Three years ago I decided to learn golf. I never played any sport in my life or even watched sports, so I was starting from scratch. I joined golf because my husband and I joked with our kids that we would be golfing in Florida when we retire, so that is where they can expect to visit us in our golden years. It occurred to me one day that if I actually want to play golf when I am older, I might want to learn it now. I decided to join my local Golf Club.
For the first six weeks I tried to learn the game based on tips from my husband and other golfers. To play more, I joined ladies night at the golf course. If you've ever had to stand before a crowd of people to tee off when you really don't know how to play, it's daunting. As you approach the tee, it feels like you are walking towards a guillotine. If I had a terrible shot, I would look back at the women watching me and mumble with embarrassment, "I'm new" trying to explain my game.
Learning golf taught me lessons in vulnerability and perseverance. If I wanted to truly learn how to play, I had to be vulnerable enough to stay uncomfortable and persevere through my discomfort. I was uncomfortable with people watching me learn. I was uncomfortable making mistakes. I was uncomfortable playing with strangers (which sometimes happens). If I wanted to learn this game so I can play golf in Florida I had to stick with it. I stuck with it. Now I am comfortable playing a round of golf with friends and colleagues. Mission accomplished.
Being uncomfortable is a sign that a growth opportunity is present. If you can persevere through your experience, you grow immensely. Be vulnerable. Keep showing up.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.