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Voices of ACES Blog

"Comfort is overrated"

Maggie Sweppy walking through rock formations

For most of us, standing at the edge of a precipice is downright scary. There’s no other way to put it. Peering over the edge of a cliff, right into the eye of uncertainty, is not at all comfortable, but Luvvie Ajayi is right, “comfort is overrated.”

I did my fair share of being comfortable - currently typing this while wrapped up in a blanket with Family Feud playing on the T.V. (so I obviously still have a rather strong attachment to the feeling of comfort). And while there is certainly nothing wrong with comfort and security, it often comes at a cost – opportunity loss.

This past summer, I decided to break from the norm and took an impromptu trip out west with my sister. To seasoned travelers, this may seem like no big deal, but to me, it was quite the adventure. I was privileged to earn the money to make this happen, but it took more than funds to turn this idea into action. It took some risks.

We’ve all heard it before, “risk equals reward.” But don’t get me wrong, sometimes risk equals failure. Sometimes it equals embarrassment and sometimes it equals set-backs. But it always equals movement. And nothing extraordinary happens while standing still.

On our trip, my sister and I may have squabbled a time or two and certainly experienced a few mishaps, but we also got to see breathtaking views, visit with family, and make life-long friendships with strangers from across the world.

As a senior considering grad school, many choices lie ahead of me, some safe and some scary. And while I’m not sure what I’ll choose, I know that to grow, I’ve got to embrace change. And so do you.

Now, I want to be clear, I’m not proposing that we chase after all things scary. As a child, I was scared by the movie Jaws, so if one of my choices happens to involve scuba-diving in shark-infested waters, I’m probably going to skirt. But if the risk you are scared to take is rooted in the fear that you just can’t do it, I promise you that you can. And even if a door does close (or slam) in your face, that just means another door is waiting to be opened.

Embracing all of this is a work in progress. I’m still working on Luvvie’s mantra of getting “comfortable being uncomfortable.” But I’m sure taking more chances than I used to. And yas it has led me to a few stumbles, but it’s also guided me to the most truly rewarding experiences of my life.

Take not just one chance, but many “chances.” Take risks. Takes leaps. Whatever you do – don’t stand still.