Getting Uncomfortable

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June 4, 2013 by Caroline Dobbins

I once had a professor tell me “work to be comfortable being uncomfortable”. What a big IMG_2513statement. No one likes to be uncomfortable. Sitting in the middle seat on an airplane for a six-hour flight or sitting in a room where you could cut the tension with a knife; I have yet to meet anyone that LOVES those situations. Why would anyone? 

When I first heard that statement I was twenty years old. I loved my schedule, loved to planned and felt that the world might just cave in if life handed me something other thanwhat was in my plan and I seemed to be getting along just fine. My plans were working out and I was happy.

I’ve always thought I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and gotten to the uncomfortable place, in the pool during a tough set or speaking up in class with an opinion that might not be popular but those are just the smallest of baby steps.  Don’t get my wrong, baby steps help but sometimes you just have to take a leap. I’d like to think that the past 18 months have been a leap outside my comfort zone. Lets recap…

1. Graduate from College

2. Apply for a brand new program that had something to do with Detroit, working and giving back. 

3. Accept an offer to participate in said program… still unsure what I was in for. 

4. Move to Detroit, a city I had spent very little time in, and live on my own for the first time ever. 

5. Experience a crazy 9 months a counting with an amazing program, through the best days and the bad days learning every step of the way.

IMG_2223Woah, that seems like a lot, at least to me it does.  Of course not every day is a leap forward to the land of the unknown but what I see as an accomplishment is that I made the first leap, accepting my position with Challenge Detroit. I know I still have so much more to learn about myself and about life (that doesn’t really stop) but I do know one thing for sure. I am better at being uncomfortable today, at twenty-three, than I was three years ago.

So, enough about me. Everyone has something they aren’t comfortable doing my challenge for you is to identify what the first step is. What is the first thing you need to do to accept that the plan might not work out 100% or take the opportunity that seems high risk but even higher reward. Once you’ve identified it, don’t just call it good, TAKE THE STEP. One foot in front of the other is the only way anyone ever gets anywhere.  If things don’t pan out  the way you thought, the world won’t come crashing down.  As my grandfather used to say to my father and my father now says to me “Never, Never, Never, Give Up.” – Winston Churchill


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