We have all experienced that feeling of nervous anticipation when you are bumbling, stumbling, and tumbling on the edge of something good, trying to find your way to the other side. Listening to that feeling will change your life. That feeling, which arises deep inside, tells you when you’re embarking upon a life change or new challenge. Your stomach flips and feels like it’s going to burst through your skin. Your mind argues with itself on the correct action to take. Did you make the wrong decision? Have you screwed up? What made you think you could do this?
This feeling can gnaw at you for days, or months, and give you a sinking sensation that just leave. You are not experiencing pain, but the realization that something is off, coupled with a sense of vulnerability and slight timidness at trying something new. After all, you could screw up and look like an absolute idiot. Or, you could succeed and look like a genius. Until that gets sorted out, though, the tension between the two is almost unbearable.
The acceptance of chaos and things which are both fuzzy and outside your control requires mental stamina. You will try to convince yourself to give up. You will fear the unknown, and worry that you have misjudged your situation or made a poor decision. But do not give in. This feeling of unease means you are just starting to get things right. This feeling serves as a guide to let you know that the path you are on is the right path.
Nothing worth having is easy, and everything of value requires hard work to get and keep. That feeling of slight discomfort, which tells you only that you are straying from your usual actions, can be so powerful that you will shun action in exchange for the mediocrity of a comfortable life. If you desire something more for yourself, and also know you deserve more, than get comfortable right now with being uncomfortable.
If you are not pushing yourself to the point of discomfort than you are not living up to who you can be as a man or woman. We get scared of pinch points, mistakenly believing that if it hurts it’s bad. While that advice served us well as children, that thinking is horrible for adults. In addition to pain meaning bad, pain can also mean that something is worth it.
I assure you I am not a masochist, and you definitely won’t hear me tell you to charge towards every obstacle you can see just because the obstacle is the way. Discomfort, however; has a way of tempering us and making us better than we thought we could be. Sometimes, the path to success requires only that you do not give up.
While this appears simple, finding the power to stay when you want to walk away might be one of the most difficult tests you face. We live in a world of unparalleled privilege, and having access to what we want when we want it means that we don’t often go without. We are a resource spending culture conditioned to receive what we want.
Enduring that feeling of apprehension requires banking satisfaction for later. In fact, that scenario can be downright scary. You are deciding to believe that tomorrow is going to be better than today, and trust your judgment in the situation. Who can honestly say they haven’t looked at tomorrow as a blight instead of a gift now and again? Who can say that they have never encountered a time when their self-trust was diminished?
And yet, when we are uncertain is when we most need to trust our judgment and believe that only we know what is best for ourselves. In that moment when we want to stray we must stay the course because we are close to something really good.
Stay and you will outgrow yourself, finding a reality which may or may not be as expected. But, one thing is certain. Your new reality certainly isn’t as scary as you thought it would be. Maybe one day you will even learn to enjoy the nervous anticipation of charging towards an unknown, and see opportunity as a chance to up your game.