By Glenne Ellen Fucci, Regular ContributorJuly 13, 2015
Let’s face it, none of us like being uncomfortable. If we could live in a world where nothing bad ever happens and we all coexist in harmony, life would be a lot easier. The word uncomfortable can be used to describe many situations from being too cold to feeling awkward to your state of being when you challenge yourself to new situations.
That feeling in the pit of your stomach, the nerves coursing rapid fire through your body, when you're about to embark on a new goal or journey is the definition of being uncomfortable. But we can’t fix this type of discomfort by putting on a sweater; we can only remedy these feelings by facing the challenges we set for ourselves.
We have to embrace being unsure so that we may undertake challenges and try to fall in love with new things, so our confidence grows and we begin to become more empowered.
We all challenge ourselves in different ways. However, if this “challenging yourself” idea is new to you and you’re willing to give it a shot, there’s one challenge that you’re almost guaranteed to succeed at. Traveling is not only the best way to experience the world and all the fascinating humans that inhabit it, but it’s also a really good way to develop some confidence in yourself.
Despite months of excitement leading up to my first long-term stint overseas, in the days immediately before I departed, my nerves overwhelmed me. I was traveling to the other side of the world for six months where I knew no one and had little idea what to expect. In the days before I left someone gave me, what I consider to be, the wisest piece of advice - just remember, if you want to see something on the other side of the world, don’t wait until someone chooses to join you. Just go do it so you can never look back and say, ‘I can’t believe I missed out.’ This was a scary concept for me. Traveling on my own to go study in Australia terrified me enough. I really didn’t see myself as capable of exploring on my own once I actually got out in the world.
image via igre123.com
Well fast forward three years, and now I don’t think twice about traveling by myself if need be. Of course, I always like a companion or two but by closing my eyes and metaphorically jumping head first into a new place, I have gained the confidence to go explore. That’s not to say it gets easier… the night before I leave I am ALWAYS uncomfortable - sometimes I even consider not going because it would just be easier. However, after visiting places ranging from random pockets of NYC to the jungles of Indonesia, I can promise you that you will never regret challenging yourself to a new adventure. Yes, you’ll make mistakes - you’ll head the wrong direction on the subway, forget bug spray, get a horrible sunburn, and maybe accidentally climb a mountain to a tourist attraction because you forgot a map directing you to the pedestrian route. But, those things all pale in comparison to the people you’ll meet, the food you’ll enjoy and the views you’ll get to take in if you put yourself up to the challenge.
You’ll also get a noticeable dose of confidence to carry with you as you grow into the best you.
Be uncomfortable, be brave, challenge yourself, take on the world, and come back and share your adventures with all of us!
When's a time you've overcome the "uncomfortable" feeling and embraced something new? What did you learn? Tell us below!
Glenne is a third year law student hailing from NYC, University of Michigan ‘13 grad and Beyonce enthusiast. Currently residing in Korea, her interests include duathlons/triathlons, traveling near and far, documentary films, consuming sugary cereal, watching mid-2000s teen dramas and singing my heart out at Betty Who concerts. You can watch her attempt to navigate Asia and beyond on Instagram @glennefucci.
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