For day 15, I applied to teach a workshop on discomfort at Next Door.
Applying to Teach at Next Door
Next Door is a community space and cafe sponsored by State Farm where you can get free financial coaching. But, what I love about Next Door is the free classes offered by community members.
Anyone can teach a class. And I’ve always wanted to, but never felt ready.
Normally, I would plan each answer to an application like this meticulously. Instead, I jumped in and answered off the top of my head.
Many big discomforts take a while to come to fruition. I’m only applying to give a talk. I’m not yet experiencing all the discomforts: the public speaking, putting together content, possible getting rejected from speaking.
But in and of itself, filling out the application is uncomfortable. Because I know it’s the first small step in a series of events that are uncomfortable.
Why Committing is So Uncomfortable
The first small step is hard because it says, “I’m taking on something bigger.” It’s the step of committing. It’s full of unknowns, and unknowns are uncomfortable. Especially when the unknowns are intertwined with our self-worth.
Will I fail?
Can I handle the pressure?
Am I good enough?
Without testing our capabilities, we have the luxury of ignorance. Maybe I would be great? If I never try, I can still maybe be great.
But commitment exposes you. Committing to a project means agreeing to provide evidence of who you are. That’s scary. It feels like we could lose that “maybe” if we fail.
By applying to teach this workshop, I’m committing to step out of my comfort zone even further and test my abilities.
Honoring Micro Discomforts
Throughout my discomfort challenges, I’ve started to recognize the weight behind small discomforts. Small tasks burden us more than we care to accept. But we should fully acknowledging the obstacles that these small tasks bring.
If we downplay the severity and meaning behind a discomfort, it creates a dissonance between how we think we should feel and how we actually feel about a task. This in turn means we don’t give ourselves the mental and emotional energy needed to attack the task.
And so we procrastinate and we don’t know why.
Instead of thinking, “It’s no big deal, just do it,” I’ve found that by honoring how a small task is big deal to me, I can push forward with the effort needed.
How do we gain strength? By pushing through our weakness so we can grow. Not by denying that we have weaknesses.
So yes, I’m weak. On some level, I attach my self-worth to my output. I’m afraid of embarrassment. I’m afraid of many things.
Whatever to all of it.
It’s all true and I don’t have to feel bad about it. I just have to recognize my weaknesses so I can take appropriate action to challenge them.
The micro step of applying to teach this workshop carries a lot of significance.
I feel resistance to applying because I’m not ready. It would be comfortable if I knew exactly what I was going to teach. I want certainty. I want to know. That’s comfort.
Instead I’m committing to stepping into the unknown. Apply now, figure it out later. That’s messy and uncomfortable.
Join The Challenge
For more information on the challenge, see the 30DaysOfDiscomfort challenge page.
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Share your experiences on twitter with the hashtag #30DaysOfDiscomfort