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A to Gen Z with Ayo Lawal: Courage Over Comfort.

“Failure can become our most powerful path to learning if we’re willing to choose courage over comfort”

Brené Brown.

What a year 2022 was! I know… why am I still talking about 2022? I mean, old things are passed away, and all things have become new. Anyway, in the newness of 2023, I have decided to trade in all my comfort for courage. And I think you should too!

As human beings, we are all comfort seekers. Yes, we like to challenge ourselves now and then and enjoy experiencing something new, but in reality, our brains are wired to seek comfort – to take the easy path and not rock the boat – because it is safer. Overcoming our comfort-seeking orientation requires courage and guts. Courage is different from fearlessness. With courage, we still experience fear, dread, or concern. The only difference is that with it comes the inner strength to overcome our fear so we can take needed action or engage in a necessary confrontation or action. Doing it, but doing it afraid. 

It is easy to stay in our comfort zone. However, it is only when we get out of our comfort zone, embrace vulnerability, and find the courage to do difficult things and face inevitable fights that we can truly maximize our potential.

Honestly, when I look back at my life, I have definitely experienced success – some I didn’t even expect. But looking back, I also know I have been stuck in my comfort zone. Doing things that, in fact, take courage but not exactly stretching the extent of my comfort. I’m aware of this, and I believe if you search within yourself, you are also aware of your shortcomings. You’re aware of things you want to do, but fear is holding you back; careers you want to explore that are outside of your comfort zone, so you’d rather not try. It’s hard, but life happens outside your comfort time.

Everything – EVERY SINGLE THING – we ever wanted in life is outside our comfort zone.

Here’s the thing: your fear will always want you to stay exactly where you are, doing exactly what you’ve always done. ALWAYS! But if we do that, if we follow our fear instead of our heart, we’ll continue to get what we’ve always gotten, and we’ll continue to experience the same old results we’ve always experienced before.

The only way to experience something different (maybe to find a soulmate, achieve a brand new goal, or take a new path in life) is to feel the discomfort that fear brings and then choose to take action anyway.

Even if the fear is still bubbling in your belly, even if you are scared and want nothing more than to curl up in a ball and hide away from the world, everything you desire requires you to feel the discomfort and then put one foot in front of the other, even while the discomfort might still be raging and swirling inside you.

More likely, though, simply sharing your difficulty will help you. The fear that often holds us back increases when we keep it to ourselves or try to ignore or bury it. When we share it with others, fear diminishes, and a sense of relief makes taking action more possible. “Failure can become our most powerful path to learning if we’re willing to choose courage over comfort” – Brené Brown.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change”

– Brené Brown.

To rewire yourself for a more courageous style of life, you must first learn to manage your fear and turn it into courage.

It’s not just courage that we need to become the best versions of ourselves; it’s how we put that courage into practice. Vulnerability is such a courageous act and the foundation of choosing courage over comfort. Yet, vulnerability is often seen as a weakness. No one likes to expose their flaws. But when we dare to be vulnerable, we open the door to genuine human connections.

People who dabble into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses in this world. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change” – Brené Brown. To close this, I also want to remind you that courage requires stamina and patience. It requires an understanding that just because you can leap doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy jump.

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