Comfort is found in what we know and where we feel safe. Comfort does not require the unknown or the unexpected, rather, it is the essence of the places we don’t have to work to be.

However, growth is not found in the comfortable things.

When I became a teacher, I was the most excited, ready-to-take-on-the-world-of-education kind of person.

I was shocked that when I talked to several other well-seasoned teachers, I heard harsh criticism and bitterness about the job they chose to get up and do every day.

Many could tell me the exact countdown number until they could “be done with it.” This broke my heart and frustrated me for the children who sat in their classrooms every day.

Why would anyone put themselves through that kind of misery? It took several years of teaching until one day I realized the problem for these people was that they were not growing.

They were sitting still and watching change happen, and they weren’t changing with it. They resented not being able to stay the same, comfortable.

I have worked several other jobs before I began teaching, including the medical, retail, food and photography fields.

The sad fact is there were people I worked with in all of these fields who were in the same situation as these burned-out teachers. They wanted the comfort.

Taking the chance to branch out and start fresh is not easy. It can be scary at times when you have to move to a new position or work with new people.

However, the rewards that come when we take that step with faith are bigger than we can imagine. We gain new knowledge from working with different people.

We influence others with our knowledge, and sometimes we can even be the spark that reignites other’s flames and gets them growing again.

It takes courage to step out and begin anew. It takes confidence in yourself and, most of all, it takes having a humble spirit that is willing to admit that I need to grow.

Many people will blame lack of opportunities for not growing, but we must ask ourselves: Are we working and living in such a way that others want to give us those opportunities?

Are we slamming the door shut before it can ever be opened? When they are presented, do we stick with the comfortable or do we take the step to grow?

Until we are willing to take the big steps, we are stunting our own growth.

It doesn’t matter how old we are or how long we have been doing the same kind of work, there will always be changes that we must learn to work with or through.

This pandemic taught all of us no matter what type of work we did, we had to stretch and grow in new ways.

When we embrace growth, we will push into areas we never imagined we could go and we will shine in this world.

 

DONNA DAVIDSON is a local teacher, wife and mother who lives northeast of Paris. Her email address is donna.lylilo@gmail.com.

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