The Beautiful Discomfort of “New”

If you were a new teacher, administrator, or staff member in any field, and you were posed with a new challenge or problem, what would you do?

From my experience, people in newer positions are more likely to try to figure out a solution, or show a willingness to learn something new, as they are new to the organization, and want to show their willingness to grow.

Yet I specifically remember a conversation with an administrator saying that their staff would be reluctant to using something like Google Apps for Education, because there were so accustomed to what they were already using.  My response was that if the people that were reluctant were applying for a new job and the question was, “Are you willing to learn Google Apps for Education?”, their response would likely be, “Yes!”.  Not, “Yes.”, but “Yes!”

As we gain experience, we gain more knowledge, and sometimes our eagerness is tempered by what we know.  Yet, do we become too comfortable in some situations because they are our norm?  Do we become complacent because we are not as worried about disappointing those we are familiar with, as opposed to those that we are not?

Here is a microcosm of this scenario…I rarely answer email from my phone.  Why? Because I am a notorious “one-handed texter”.  My thumbs are large enough to easily reach across a screen, so I only need one.  This is not a problem for tweeting or texting, but for emails, it can take a lot longer.  Two thumbs are better than one :)

But right now, I am starting to explicitly try to answer some emails via my phone, learning to use two thumbs instead of one.  Right now, this method is slower for me, and it almost feels like my right thumb has a worn in point especially made for texting, while my left thumb is flat, and does not have the same ability.  To type with two thumbs on my phone, it feels uncomfortable, it takes longer, and is kind of annoying.  But for me to get to a space that is better, even for this simple process, I have to be comfortable with this discomfort. I have to be okay with going slow to eventually move fast.  Texting on my phone is something that has become new again, and something that I am willing to relearn.

The discomfort we have when we are “new” is something we need to learn to embrace and see it as leading to growth, not stagnation.  There is power in being willing to being new to a situation, feeling uncomfortable, and embracing struggle.  The trick sometimes is doing it to yourself, before someone comes along and does it for you.