COLUMN: Pull up a chair, get uncomfortable

If more people looked at being uncomfortable as a good thing, we could live in a more comfortable place

Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

I met a lady a couple of months ago who said she had written this saying on her wall.  She explained to me it’s a statement about change and making things happen.

At first I didn’t think much of it, but it was the days following that really had me rethink this saying. If we always do what we are comfortable with nothing will ever change, we will never improve and the world will stay the same.

For the past couple of months I have tried to live by these words, and it’s amazing the changes I see in my own life. If I am at the gym and the workout starts to get tough, I just tell myself, “Get comfortable being uncomfortable,” and I can continue through and finish the 50 sit-ups or I run farther than I have before. While at the time it’s tough, the feeling of accomplishment is the best pick-me-up of all.

These words have been a daily part of my life and it seems to be working. My daughter is in love with the Hokey Pokey and when she feels that we should sing and dance on the public street, I repeat the words and just go with it. The excitement on her face is worth more to me than saving myself from some embarrassment.

Getting uncomfortable has helped me let go of grudges, forgive people plus get out in the community and volunteer at events. Before I may have said “no” because it was easier.

I am amazed when I start to think how these words could change the world.

Environmentally, we could all get comfortable being uncomfortable, by wearing a sweater and turning down the heat. Maybe we could be willing to wait 18 hours for our electric cars to charge at home instead of filling up at the pump in a few seconds.  There are some fast charging stations around Greater Victoria such as at Royal Bay Bakery in Colwood. These stations can charge an electric car in four hours.

I guess the other excuse many people have for electric cars is the hefty price tag, myself included.

Maybe I need to get uncomfortable saving up for an electric car or go with the cheapest solution, riding a bike. At this point I have not chosen to do either, but because it sounds good, that may be something next on my list.

When I look at things in my own community that bother me, such as dog poop on the sidewalk, I think the dog owners should “get comfortable being uncomfortable,” and carry a bag of poop around with them. Then I thought that while I don’t have a dog, maybe I could get comfortable picking poop so my daughter and other children don’t step in it.

If I do start carrying a little bag in my pocket to pick up the occasional puppy droppings, it’ll be my way of taking responsibility for helping to make a difference in little things that annoy me. Be the change you want see.

While this is a new slogan for me, others have been doing this a long time. When I look at anyone who has made a significant change in the world, they had to be uncomfortable. People such as Terry Fox, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.  have all been uncomfortable changing the world. But no one will forget what they have done.

Everything great in the world has made someone uncomfortable and maybe if more people looked at being uncomfortable as a good thing, we could live in a more comfortable place.

Charla Huber is a reporter with the Goldstream News Gazette.


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