Positive Empowerment
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Get comfortable being uncomfortable

One of the hardest lessons in life is learning how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Taking that step out of your comfort zone, and doing things that maybe are second nature, so you can have huge impacts on your life. You may be scared, anxious, or the thought of getting uncomfortable makes you literally want to puke! Hey, that’s ok, the sky is the limit. There is so much peace and wisdom in accet[oting things as they are. Life isn’t just what happens to us, but how we respond to it.

CONFIDENCE GAP

I was not born to be a teacher and I didn’t wake up being good at motivational speaking. I wanted some practice where I could ask for some raw feedback. What better way to do that? Talk to high school kids. So that I did. Recently I’ve been working with a local high school volleyball team working on their team communication (and my own.) These girls are coming into high school with so much more talent than many of us did at their age, growing up in a small community before club teams were prevalent.

It was baffling to me that these young, beautifully talented girls were lacking confidence. In my first talk with them, I asked, “When do you feel the least confidence?” To my amazement, a girl answered (Put a period or exclamation point here.  {Whew, they were sweet enough to humor me and not leave me hanging in silence.} What the beautiful, tall, blonde girl said shocked me. She isn’t confident when she steps on the court because she “isn’t that good at volleyball.” I should check the video taken during that talk because, from my view standing in front of the group of girls, they all turned their heads towards her in shock.

BOOSTING CONFIDENCE

Apparently, it was news to the team she felt this way and did not show it. Ironic. The insecure ones you can usually spot a mile away all hunched over and shoulders shrugged up trying to hide their heads in their neck like they have a turtle shell.

When I received the girls’ feedback from the coach that I had urged them to share, it was clear they were shocked by this girl’s response and that they had never known she felt this way. The team wanted to know more about how to be confident. I had spoken to them about lifting each other up by always cheering each other on which in turn would boost themselves up. My point wasn’t clear evidently.

I so badly want to change this in all females. Why at a certain age do we females lose the ability to stand tall and be bold? Once that is lost, why do we feel the need to shrink down after a criticism or life-changing event? Boys are much less likely to have this issue. They don’t have to think about it, they just do whatever it is that’s needed. We as females tend to over-analyze which robs us of that pure confidence. Women have a tendency to stay in that comfort zone, and it’s a beautiful thing to be comfortable, but you will never grow there. Leaving your comfort zone is quite possibly the best thing you could ever do for yourself.

 

You are enough

You do not need to let someone else or worse, you, tell yourself any different.

I’m not bragging here, what I’m about to share makes me uncomfortable. But every now and again, at a work lunch, after I’ve downed a rather large plate of food and then go for a cupcake to polish things off, someone will say, “how do you stay so skinny and eat like that?” Those comments are paired with a distorted look like they just watched me morph from a tadpole into a frog in a matter of minutes (while I ate). LOL!

Listen, I work out regularly! I’m not going to lie to you my friend, I don’t work out every single day like a machine. I work out regularly. I run, I lift, but I’m not pitching you to be a runner or to buy a workout program. You do you! BUT you have to be comfortable with you. Not turning into someone’s critic because you don’t value the same things and spend your time the way they do makes you or them any less. You, do you – but accept yourself.

Instead of worrying about letting others down, keep a commitment to yourself.

  • Go for that walk you blew off this morning.
  • Head to the gym if you’ve bought the membership already.
  • Look up yoga on YouTube – people you don’t have to go any farther than your phone to get some workout ideas.

Wishing yourself thin doesn’t do it.

 

 

Trust me, if so we’d all be model height and boob sized right? If so I’d have legs like Carrie Underwood and boobs that…well looked more like boobs than pancakes. I, unfortunately, can’t inflate my chest without medical help and I’m too chicken for that option.

TIME FOR ACTION 

But, you bet your fine behind that when I’m dying, literally dying in a pool of sweat during one of Autumn Calabrese’s BeachBody 80 day obsession home workout. I don’t let “Barbara” in {if you missed the previous blog post about naming your inner critic.} I’m thankful my legs “Carried” me through multiple half marathons, races, waddled me through 3 beautiful pregnancies, countless lap sits for my girls when they need to be comforted – I’m channeling my inner Carrie leg strength to push me through the hard stuff to get closer to my personal strength goal. Rather than the jealousy of someone else’s hard work. I know I’ve got the time I’ve got and I’m making the most of it. I’m not quitting the workout or the program because I don’t see the results after 1 workout, 1 week, 1 month, etc.

We need to start loving our bodies (YES EVEN THE IMPERFECTIONS!) Appreciate what you have, any little progress you’ve made. We need to believe in our hearts how strong we are. What we’ve been through and came out better because of it.

That self-love is CONFIDENCE. It isn’t the “cocky ego” that I used to think confidence was. Having enough self-love for YOU in order to give another person a compliment, a smile, that’s confidence. Lean into that girl. Leave the arrogance in the trash and come across as though you authentically care about who you are talking to. Confidence is beauty, and there is enough beauty to go around. Embrace it by taking your share.

 

Lean into uncomfortable moments

I’ve had a realization that we have to get uncomfortable in order to be comfortable in our skin. Realize this makes no sense, yet perfect sense. Confident people aren’t necessarily comfortable being confident. Yes be comfortable in your own skin but the mind….eeeek! Very uncomfy in there most the time, right? By leaning into that uncomfortable zone some pretty amazing things can come of it. “A comfort zone is a great place to be, but nothing ever grows there,” so which would you rather push for? Comfy or growth?

I can think of so many times out in public where I was too shy and uncomfortable to go beyond the smile at someone for fear they wouldn’t remember who I was – or more often, that I couldn’t recall their name! I’m blessed with a terrible memory! Eventually, I began to realize that if I wanted professional growth I needed to take some steps out of my comfort zone and become uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. I basically decided that I am the only one who can define who I am, and how I respond to what happens to me. And that goes the same for you, you can make that same decision too.

EMBRACE YOURSELF

One time, in particular, I was at an Agriculture Brunch for Young Professionals, super profesh business dress, not business casual so I was already uncomfortable in what I was wearing. Sweating like crazy, like I seem to do at a drop of a hat anyways. You can imagine how bad it was here. I met up with two other ladies from the company I work for. We all have husbands that raise hogs, so we sat at the Iowa Pork Producers table. We didn’t play it safe and sit at our companies sponsored table.

As we settled into our seats the CEO of the Iowa Pork Producers sits right next to me. I’ve seen this guy, I should know his name. Ryan, my husband, has served with him on various committees. We all have name tags on for this reason right? Yet I cannot read him to save my life! At this point, I lean into the uncomfortable zone. I smile and introduce myself before I have a chance to feel like an idiot who forgot his name (because I am, I did.) Well, you know what happens when you shake hands right? You can greet with a cheery hello, my name is….. and breeze on by their name to buy you time. LOL!

Of course, he ends up recognizing my last name and immediately, out of 99 flipping Iowa counties remembers that I am married to Ryan and we live in Buchanan County. To be blessed with such a gift! I cannot imagine what I would give to be able to recall information so quickly! The moral of the story, I was able to meet Pat McGonegle, Iowa Pork Producers CEO, that morning and exchange fun stories…and I haven’t forgotten his name since. LOL.

YOUR FUTURE SELF WILL THANK YOU

When we lean into uncomfortable situations great friendships can prosper, career opportunities present themselves and future contacts can be made for something down the line that you don’t even know you need yet. Don’t look at everything as an obstacle, but more like a challenge. Some things happen and they are all out of your control, and they can leave you broken-hearted and torn but life is worth fighting for. Strive for the best, keep your cool, have high standards and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Your future self will thank you for taking the leap of faith!