For some time now, I’ve realized that many of us (including me) are very comfortable with our lives “as is” and tend to not push ourselves to try new things or achieve new goals. There’s a saying that if something isn’t growing, it is dying. Because of this, I believe it is time for us to move beyond what is easy to achieve or what makes us comfortable and begin to “get uncomfortable” so that we can make a positive, long-lasting impact on our families, our communities and society. Getting uncomfortable pushes us in ways that nothing else will, and serves as an inspiration to others who may not have otherwise thought of trying something new.
Here are five ways you can “get uncomfortable”:
1. Try a new food or restaurant. Do you have a favorite restaurant you visit often? Do you order the same item every time you go? (Raises hand…slowly.) This is one small way for all of us to step out of our comfort zones. If you are not a restaurant patron, try picking up ingredients to prepare a new dish at home. Who knows, our new taste test may be the discovery of a new favorite! We’ll never know unless we try.
2. Go on vacation to somewhere you’ve never been – alone. Although I am from Jamaica, I never visited my island in the sun alone until 2013. I was there for one week. Trying it alone was very interesting. I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, and with whomever I wanted. I was able to ride by car across the island without a concern for anyone else (aside from my driver, of course), and I could enjoy the holiday break at my own pace. In fact, I had so much fun, I will definitely do it again!
It is time for us to move beyond what is easy to achieve or what makes us comfortable and begin to “get uncomfortable” so that we can make a positive, long-lasting impact on our families, our communities and society.
3. Learn about another culture. I am naturally curious about people of all backgrounds and ethnicities, so I am always researching and asking questions. I am also a keen observer, so I have learned a lot by just watching and listening to others who may look or sound different from me. Working for an international company has had its advantages, as I have an opportunity to interact daily with others who were not raised like me or may not share any aspect of my culture or background. So try it! Get to know someone who isn’t just like everyone you already know.
4. Perform a random (or anonymous) act of kindness. “Paying it Forward” is the phrase coined for random acts of kindness to strangers that cannot be returned to you. After the act is performed, we encourage the stranger to “pay it forward”, which is to do the same (or similar) thing for someone else. Paying for someone’s morning coffee or lunch, or buying dinner for a homeless man in the underground subway are a few ways to pass on kindness in a world where kindness sometimes has hidden motives or is nonexistent. When these acts are performed with your children, they get to see and learn the value in looking out for others. When we help each other without being asked or without requiring a repayment, we will all push each other to “get uncomfortable”.
5. Try a new personal project. If you have an interesting story to share and you are not yet a blogger, consider starting a blog. If your story sounds like it belongs in a book, begin writing that book! If you love fashion, why not consider styling a friend or two for work or special occasions? You never know where it may lead! Sometimes trying something new leads us to an amazing path that we would have never imagined – like a new passion, or a new career!
There are many other ways we can get uncomfortable, but I have shared 5 ways to start. No matter how old or young you are, whether married or single, we can all work on becoming our best by stretching ourselves. Let’s “get uncomfortable” together!