Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.


Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.

This very statement has been repeated to me twice in the last 24 hours. When this happens, my ears perk up. I pay attention.

I was a junior in college the first time someone gave me this advice. I was young, ambitious, and ready to take on the world. At that time, the area where I pushed myself most fully was in student leadership. I realized I had a passion for learning, teaching and leading.

It was the director of our college’s orientation program who said to the group of us one morning, “Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.”

The thing is this: life is going to place you into some uncomfortable positions. That’s how you grow. If you only ever stay at a level where you are in control, you miss the vital growth. I think the God I love is one who values capacity inside of each us. Capacity, in this sense, is the maximum amount of things you can handle. You are allowed to expand your capacity. You don’t need to be limited by what your current capacity may be.Β 

But we lie to ourselves. All the time. We tell ourselves what we are capable of and we restrict ourselves with phrases like, “I can’t.” I am experiencing this in my own life. I am so quick to tell myself something isn’t possible. I fill myself with doubt and fear instead of trusting that God is bigger and that I am in the process of becoming better.

My trainer Nicey repeated those classic words to me this morning as we wrapped up our cardio session together. As I swig my water and catch my breath, she tells me to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.

At this point, I have screamed and cussed. I have thanked God no one is around in the gym to witness this epic, dramatic affair. I’ve wanted to quit a dozen times but Nicey does not give me that option. She keeps pushing me to move faster, go harder, and not give into my weaknesses.

My brain begs for an ending, a chance to give up. At one point, Nicey gets low to the ground and she says, “I need you find that thing inside of you that wants this. Dig until you find it.”

It occurs to me that if Nicey were not in the room screaming at me then I would have quit a few minutes earlier.

We give up on ourselves too quickly. At the first sign of pain or discomfort, we give up. We script a half-hearted narrative in our brains about how we will never get from point A to point B. I’m sick of it. I want to live better stories. I think God wants me to live better stories than the ones where I am perpetually a victim to my own circumstances.

So, dear hearts, if you are out there then remember this: you are not defined by your circumstances. You and your identity cannot be easily summed up into a Instagram bio of 140-characters or less. You are capable of expanding your capacity, little by little. But expanding capacity is not a passenger-seat role. You are going to have to step into it fully.

If you want to grow, you’ve got to get low to the ground. Get in the dirt and start to dig. We constantly want to be getting bigger and more expansive with our lives, and our profiles, and our followings but what if the world is sending us the wrong message? What if the key to true growth is the willingness to get down on your knees and into the dirt, the mess of life?

Dig deep. Dig deeper. Dig until you find the thing inside of you, the thing you didn’t know existed. You might call it strength. You might call it endurance. But start there. Give that thing the air to grow.

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16 thoughts on “Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.

  1. This. is. everything.

    This is exactly what I needed to read this week, this very day, this exact minute.

    I wish I could hug you, but I’ll simply just say thank you. *Thanks always for your words. 😘*

    Hugs from up north, Sarah.

    On Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 1:35 PM, HANNAH BRENCHER wrote:

    > hb. posted: ” Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. This very > statement has been repeated to me twice in the last 24 hours. When this > happens, my ears perk up. I pay attention. I was a junior in college the > first time someone gave me this advice. I was ” >

  2. I couldn’t agree more. I often feel like God and my own heart asks things of me that I think are impossible for me. Nevertheless, when I stop and do nothing and close myself off from new and difficult experiences, I feel like I’m not really living but as if I was somewhere deep under the sea, suffocating. Thanks for this β™‘

  3. I just found your blog recently and have been reading through many, many posts. Your writing is beautiful, and I’ve needed to hear a lot of things like this recently. Thanks so much for this post!

  4. Absolutely true. I recently felt an internal paradigm shift due to various events (birth of my baby boy being the major life changer) and discoveries about our world, the nature of it, the truth of it and the overwhelming sense of God having created us for a reason and your words are almost serendipitous for me. They have simply fitted into the narrative unfolding before me. Really lovely writing. Thank you and truly, truly all the best to you. I’m following πŸƒ

  5. Absolutely true. I have recently gone through an internal paradigm shift due to various events (the birth of my baby boy last year being the major life blessing) and discoveries about our world and the true nature of it, the truth about our journey and the truth about God and his most amazing creation -us and our purpose and your words rang true for me today, almost serendipitous. Your writing is lovely and it seems to instinctively come from an honest place. Thank you and I am following πŸƒ and truly, truly all the best to you

  6. So, I saved this one and then today opened it and it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear today as I wrestle with feeling small. Thank you Hannah. Hugs to you. Here’s to digging deep. Here’s to being comfortable with being uncomfortable.
    PS> I am a big fan of being uncomfortable: it’s often where the magic happens! ❀

  7. I needed to read this, at this exact moment, when giving up seemed so much easier than pressing g forward. Thank you!

  8. God is good and so I you, thank you so much exactly what I needed to read at this particular moment.As i struggle in a job I no longer care for (caregiver burnout )bt love the residence is my excuse in face of fear of going back to school in welcome this new challenge with arms wide open going to embrace being comfortable with being uncomfortable thx Hannah. .

  9. Oh. My. You have a secret relationship with words! Your writing strikes straight to the heart. Loved this piece and guess what you just became one of my role models 😊

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