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Embracing Discomfort: The Catalyst for Unparalleled Professional and Personal Growth

Embrace discomfort. 

I had to touch it because it was funny. Circa 2019 at The Shoppes at Columbus Circle. Manhattan | New York City
Circa 2019 at The Shoppes at Columbus Circle. Manhattan | New York City

This Timehop hits different. It's a reminder of the results that came from stepping outside my comfort zone and stretching myself to do something I said I'd never do.

I had to touch it because it was funny. I'm standing next to Adam, and on the other side of the mall is Eve. Here I was thinking the gold was intended by the artist, only to learn the gold comes from the touch of many people like me, who just HAD TO.

Looking at this photo, I think about enjoying this moment of laughter because embracing discomfort can be mentally and physically taxing, and:

  • Colombian artist Fernando Botero's 12-foot-tall Adam and Eve sculptures that I just had to touch. They're unforgettable.

  • Being offered this assignment on a Thursday night and having to be in Manhattan at 9am Monday morning.

  • How I brought my pumps to work everyday only to leave them in the desk because I walked EVERYWHERE in my New Balances. Walking 13,000 steps a day felt effortless.

  • The cab rides on 3 wheels.

  • That scene from Coming to America with the black trash bags occupying the already narrow New York City sidewalks. That was the normal scene walking back to the hotel after late nights in the office.

  • The pasta with mussels (another thing I said I wouldn't eat) was so good. I can't remember the name of the restaurant but it was a cozy little family owned Italian restaurant with great red wine.

  • The way I'd silent cry on the Monday morning Delta Air Lines flights back to Manhattan knowing I wouldn't cuddle with my family for the next 5 days.

  • I learned and taught myself so much about mergers and acquisitions in a short period of time.

  • Whether I should sell my car because I was questioning the need to have one after adjusting to not having one for months.

  • I've planted my feet on the ground in Times Square. I witnessed the Christmas tree lighting at the Rockefeller Center. I may or may not have been in the same building as a bomb.

  • I paused daily to take in views of Central Park from 30+ floors high. To be up that high and see planes flying at eye level is (1) fascinating and (2) a bit jarring considering.

  • Having 5-star meals after work then going back to my hotel to work some more.

  • The deeper soft skills I developed as I had to quickly build trust and rapport with people I didn't know...AND I needed them to tell me how they did their jobs so I could transfer their roles to another team. Imagine that.

  • The warmth in my belly when the Friday night flight landed knowing my family was only a few steps away outside of baggage claim.

  • More soft skills: just get done what I know needs to be done. I'm not waiting for someone to tell me it needs to be done. I'm not asking what should be done.

  • I had the best salad of my life there and fell in love with hearts of palm.

  • I visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art for the first time. It was an experience and way bigger than I thought it would be.

  • The bittersweet ending to this assignment. After that I was ready to go again.

I walked with no hesitation into something that I knew was going to try me professionally and personally. I popped my collar after that.

What are your thoughts on embracing discomfort? Tell me about your experience in the comments.



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