As people grow into their “adult” selves we (generally) become more mature and our perspective on life goes through drastic changes.
Maybe you wanted “all the things” while you were younger and now realize simplicity is the key to happiness.
You may drift away from old friends, make new friends that you would not have expected or realized some of the people you previously hung out with are complete A**holes and were toxic to your progress
Your career might shift down a path that you never expected, and you may find yourself in unfamiliar situations where you don’t have all the answers.
Another example comes from Distilled Dollars post on Warren Buffet “the more you learn, the more you earn”, no one comes into the world an expert investor, leader or engineer – all of these skills are learned, and in every biography I have read, there has been a struggle (discomfort) to break through.
I am in different stages of all the above examples and am starting to see the “Power in being Uncomfortable” – I will break it down further, but if you take one thing from this post – you should push your self to constantly be in a “State of Discomfort” it is the only way to grow
Being Uncomfortable in you Career
For the last few years I had been working as a Business Analyst for a few of our software products – I knew the ins and outs and was not challenged very often.
I Recently switched career paths into Project/Product Management on our technology team, I have never written a line of code (unless you count copy/pasting code to change the color of my title bar) and I was immediately pushed into unfamiliar (or uncomfortable) territory trying to lead meetings with a bunch of software engineers.
I felt like I was not contributing, or even able to help these guys out – what do a bunch of software engineers need from a (new) project manager? I can’t speak their language, or even help with establishing time lines since I have no clue what is “hard” and what is “easy”.
After awhile, I realized my ego needed to be checked at the door and I was not an expert in this area – for me that means “start asking a million questions” because I am very curious and enjoy to learn. About 6 months in, it started to click and I was able to start adding value (it turns out most software engineers are dreamers and if it were up to them nothing would ever be “done”).
I couldn’t be happier with the switch and new skill set that came along with this move (the raise also helps) – and if you are content in your current position, push yourself into a new area, learn, and ask for more money.
Being Uncomfortable with Money
Break this out into 2 parts – having a high savings rate and “separation anxiety” with your money
This ties back to “all the things” but when I see someone my age or a co-worker with a sweet new (insert any item) I used to get curious – Why don’t I have one of those? Should I have one? Is my salary lagging my peers? How can they afford that?
Of course the most likely answer is they are not saving nearly enough money – which was confirmed in The Millennial Budget’s recent Post. Compared to my peers, I would be an “outsider” – which can be uncomfortable, but again, it is uncomfortable to go down your own path and in this case, it is the right thing to do.
With a pumped up savings rate, most of it is invested in the stock market (for me) and at first, it is nerve racking to think that a dollar today, might only be 80 cents in a month, or worse, 50 cents. While it is definitely possible, and will more than likely happen, history suggests that it will not only return but go higher over time.
Trying Something New
At the beginning – this blog was extremely uncomfortable for me. I didn’t want to be judged by a bunch of internet strangers.
Now, writing on this site and reading/interacting with so many other bloggers on their site is the highlight of my week. The personal finance community is very welcoming and supportive (I even have some new internet friends). Trying this has also taken the fear out of trying something new, and if I can’t hack it as a blogger and this site starts on fire…..I will take the lessons learned straight to my next venture.
Some products that can help you:
Acorns: Acorns is an automation app that collects and invests your spare change when you make a purchase. I connected Acorns to my checking account and my credit card. If you are interested in trying it, you can use my referral code here (both of us will get $5 in our account)
Personal Capital: Personal Capital has a ton of great Free features, you can track your spending, net worth and even analyze your portfolio. It has top notch security and I am able to connect all of my accounts. Saves a ton of time! (I may be compensated if you use this link)