There is infinite potential in each and every one of us, a higher self we aspire towards. That higher self has always existed within us, but life experiences and conditioning cause us to lose sight of it. They create limiting beliefs, self doubt, repressed emotions, and convince us we need to be someone other than who we truly are.
These layers of external influence that we pile on become our body armor, which we wear out of fear of getting hurt. We no longer fully show up, hiding who we truly are in order to shield ourselves from any additional emotional pain. We hold on tightly to our comfort zone, afraid of exposing ourselves should we venture out.
What we often fail to realize is that comfort and routine can dull our experiences as we tune out what is going on inside. Being comfortable with discomfort (when there is a clear benefit) brings with it opportunity: to pay attention, learn, grow. Fear lives where discomfort happens. I read that temporary discomfort increases our long-term comfort zone; the more we experience the more comfortable we become as and when situations arise. It teaches us to face our fears and embrace imperfection.
In the depths of struggle, sometimes the answer lies just that little bit past the point where we want to give up. Often we throw in the towel right before the possibility of something great. Discomfort is a proxy to progress. We become so focussed on the goal that we lose sight of the journey – and no worthwhile journey is easy.
Whether we like it or not, we all have to go through the uncomfortable journey of self exploration with equal parts accountability and forgiveness for the damage we’ve caused ourselves along the way. We cannot achieve what we want by simply remaining where we are. We don’t avoid the punches, but rather we heal the wounds and allow our scars to be a reminder that no matter what, we kept showing up. We showed up even when it was hard. We showed up like we were meant to be there. And we never gave up.