Seeking Discomfort Can Help Me Accomplish What Seems Impossible
I recently started watching a YouTube channel called Yes Theory, which inspires people to “seek discomfort.” The cast of the video blog often go on trips to remote parts of the world, perform on the street, or push their bodies to the limit, all in the spirit of being uncomfortable.
While I don’t plan on and simply can’t put myself in some of those crazy situations because of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, I’ve realized that seeking discomfort can help me realize my dreams, enjoy what people and places can offer, and unbound myself from preconceived notions about what a disability means.
The classic saying “you don’t know until you try” also applies to the idea of seeking discomfort. In my life, I’ve encountered plenty of situations that scare me, especially the first time I had to cold call a source while interning at the Orange County Register, a local newspaper.
Thousands of thoughts swirled through my head: Will they yell at me? Think my voice sounds weird? What if I sound too young? Will they take me seriously? What if I say something wrong? It took a minute, but I finally picked up the phone and called. Turns out they didn’t bite and I wouldn’t have had the thrill of pursuing journalism if I’d sat there petrified.
Worrying about what other people think is a constant problem I have to overcome. Forcing myself to seek discomfort, whether it’s making a new friend, talking to a beautiful woman, or calling a friend I haven’t talked to in years, has helped me tame the little voice in my head that tells me I’m not enough or my wheelchair or personality will turn people off. The more I am myself and proud of my personality, the more I’ll enjoy life because I won’t be encumbered by my lack of self-confidence.
While I admit I simply cannot participate in a lot of activities, sometimes I tell myself no when there’s a chance it might work. I’m comfortable in my power chair at home playing video games because I’m familiar with it. A lot of times it’s easier to say no when I’m invited to a party or on a weekend outdoors trip. Yes, I’m sure I would have bouts of awkwardness and find plenty of logistical headaches, but I’m confident I’d also find joy, stronger friendships, and awe of the world we live in.
I’ve found a lot of what stopped me in my life was the thought of being uncomfortable, and while I don’t see myself starting a YouTube channel about it, attempting to face my fears, anxieties, and worries head-on will allow me to see the beauty of earth, the people that live on it, and accomplish what I thought might be impossible with a disease like Duchenne.
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