Instinctually, humans seek comfort. When we find it, we tend to want to stay in it. Unfortunately, comfort tends to produce stagnation and complacency.
When you push yourself into new arenas, difficult tasks — the unknown — you will unlock new thinking. You will open yourself to new learning. Creativity will be amplified. Problem solving will come online. And while all of that sounds wonderful, it starts with an intentional push into discomfort.
When I began my journey into the world of public speaking, I was terrified. Like every other human being, speaking in front of a group had a paralyzing effect on me. I remember bombing my first presentation. I delivered a well-rehearsed 10-minute speech in under six minutes. I didn’t skip any words. I spoke so fast you would have been looking for what it was that was being auctioned off. Disappointed and embarrassed, I entertained quitting. Clearly, public speaking was not for me. I had incontrovertible evidence to that end. Still, a voice in my head encouraged me to keep going. Months of practice and forcing myself to the front of the room started to yield results. I have been speaking publicly for a living most of my adult life and it is, without exception, the most rewarding work I have ever done.
Discomfort is a marker. Not an indicator of something that needs to be avoided. It is a marker that something is about to be learned. It is a marker that growth is around the corner.
Find an area of your life you have been avoiding because of the discomfort it produces.