Learning to be Uncomfortable

I’ve been catching myself saying this a lot lately:


“Discomfort brings about progress.”


I think its a lot better than the “New Year, New Me” mantra that plagues our social media feeds.  We’re better than this people, its time to think differently about your goals in the new year. I’ve never really been one for new years resolutions, mainly because they are limiting. I can’t create a goal for myself and expect to achieve it only because another year has gone by. I create goals because I want to grow. 


Last year I went through a handful of highs and lows. I was coming to grips with the idea that the app that my fiancee and I had spent so much time working on was a failure. We weren’t getting any new downloads, the app was riddled with bugs, and our team of two was just too small to continue, especially with no new money coming in. We were uncomfortable.


 So we brainstormed, what can we do to make this app better? What did we do wrong this last time? We realized that our thinking had to change in order to progress. The idea of succeeding becomes distant when you really crave progress, change. 


Eventually we realized one of our biggest mistakes: we didn’t code our app ourselves. We outsourced the coding and design of our big project, and as a result were left unhappy and unsatisfied with the product of some unknown group of developers in India. Its the tired old story of If you want something done right, do it yourself. 


And so, we learned how to. We took courses learning how to code an iOS app from scratch, I went on a deep dive on how to use the industry standards for design: Sketch, Photoshop, and Adobe XD. And suddenly, it was months later. My head was spinning from all the courses I sped through, all the new information made me realize that my dormant passion for art was being expressed through this digital medium. I was getting back to my roots, and better than that, I could get paid for it. 


Our goals switched from launching an app to finishing some courses and now, all I want is to grow further into the business that we have created for ourselves. I’m constantly learning new things from gurus like Chris Do, and others on Udemy . But the motivation to continue to learn and grow with this graphic design business is not manufactured by some need to achieve or win this year. My motivation to grow this business comes from the fact that I know there is so much more for me to learn. I need to get better because I am not ever comfortable with my skills. And this discomfort is what keeps me growing. 


So with that, I leave you with two questions to ponder as you make your way into the new year:


What are you uncomfortable with in your life? What can you do to change that?