The other day I was having a meeting with a group of people about helping shape conversations and the culture of our small town into something very positive as words create worlds. And gossip creates suspicions, and suspicions create distrust. But deeper than that, this group of people help shape and create our world in our small town, and it was a group of people that I knew may disagree with what I had to say, the perspective and thought process I was prepared to give, the questions I was going to ask. But in knowing the conversation may be uncomfortable, I had to lay that groundwork, to prepare them for the discomfort, all while knowing I was a bit uncomfortable myself.
In Nels version 1.0, I was reluctant and even avoided the discomfort of situations like this. This occurred for several reasons – 1. They take purposeful intention. 2. They take energy when at the end of the day, our “tanks are on empty”. And we have procrastinated avoided the conversation, it’s the end of the day, and we just want to go home. 3. I didn’t have the wisdom and hadn’t studied conflict enough to have a meaningful, productive conversation.
Fast forward 15 years, and I have had three very uncomfortable conversations in the last 10 days. It has been over the last 15 years in which I figured out that pain and discomfort are the prices of admission to a meaningful life. And we must be open to discomfort. We must embrace discomfort and pain to generate progress, change, and meaningful life.
For me in the most recent conversation of discomfort, I was having it, because over the last few years I have seen people work to create great destruction through words and actions in our town and create little to no activity of construction and positive growth. As I would read and listen to the destruction, I used to get very agitated, even angry, but I was now at the point, that my heart just hurt, as I told the group. It hurt for those people in our community that wake up as negative souls with a cup that is not only half-empty, for many, it has never had a drop. The only drop they may have had is one of pessimism, suspicion, and the world is against them with a double shot of espresso.
With my heart in my hand, I was having a conversation looking to create change by asking people to look at the world through a different lens with me and help shape a better world in our little community. And we must be willing to show up to the journal of our heart and move forward. We must notice the discomfort, and bring the best yourself to engage the best yourself and your best creativity. We must be agile, be ready to pivot, stand on our core values, and stand on the shoulders of giants before us. We may be scared of the pain, discomfort, or the conversation, but have courage. Your greatest accomplishments will not come without great pain, and the courage to withstand the heart wrenching pain. The best version of you will not come to the surface without gladiators like courage to take on the battles you need to fight and the war you need to win. Courage is not an absence of fear and discomfort, but courage is fear and discomfort walking!