Success Requires Discomfort

01 Aug 17

With the continued emphasis on equality and fixing the gap in the gender ratio in Corporate America, there is an increase in training on how to be successful as a female as well as how to be supportive of your female colleagues in the workplace as a male. However, theoretical learning and application in the real world of those same concepts can sometimes be two very different things. Theoretical learning in the classroom can make you feel very empowered and strong. You are surrounded by people telling you it is okay to demand equal treatment, stand your ground when being pushed around, and ignore your natural tendencies as a female to give in or let things go. However, being in a room full of people encouraging this and being one on one in a situation where you are dealing with someone pushing you around are two completely different things. In the situation where you are all alone, instead of feeling empowered when pushing back, you are out of your comfort zone and sometimes that is exactly what success requires: discomfort.

However, to be successful, you have to let yourself be uncomfortable and not fall back on your natural tendencies or comfort zone. I remember many classroom situations where I was passionate about the messages; as I heard stories about women letting things go where credit for their work was being given to someone else or the nicer office was being demanded by a junior male colleague and they let it go to avoid an uncomfortable situation but got left behind in the long run, I thought that would never be me. And a recent situation made me realize how easy it is to go back to your natural tendencies and comfort zone.

A situation where someone did zero work and nonchalantly walked in after all the work was done to claim the credit was an eye opener. My initial reaction to the situation was not the loud, feminist that would never let that happen to her but rather the thought crossed my mind, maybe I should just let it go; it is not that big a deal. Even if for a brief moment, I became the person I thought I would never be in that situation. It took a lot of conscious effort and will power to convince myself that the fight was worth it and I had to fight back. And the experience was far from empowering; on the contrary, it was scary, uncomfortable and stressful. And there were so many moments where I questioned whether I was doing the right thing. As I pushed, my opponent pushed back harder. And the harder he pushed back, the more uncomfortable I became almost ready to throw down the sword and surrender. But the more I pushed back, the more natural that tendency became and slowly the discomfort started to disappear and in its place was strength and confidence to keep pushing. However, there was a long uncomfortable bridge I had to cross to get to that place of strength and confidence.

All the training in the world will not fix inequality regardless of whether it is based on gender, religious, culture, or any other difference. The only way to fix inequality is to fight when being treated unfairly. That fight starts out as uncomfortable but that discomfort leads to success. In fact, success requires discomfort. No successful person became successful while staying in their comfort zone. I encourage all of our readers to constantly push themselves into uncomfortable situations so they can continue to learn, grow, and be successful.

Asia Today was a step one woman took to get out of her comfort zone a decade ago – our very own Marketing Director Manju Walia and look at where it has come today. With the support of our readers and patrons, it allowed her to take additional steps forward which is why she is the name behind bringing the legendary Arif Lohar to our very own Phoenix, Arizona. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you at the show!