situation where I had to talk to someone I didn’t know. And if you wanted me to do anything new, there needed to be a plan, otherwise I was not doing it - uptight to where the phrase “relax” wasn’t in my vocabulary. But when I moved away from my tiny town in rural Ontario, everything changed.
As I became swept in the madness of the city, things began to change. Every day was different. I was thrown into new situations with new people - was it ever awkward. But as time passed I realized… I’m still here. No matter how uncomfortable I was, it was never as bad as I thought it was going to be. In fact, I learned just how awkward everyone else is too.
Slowly, instead of being fearing of uncomfortable situations, I started pushing myself. With every uncomfortable hello or awkward handshake I felt a little more confident. I mean, how much worse could it be? Yes, I still get nervous, but I’m always growing. Without uncomfortable situations, my career would not have led to me to entrepreneurship. Now I’m in a place I never expected.
Takeaways? Be yourself, let go of of the worry and embrace the scary, awkward and uncomfortable. See where it can take you and the life lessons it can teach you. In the crazy world of entrepreneurship, you never know what’s coming. At the end of the day, you can’t change what life brings you, but you can change what you bring to the world. If you constantly turndown great opportunities because of fear, then you’re limiting yourself to the amount of growth you can achieve.
So next time say yes. Take your fears and turn them into strengths because one day, you’ll be unstoppable.