How to Transform Discomfort to Strength

“Even though February was the shortest month of the year, sometimes it seemed like the longest.” ― J.D. Robb

Well. It's February.

Each February, I find myself giving myself a pep talk about how Februaries aren't all that bad, really.

C'mon, I tell myself. It's not that bad. A little cold, sure, which has gotten quite old by this point. But it's a short month, and soon March will be here, and that will mean that it's practically spring.

And yet it kind of does feel that bad. Overly long, inspire of its dearth of days, dreary, and not all too warm (here in Montana, anyway). I'm ready for the sun warming my bared shoulders, for sandals and tank tops without any jackets, for naked feet pressing into the earth.


it's not that time of year for us [yet].

So I'm trying really hard to practice being in the here and now, no matter how much I may dislike it or long for spring or feel uncomfortable. (Doesn't putting it like that make such an endeavor seem so much easier than it actually is? In reality, this kind of works makes me feel like a rookie in the big leagues.)

But I've been having lots of opportunities for pressing into the uncomfortable. One of the biggest of which is my reason for being mostly absent online in the past couple of months -- I've been working on becoming a certified OULA (sassy dance fitness for body, mind, and soul) teacher. And now I am one! I just learned this weekend that I passed my audition and that I'm in. What a relief and a joy!

And what a journey. A good one, but not one without discomfort. First there was attending the training weekend (on no sleep, might I add, thanks to a puking toddler), and then teaching my first song there. Then I taught my first song in a real class, and then a few songs, and then a whole class all by myself. And even now that I'm certified, there are new challenges ahead -- getting insured, applying to be a sub at gyms, and bringing in students so I don't find myself in the red with space rentals, to name a few.

I take in a lot (a lot) of articles/podcasts/videos/blog posts on being an online entrepreneur, and read a lot of inspiring success stories. But something that I feel too many of these stories gloss over is the discomfort involved -- the discomfort of trying, of failing, and even of succeeding.

Every positive opportunity comes with its shadow side of discomfort, of nervousness, maybe even of fear and anxiety. This is true for me, and I'm guessing I'm not the only one. So if you've been dismayed or surprised by the difficulties that come with even the good things in your life, you're not alone.

Press into the discomfort, don't walk away from the good in order to avoid the discomfort. By sticking with it, by facing at what's hard while celebrating what's great, you will eventually transmute that uncomfortable aspect into strength.

What kind of strength? It depends on what the opportunity in question is. For me, in pressing forward through my OULA training instead of fleeing when it got hard or [really damn] scary, I gained courage to perform in front of an audience. I discovered that it's not too late for me to be a dancer. And -- perhaps best of all -- I've regained a great deal of vocal power by pressing into the challenge of singing, shouting, and generally making a ruckus while teaching a class.

So if you're walking through a door into a spacious new opportunity only to be knocked sideways by an unexpected challenge, discomfort, or difficulty, stop and take a breath, then look that sucker in the eye. What strength or gain is standing beyond it, just for you? Is it worth it to press through that mucky part to stand in the sun? If so, keep going. Endure. Screw up your courage. Be gentle with yourself. And most importantly, do that hard-but-leading-to-awesomeness thing. I don't think you'll regret it.

p.s. If you need a little support, perhaps my mini e-course, Your Fearless Year 2016, might be of some help? Get it for just $10 USD with discount code BEFEARLESS16.