In the pursuit of security and certainty, most will compromise on the potential for untold success and forego their own capacity to build a future that would eclipse their wildest dreams. All in the name of comfort.Juan
As someone who now lives in a foreign country, left the “safety and stability” of a 9to5, and has ventured into entrepreneurship more than once, I can confidently say that comfort has been a state I have scarcely embodied. In fact, I can’t even recall a moment I have felt in need of some comfort.
I learned early on to swim gracefully in turbulent waters and thrive in uncertain environments. As a result, I became pretty resilient to stagnation and the status quo; Making the best out of every new challenge.
And yet, lately, I have felt a strong urge to go back into comfort’s welcoming embrace and conform myself to its peaceful boundaries.
I’m in Need of Some Comfort
Now, don’t judge me. It has been a heck of a year for me. Indeed, it has been a heck of a year for all of us.
Between the ever-changing restrictions, exceptional financial burdens, diminishing opportunities, and lack of social interactions, we all deserve at the very least a medal of participation for just holding on to our sanity.
So, hopefully, you have been giving yourself a bit of a break, dialed down your plans, and, like me, have looked for a safe source of comfort and stability to cope with this new reality.
At least, I hope you have.
Comfort and My Finances
Now, to be specific, for me, the most significant source of discomfort has been our finances.
As you might know, being an entrepreneur means that, for the most part, you live beyond the safety net. Paychecks are usually meager and not guaranteed, and, as a result, making ends meet is more of an exercise of creativity and prudence than anything else.
Luckily, I have been fortunate enough to be taught financial responsibility and accountability early on in life. This education prepared me for the enormous burden of taking a significant hit on my income in exchange for the freedom to invest my time in the venture of business making.
Certainly, a considerable privilege I will always be grateful to be able to afford.
How I Developed Resilience to Discomfort
So, how did I develop resilience to discomfort and learn how to be at peace in turbulent waters?
Well, I swam. Often.
You have probably heard axioms like these before. Be it on a viral tweet from a proliferous account, a creative Instagram reel from an influencer, or maybe your dad when you were hesitating to jump in the pool, we hear these things many times throughout our lives.
Yet, when I heard it, I took it to heart.
Of course, many other factors influenced my propensity to leap. I was often in situations where no other choice was available. But, it doesn’t take the merit away from the conviction to leap.
Additionally, I made sure to keep myself around people who were on a similar journey themselves.
We are, after all, social creatures. We like to be liked. We thrive on being the center of attention. But, most importantly, we want to be equals, or above, our peers.
This behavior usually turns us into self-centered pricks and is probably why I was not invited to many parties. But, in the right setting and with the right people, it can become the source of synergy that keeps you consistent and energized to keep up with anything.
To be honest, this is probably the one reason I was able to finish my degree and graduate while having a full-time job and the responsibility of parenting at home.
Comfort and Entertainment
Finally, make sure that you are feeding your mind and soul the best nutrients that you can find.
There is so much content and resources out there, and it is very easy to just end up in a comforting spiral of mindless entertainment and cat videos —nothing wrong with that now and then.
But keep your content diet as lean as you would keep your actual diet if you were planning on competing in a bodybuilding contest; Especially if you are in the initial stages of figuring out what you want to do and what you can offer.
Entertainment is one of the comfort sources that I, and probably most of you, can’t really live without. Turning down my brain and disconnecting from my problems is just so enticing and soothing.
However, every time I stare at the endless pit of entertainment, it hypnotizes me and robs me of my precious time. Moreover, every time I do it, I’m more likely to repeat my behavior and fail myself again.
So, don’t reinforce that behavior. Instead, go outside for a run.
As I have mentioned before, running and any other form of exercising really is a great way to build comfort in discomfort. Putting myself regularly in a position where I have to face the discomfort rewired my brain to expect it. So I seek the challenge. And when it’s not there, my brain lets me know that something is off.
Needless to say, dealing with the stress of lurking in the depths of the unknown and paving a path where very few go can break even the best of us. What’s more, considering the increased load of responsibility that entails taking a leading role, it is not unusual that entrepreneurs are rarely in a state of comfort; And if they are, that is usually a concerning sign.
The experience of entrepreneurship and living in the unknown has proven invaluable in helping us endure the circumstances we currently live in. However, there are times when the feeling of exhaustion suffocates me, and the uncertainty of the future becomes unbearable; And it is in those moments that I feel compelled to return to a place of comfort.
So why the crash course on the perils of entrepreneurship, discomfort, and running, you might ask? Well, I think entrepreneurship actually serves as a great model to illustrate the tradeoffs of comfort. All while giving you a little glimpse of what is going through my head at the moment.
These past few weeks have been some of the most difficult of the year, and there’s no sign of things improving anytime soon. For a year that was supposed to be the break we all needed, 2021 has been quite the test on our comfort.
Nevertheless, we are hopeful for things to come.