This time of year is ripe for the baby birds (fledglings) to leave the safety of their nest and under the watchful eye of their parents, they venture out into the world and start to examine their surroundings. They move from the comfort of their home nest to the discomfort of the outside world.
The fledglings often look completely helpless. I have been worried about many an adolescent bird that is walking around the garden, fluttering its wings and trying to get itself up to a higher level, only to fall back down to the ground.
Last week I watched a grackle fledgling fluttering around in my yard. It was valiantly trying to fly itself upwards on the rungs of a trellis I have in the garden. It hopped and fluttered up four rungs only to fall back to the ground while attempting to get to the top of the trellis.
Mama bird was sitting on the fence right above her baby – chirping and encouraging it along.
The little dude was back on the ground flapping around but somehow managed to get airborne – a few feet off the ground and flew directly towards the house.
I was worried that it was going to bounce off the sliding door, as birds will do when they see reflections, but this one managed to get onto the screen door and was clinging to it for dear life (or maybe that is my interpretation, but it seemed pretty clear to me that this wee bird was exhausted and was not sure what the heck to do next).
I played out what would happen next – it would fall to the ground and land on the deck, which might not be as soft a landing as the dirt in my garden.
But it fooled me.
As I watched this little bird suddenly took to the air and flew with the expertise of one that has been flying forever over the fence and across two yards until landing in a tree.
It was extraordinary and I felt proud of this little bird for all it had accomplished!
So why am I telling you this?
This bird taught me something. When I am trying to do something new, I am also flapping around on the ground – feeling unsure of myself. At times it feels like I am endlessly flapping away and never moving forward or gaining any ground for myself.
It is like this for everyone. When we are learning something new, we are not good at it. That is just life. The trick to becoming good at something is to keep trying at it and to not give up.
But oftentimes, we do just that. We throw in the towel and we give up because it is too hard.
These days we seek instant gratification and this is ever present with the advent of social media and the endless updates that are curated to perfection, providing falsehoods of lives that are positive, easy and filtered to only show their goodness.
We want to be great at doing something new right from the get-go and we don’t want to undergo the pain and frustration of the learning process.
I know that for myself, the learning process feels deep, steep and uncomfortable. I have given up on things more times than I can tell you because it just felt too hard to keep going. I have not even tried to do something new because I don’t want to look or feel foolish (that old worry of what people will be thinking if they see me flapping around on the ground raises its ugly head and can be enough to put me “back in my place”).
But here is what I know and what I want you to know.
When we continue to try and experiment with something new – when we allow ourselves to push through the discomfort or, better yet, get comfortable with being uncomfortable – we learn to fly. We go from flapping around like a baby bird to suddenly soaring and the wind is beneath our wings.
The question is how do we get more comfortable with being in the discomfort? How do we not give up on ourselves and what we want to achieve because it feels hard?
All I can tell you there is that there is no easy way to do this.
Being uncomfortable feels hard. But, in order to grow and develop ourselves and to create what we want to create and put it out into the world we need to feel uncomfortable.
Being uncomfortable means you are growing.
Yes, it feels “better” to stop doing what you are doing at the moment, but there will be the niggling voice that wonders what life would be like if you were doing the thing that makes you uncomfortable and what life would look like for you if you mastered it.
It is the “What if?” questions that come up that make what feels hard harder for us.
What if you did not do that uncomfortable thing? What would life look like for you? Probably exactly what it looks like now. And you may want more for yourself than the status quo which is why you contemplated doing the hard thing in the first place.
But what if you did do that uncomfortable thing? What is on the other side of the discomfort? What if you took a chance on yourself and you felt the discomfort and you Did it Anyway? Maybe you would feel proud of yourself and feel like you have grown and moved your life forward in some positive way and that would be worth the feeling of discomfort wouldn’t it?
Like the fledgling – it takes baby steps and flutters forward. It starts with one flutter and then that leads to another flap of the wings and another and another following this pattern of doing until one day it is soaring – its life remarkably different from the time it spent flapping around on the ground.
Start with one small step towards what you want for yourself. What is that one step and can you just try to take that one and then see what the next one is and take that too? Moving forward, feeling uncomfortable but knowing that each step forward is leading you to a whole new experience for you.
By doing this, you will become more comfortable with the feeling of discomfort and being uncomfortable will soon become a signal to you that you are on to something amazing that can change your life for the better and you will embrace that feeling and go for it!
Pretty soon, you will be flying too and the discomfort you felt will be a thing in the past.
How have you dealt with the challenge of discomfort and done it anyway? I’d love to hear how you did it in the comments below.
If you want to gain some insight on how you can learn to manage your own discomfort, especially with all the changes that come for women over 40, hit me up for a complimentary Mini-Session and get ready to learn how to embrace this phase of life. You can learn more about the Mini-Session by CLICKING HERE.