Choose Courage Over Comfort
Iswari Natarajan

 

I experience a deep sense of discomfort when the following words appear on my computer screen: “An update is now available for your Mac.” My default response is to click on “Remind me later,” and quickly move on. It is the same feeling I get when I try something new, or when I take a risk, or when I step outside of my comfort zone. It is also in these very moments when I make the conscious decision of choosing courage over comfort that I find myself growing the most.

In the words of Brene Brown, “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them. Today, I will choose courage over comfort.”  She is a researcher, storyteller, teacher, and author. As my students would say -- Brene Brown is my Spirit Animal! As we navigate this new academic year together, here are a few things I would like to share with my students that I have learned from her:

  • Enter the arena, and brave the hot mess: Fear of the unknown often stands between us and our big dreams. When we choose to enter the arena, to rumble with failure, to place one foot in front of the other, to brave the hot mess, that’s when we grow. It is what gets us where we want to go. Have the courage to show up. Always.
  • Choose to belong over fitting-in: Fitting in is about how others perceive us, and what they think of our actions. True belonging is when we are true to ourselves, and when we are real and authentic. Choose to belong instead of fitting in.
  • Lean into the discomfort: The unsettling feeling we experience when we step out of our comfort zone is natural. If we train our brains that this is how it feels when growth happens, and lean into the discomfort, amazing things can happen! You will love the updated version of yourself.

It is time to recalibrate; it is time to choose courage over comfort; it is time for the default response to be to click on  “Update Now.”