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Being Comfortable with Uncomfortable

May 6, 2019

On Saturday, January 5, 2019, I woke up with the same energy that I had experienced the previous few days. I was still in that committed stage of following through with my New Year’s resolutions. I was determined that this would be the year that I was actually going to live a healthier lifestyle. On this particular day, I was signed up to attend a group yoga class at my gym. A yoga class…at my gym…5 minutes away…nothing else on the calendar…doesn’t cost a thing… No big deal, right?! I changed into my workout clothes, set my yoga mat by the door, filled my water bottle, and sent a reply to the instructor to confirm that I would be there. How exciting! “New Year, New You!”

Then all of a sudden, my mood changed. Uh oh…here we go again… I started feeling extremely nervous. For whatever reason, group workout classes really intimidate me, and I have no idea why. Once again, I was feeling anxious. I started picturing every possible thing that could go wrong. (This was a Beginner’s Yoga Class by the way, so I’m not really sure what could go that wrong.) I was instantly jealous of my husband who looked so content on the couch with his book and cup of coffee. He wished me luck, and I made some snarky remark back to him as if this was his fault. I laced up my shoes, got in my car, and drove to the gym with complete regret that I was doing this. When I arrived, there were so many cars in the parking lot that I couldn’t even find an open parking spot.

My first reaction was panic, as I realized how many people were at the gym that morning. Then a sense of relief came over me. Whew! Now I had an excuse not to go to class. I mean, I needed a place to park my car, right? I turned around and drove away with even stepping foot into the gym. In five short minutes, I made it back to the comfort of my own home...

As I write this, I’m laughing as I remember what transpired that morning. It’s hard for me to admit my silly insecurity, but it helps to make light of it. I’m also feeling really embarrassed to share with you that something like this was so intimidating to me. I couldn’t even make it to a Beginner’s Yoga Class and was so relieved to have an excuse not to go. Lastly, I’m feeling disappointment. Ouch. It hurts to even write that word. Disappointment. I would like to think that I’m better than that as I consider myself to be an achiever.

Here’s my question to you: What is your insecurity, and what excuses are you making to avoid dealing with it? Have you always wanted to Crash the Convention, but you are nervous about being away from home for three days? Do you want to go to a Roundtable or Workshop, but you avoid being in a room with people you don’t know? Or do you have a passion for advocacy, but you feel intimidated by meeting with your legislator? 

Whatever your fear may be, I can assure you that it’s normal, and I encourage you to follow through with stepping outside of what feels comfortable. What I haven’t shared with you yet is that this past year has been full of “uncomfortables” for me. I applied, interviewed, and accepted this Member Services Consultant position at ICUL, which took a lot of courage for me as it was something new. I led a team of 15 Crashers at Convention for the first time, and I stood up on a stage in front of hundreds of people to introduce them. I have sat by strangers at events and lunches so that I could network and meet others in the industry. I attended the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) for the first time and packed my schedule so that I could learn everything possible. Every single one of those things was outside of my comfort zone. So, while I’m feeling disappointment about not going to a Beginner’s Yoga Class at my gym, I know that I am capable of trying new things and following through with my goals. And that makes me proud. 

What can you do to step outside of your comfort zone today, this week, this month, or this year? Challenge yourself to try something new because it really is rewarding. And when you do, please let me know. I’ll be your biggest cheerleader, and I’ll even send you a picture of myself in that group yoga class. Next time, the parking lot won’t be too full.

Jodi Allen

Jodi Allen is a Member Services Manager for the Iowa Credit Union League. Jodi leads the ICUL's emerging leaders initiatives and activities, and supports credit union employee development. 

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