Temporary discomfort. It’s worth it.

I once flew a helicopter through a simulated engine failure. (In order to earn your pilot’s license, you have to prove that you can do it. I was twenty years old. The only female student at my flight school. I passed.)

I once danced — in drag — onstage at a club while lip syncing to a glam-rock band.

I once swang from a trapeze on top of a roof above the Hudson River in NYC.

I once sang A cappella in front of a room full of strangers.

Just yesterday, I scrambled up a seventeen-foot wall at a bouldering gym. No harness. Just me and a craggy faux-mountain covered with plastic hooks, nooks and crannies. Relying on my own inner strength to scale that wall. And not… fall.

When I share stories about my experiences, people often ask me,

“What was it like? Were you afraid? How did it feel?”

My answer?

“The truth is that it was very, very, very scary and uncomfortable — and worth it.”

When you push yourself beyond your perceived limitations, it is NOT comfortable.

It is the exact opposite of comfortable. It is nauseatingly awful.

That is… until it’s over. Then it’s amazing. Once it’s over? Every cell of your being will rejoice. Your mind will throw a parade in your honor. Glitter-bombs exploding through your veins.

This is the reality:

In order to experience, accomplish and create amazing things, you must be willing to tolerate a certain amount of discomfort.

The quality of your life is directly proportionate to your capacity to tolerate uncomfortable feelings — and take the next step, anyway.

Are you willing to go there?

Are you willing to feel temporarily uncomfortable so that you can accomplish something that is permanently amazing?

Something that will always be part of your history? Something that will always be part of your body of work? Something that can never be taken away from you?

If so: proceed.

Climb that wall. Launch that business. Make the leap. Share your poetry at your local open-mic night. Post your writing online. Or whatever you secretly yearn to do.

The price of permanent amazingness is temporary discomfort.

Pay up. It’s worth it.

If this essay resonates with you, read everything by Nicole and also this piece by Susan. Check out James, too. Or get offline and go do something that makes you uncomfortable.