Have you ever had a friend who could talk to anyone, anywhere and seem like it was the easiest thing in the world? I'm not built that way. I feel awkward and uncomfortable so much of the time. I don't know what to say or how to behave, and sometimes I get wholly perplexed about where I should put my arms - I know, really lame struggles. However, I have lived on the planet long enough to know how to look like I am comfortable. I can give off the appearance of being at ease, even when I'm not.
There is a lot of emphasis put on comfort. I mean everyone wants a comfortable life and to be comfortable in our relationships both personal and professional. But I've come to appreciate the beauty of discomfort. Discomfort brings about change and growth. From the very simple idea that if I am sitting on a couch and I am in an uncomfortable position, I will move and readjust. Of course! Why would I stay where I am and get a crik in my neck, or let my foot fall asleep! That would be ridiculous.
The same is true of my life, I need things that push me and challenge me - things that cause me to rethink how I think and act. These moments of discomfort that I am so desperate to avoid, are actually what I need most. They can help me move forward and help solidify my core values.
None of which is to say that I enjoy discomfort. I do not. The Husband could do an ENTIRE sermon series on my aversion to change and uncertainty. I am far too much of a control freak to easily embrace the truth of the importance of discomfort. This afternoon, I will be sitting down with a team of really AWESOME humans as we disect the previous semester. We each taught three class from the teachers in our district, and now we are looking at ways to improve our courses for next semester. Of course parts of these conversations will make Perfectionist Me feel uncomfortable. I understand this, but I also understand how beneficial and important a conversation it is - we cannot move forward if we refuse to look back and reflect.
My students, too, and my own children, need moments of discomfort. They need to struggle their way through sometimes. For example, when my littlest students come to computer class, they want me to push all the keys for them. "How do I do that?" They ask with large, adorable eyes. It takes every ounce of self-control to simply point to where they need to press, and allow them that struggle to find and push the right key on the keyboard. It would be faster, and easier for me to step in and take over; it would be comfortable, but it would NOT be helpful to them in the long run.
Listen, I'm probably always gonna try and run from moments of discomfort kicking and screaming, but even as I do I recognize the most important things in life often come from challenge.
Go Get 'Em,