I have a quote calendar that was a gift at work, and this is one of the pages I pulled out to hang up at my desk. In a way, it’s been the mantra of my life this past year brought on by a courageous leap out of a job I had for ten years into all new territory. And this past year, as I’ve embraced growth, I have come to fully understand that it really is uncomfortable–and that’s okay.
It’s uncomfortable to step out of your routine and to let go of a vision you thought would carry you through the rest of your life. It’s uncomfortable to start over and have to make new friends. It’s hard to see your old friends less and to feel like you’re missing out on their daily adventures and lives.
It’s hard to learn new skills, a new way of thinking, and a new routine. It’s hard to shove down self-doubt and to climb out of the box you didn’t even realize you put yourself in. It’s hard to believe in yourself enough to take the leap.
Still, almost a year into this growth journey, I’ve gotten comfortable with being uncomfortable. I’ve come to understand that life opens up tenfold when you shred that box, when you shove the routine aside, and when you have the courage to stay open to whatever new thing is coming your way. I’ve embraced the fear that comes along with making a change.
That ability to step outside of my comfort zone has transformed into all aspects of my life. I no longer am afraid of what people are thinking when I walk into a room or when I wear an outfit I’m not sure others would like. I got my first tattoo, something I NEVER thought I would brave up and do.
The thing is, once you choose growth over comfort, you gain confidence in yourself you didn’t know you had. You realize that it doesn’t matter so much what your routine is, where you work, where you go, or even so much what you do. What matters is who you are at the core–and once you unlock that, you realize the rest is all just accessorizing your life. When you appreciate who you are at the deepest level, you understand that you really can do whatever you want to do–the sky isn’t even the limit. It’s just the beginning.
So take the leap. Close your eyes if you have to and just jump. Move to that new location. Take the job that you feel underqualified for. Join that new class. Adopt the dog. Travel the world if you want to or move from the country to the city. Paint the picture. Write the script. Run the marathon or go back to school or start the non-profit. Take the risk. Take the leap. Choose growth.
Because what’s scarier than being uncomfortable or afraid as you grow? Staying exactly where you are for the rest of your days and realizing you haven’t tried out living at all.
USA TODAY Bestselling Thriller author with Avon Books (HarperCollins), The Widow Next Door, The Diary of a Serial Killer's Daughter, and other creepy thriller books