I had a great moment this weekend where something clicked for me in a new way. When I was a small child, religion was a bunch of drawings in a coloring book from a neighbor at Christmas. Today, religion in its old school, ritualistic sense doesn’t really exist for me but some of the stories I learned as a child coloring inside the lines of my Biblical coloring book, continue to be relevant. One such story was about 3 young men who survived being cast into a fire because of their faith. At various times in my life, that story has been pointed to by friends and family members for encouragement. Think “You will survive the fire.” Usually, that fire was some type of illness. I’ve also heard it used as the promise of a greater, stronger me: “Gold is refined by fire—this pain is part of your refining process.”
Recently, I heard it used as a lesson in discomfort and a light bulb went off. Often, we are in uncomfortable situations so we back out of them and settle for the easy option. I can think of several times in my life when I have been extremely uncomfortable and done just that.
It was painful to be single (before I spent a purposeful year alone to grow) so I settled for a guy or two who I knew would never love me.
It was painful to be in a low paying job so I jumped on the first high paying thing (fulfillment be damned) that came my way.
It was painful…or maybe uncomfortable and awkward to network, so I chose to use networking events as catch up sessions with friends, thereby completely defeating the purpose.
I could go on but I’ll stop there. The point is in running from discomfort, I managed to run away from my dreams and into the ease of procrastination. When I get uncomfortable with my procrastination, I go on a blitz towards a particular passion. I’ll write a few thousand words or plan out an overhaul of Nicole’s Curated Life. Once I’m feeling better about myself, I slump back into the ultimate comfort of ignoring my writing schedule and project calendar. In the comfort zone, there is no pressing deadline or publisher wielding a “REJECTED” stamp.
Inevitably, the cycle repeats itself because the feeling of dreams passing me by fans the flames and I’m right back in the fire. In that heat is my epiphany. If I’m going to “burn” I might as well make the most of the discomfort and plow through it. I really believe the comfort of happiness, fulfillment and dream attainment is just outside of the heat.
If you are holding back on pursuing a dream because it’s comfortable, consider staying in the fire a little longer. You’re absolutely talented and strong enough to get through it.
As always, please share your own stories of battling discomfort/refusing to settle in the comments. We all need encouragement! Who better to provide it than each of you? Happy Monday!