A sincere man who came to one of my classes expressed concern after completing the first short meditation. He confessed that his mind always races, and during the meditation he noticed how much his mind had been distracting him. It had been challenging—and uncomfortable.
It was clear that he felt he had failed during the meditation.
Now in this particular class, the group showed up very open to explore. During the short introductory meditation, I watched every student shift signifcantly. By the time they opened their eyes, the energy in the room had changed completely.
I was moved by the class's openness and willingess, so when this man expressed his sense of not doing well during the meditation, my heart went out to him. He hadn’t noticed the significant shift of his energy.
Why had he missed his success? He was confusing success with comfort. He'd been looking for a feeling of comfort or "doing it right" and, as a result, he had judged his discomfort as something bad.
Anyone who has faced a challenge or fear and created real change has dealt with discomfort: emotional, physical, or mental. Stepping out of your comfort zone is inherently uncomfortable. But the only way to learn or create change is to step out--little by little, again and again.
As this courageous man knows, practicing things you are not yet good at, taking risks, and stepping out can be an uncomfortable endeavor.
We can prepare for success and growth by mentally preparing ourselves for discomfort. Then, when we encounter the uncomfortable feelings of newness and change we can choose to acknowledge and celebrate them as a sign of success and growth.