Alissa riding a bike on a beach.

Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

inspiration Feb 04, 2019

I wasn’t a star student in college. I wasn’t terrible, but I certainly wasn’t making the Dean’s List or even putting my GPA on my resume.

I went to school for Retail Merchandising at University of Wisconsin, Stout. Nearing graduation, I felt like a total weirdo because while most of the Retail students around me were applying for jobs at the Midwest corporate retailers around us (Target, Best Buy, ShopKo, Kohl’s), I wasn’t doing that! Like I mentioned, I wasn’t top of my class. I never did a corporate internship. The one internship I tried to get was with Target and I failed miserably in the interview.

So, why wasn’t I applying for these jobs? Honestly, I probably didn’t feel like I could get them. Mostly, though, I was itching to get out of the Midwest. I felt this pull inside of me that following the “normal” path wasn’t going to work for me. I just didn’t know what my path was going to be. At all.

A fortune I got at Panda Express while working for Nordstrom! Good things came shortly after.

Without any solid post-graduation plans, I still needed a job. I swallowed my pride and got a job at Nordstrom as a sales associate. A job I could’ve certainly gotten without my college degree. It was a great job, I gotta say. Having a discount at Nordstrom is dangerous. So I worked there for a little over a month while applying for other jobs and internships all over the country, when one day I got a phone call from a retail company in California that I’d forgotten I’d even applied for. I got the internship; I moved to California, the rest is history. I’ve built a career and a life here that I love so much. It’s taught me bravery and the beauty of taking chances.

Had I just gone with what I thought was expected of me, this wouldn’t have happened. Though my resume was a little underwhelming, I could’ve eventually found a full time corporate position in Minnesota and done what most people around me were doing. Honestly, it looked nice! I wanted to want that, but I just had this urge in my heart that I needed something different.

Have you felt that sort of urging before?

It can be about anything. A relationship; a new business; a healthier lifestyle. You feel overcome with this need to follow the urge but it’s scary because it’s uncomfortable and uncertain. And it may be challenging. You don’t know for sure how it’ll turn out and that can be terrifying. That’s where most of us turn around and are like, “it’s ok, I’ll just stick to what I know!”

I know because I’ve totally done that most of my life. I didn’t go after the internships in college because I wasn’t sure of my abilities. I didn’t sign up for the drawing classes I wanted to take because I was afraid of people judging me. I stayed in relationships that weren’t right for me because the certainty of having that person was more comfortable than the unknown of being alone.

I’m not sure what happened after I graduated college, but it’s like I got sick of my own BS. I wasn’t happy, certainly wasn’t confident, and my anxiety was rampant. I decided to just start listening to my intuition and take a dang chance for once.

In taking the chance to forego the expected career path and having things work out beautifully, it gave me the confidence to keep taking chances when my heart gets that urge. And here I am, following that urge again by starting my blog. I have no idea how many people will read it and I’ve had a vulnerability hangover ever since putting myself out there. But I also know that I’ve been feeling a pull to do this and since the day I committed to starting a blog, I’ve felt a lightness in my heart and extra energy in my body– the  only confirmation I need that I should keep doing what gives me this feeling.

Sometimes taking a chance turns into the best thing that could’ve ever happened, other times it brings pain and heartache. Either way, it 100% beats that feeling of sitting on the sidelines wondering “what if”, or convincing myself I want something that I don’t.

I also want to note that there’s nothing wrong with being comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with taking the “usual” path. I’m super vanilla compared to other people I know! My point is that I’m trying to be true to myself and stay aligned with what feels right for me. My urging is that if you feel a stirring inside of you pushing you in a certain direction, it pays off to listen. It might be hard but it’s probably going to be worth it.

“Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons”. – Jim Rohn

Can you relate? Have you had times where you didn’t listen and you wished you would have?

With love,