It’s good to feel uncomfortable; it means that you’re learning. Now, not all learning is uncomfortable (some learning is downright enjoyable), but all discomfort can be an opportunity for learning if you choose to see it that way. And I strongly suggest you do.
This logic can be applied to virtually any area of life. In a boring meeting, you learn about ineffective ways of discussing matters with a team. When wearing the wrong shoes for a trek across town, you learn that some heels should be worn for sit-down meals only. You get the idea. It is especially useful to view things this way when beginning a new phase – be it within school, work, or life (e.g. motherhood or retirement). But it is not always easy.
It can be very stressful when a new position causes you to face your own ineptitude. I know this all too well. Between book selections and conference presentations I have had plenty of opportunity to find my skills lacking. But lack of experience is a temporary problem, and it can be the impetus for personal and professional growth. We must embrace the challenges, and push the boundaries of our comfort level. You can’t learn to ride a bike without a few skinned knees.
Besides, the monotony of comfort can be stifling. Imagine yourself in a job where you know everything. There are no problems to solve, no new situations to tackle. It’s all easy, and should be stress-free. But the boredom is causing stress, and it’s killing your productivity. Not such a beautiful dream, is it?
Pushing your limits can be good, and according to David Ogilvy, ”Men die of boredom, psychological conflict, and disease. They do not die of hard work.” Should you decide to take on a new challenge, odds are, you will survive. So take a moment to appreciate the times when your palms sweat or your brain hurts. Fear is never boring, knowledge is never wasted, and satisfaction can be found by overcoming obstacles. These stimulating challenges are what separate you from a lifetime of complacent ennui – so pursue them! Take on new goals, learn new skills, and step out of your comfort zone. Your psyche and your resume will thank you.