Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

By: Starr McGee, KMCH General Manager & Student

A friend once said to me, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

I had been training for my Yellow Belt test: taking multiple classes several times a week, meeting people in my spare time to work on technique, and running in the mornings to build my endurance.  I was exhausted! On one of my morning runs, I just… stopped running. I stopped moving my feet and just stood there. I was over it. I looked around, took my earbuds out and said, “this is stupid, I’m done.”

I had decided to halt all things related to Krav. When I got home, I spoke with a friend about my morning and how I was feeling. He did the good-friend-thing and listened.

Then, he responded candidly. “You need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable”.

I have always maintained a regular routine of something physical: mainly running.  I ran an easy five miles, four to five times a week and the occasional ten-miler or a half marathon with some friends.  I was really feeling myself one year and ran the New York Marathon. Of course, this meant that I could now conquer all things in life.

This, however, was different. I had entered unfamiliar territory and I was uncomfortable. I was forcing myself to go beyond my level of comfort; physically, mentally and emotionally, and I DID NOT LIKE IT!  It didn’t feel good and I didn’t want to do it anymore. In that moment, I wasn’t in the mood to hear those words come from my friend. But, I knew that he was right, and that it was exactly what I needed to hear.

So, how did I get comfortable with being uncomfortable?  I had to start with identifying why I felt uncomfortable.  It was fear of the unknown, which quickly turned into self-doubt.  How long is this test? Can I do this for that long? What if my technique falls to sh*t? And why is everyone in my testing group half my age?

Once I figured out the culprit, I made a decision to push beyond that discomfort to get to the next level.  I allowed myself to embrace those feelings, instead of pushing them away. I accepted the physical challenge that my body was going through.  It was still outside of anything that I was accustomed to, but I was better prepared to take on this new challenge. The commitment and focus that I had on my endgame made everything else irrelevant.

Passing my first Krav Maga test was rewarding in ways that I hadn’t expected.  It changed the way that I view any challenge that presents itself to me.  When I find myself in a situation that might be uncomfortable, I look at it as an opportunity for growth and I run towards it instead of away.

I get it, your comfort zone can be a beautiful place, but we all know that nothing ever grows there.

Rachel Parker