The Only Way Out Is Through

July 4, 2019

I used to tell myself that I would only do something once I felt comfortable.

I thought that was a healthy boundary — I thought that was the right way to go about things. Rarely does something feel comfortable, however, until we walk directly through our discomfort.

I’ve been meaning to get around to writing more of my book, but it hasn’t felt comfortable. I’ve wanted to apply myself to more public speaking opportunities, but it hasn’t felt comfortable. A few years ago, I wanted to start going to therapy, but it was absolutely not a comfortable thought. I was in graduate school for Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and I thought I should “have it all figured out by now,” and “time heals all wounds so I’m probably fine.”

How wrong I was.

When I first walked in a 12-step meeting and asked for help, it was uncomfortable.

When I had my first session with my current therapist and broke down crying, I was uncomfortable.

When I moved to a brand new town 4 years ago, it was uncomfortable.

When I got into a relationship after a year of intensive therapy, working on myself, and staying very far away from intimacy and commitment, it was the epitome of uncomfortable.

When I applied for the job I have today, I was sure I wasn’t going to get it. If a friend hadn’t basically forced me to apply, I probably wouldn’t have. My interview was uncomfortable as all hell.

When I started setting healthier boundaries with those in my life, it was uncomfortable.

But my life started to become more and more full, more and more whole.

I started to become more whole.

What if I backed away from all of those experiences due to discomfort? What if I passed up on the ability to grow through my discomfort and become the woman I am today?

If I am truly trusting my gut, discomfort is part of the package. The more self-awareness I have, the more likely I am to feel a level of discomfort while stepping out of my comfort zone and into the arena of the unknown. Of vulnerability.

Every time I write a new post, I have to walk directly through my negative self-talk, self-doubt, and shame narratives about how I’m not a good writer and no one reads these anyway.

But we can’t go around our fear, our pain, our discomfort.

We can try; God knows how many of us utilize avoidance techniques like alcohol or other substances, powerful defense mechanisms like denial, passivity, or life distractions like throwing ourselves into our work or our family.

Even if we put off dealing with ourselves, getting comfortable in our own skin, and processing our underlying emotional issues, they will ultimately manifest in other destructive ways.

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