One of our core values here at Proof is to learn something every day. As part of my professional development I’m currently taking a 8-week course through the fantastic School of Motion to help kickstart my skills. Although I am passionate motion design, my journey through the course has been anything but easy.
We tend to reason that anything that compromises our ability to feel good must be negative, but that’s not particularly true for our professional development or taking on any new endeavor in life. Learning new skills is supposed to be fun and feel great—not stressful and overwhelming. But taking this viewpoint may blind us from the unseen rewards that wait at the end of a difficult experience.
In mythology, The Hero’s Journey is the common template used to describe the tale of a hero who goes on an adventure, faces strife or crisis, yet wins a victory, and then returns home transformed. This narrative is a great way to help keep a positive perspective while struggling to master a new skill:
1. The Call to Adventure
The beginning of any journey—whether it’s learning a new skill or starting the process of rebranding your business—begins with the desire and excitement to take on new challenges and opportunities. We typically feel motivated and inspired at this stage in our journey. Nothing can stop us on our path the glory!
2. Trials, Tests, and Crisis
This is where things get challenging. Once the initial excitement wears off and the reality of our journey sets in, we can easily become overwhelmed by the challenges and obstacles we face on our path to the ultimate reward. Overcoming these challenges might seem impossible at the moment, or that turning back is your only option—but fear not. It’s important to keep in mind that things that are uncomfortable in the present can lead to rewards we might not be able to see in the moment.
3. The Reward
We struggled, and now we’ve overcome! At this point in the journey we start to reap the rewards of our discomfort and are able to look back on challenges as something positive. Our reward is the product of the newfound perspective we have on our challenges as time passes. Things that felt difficult in the moment have now proved to be transformative experiences that helped us achieve our goal.
Embracing discomfort when taking on new challenges is actually good for you—it means you are growing and changing in ways that aren’t yet apparent to you. Because we’re drawn to safely and security, we do our best to create cushy comfort zones for ourselves. But taking the hero’s journey forces us to push through our discomfort and gives perspective to our experiences.