rebelling against low expectations

Allison Lantagne, Age 15: Finally Okay with Being Uncomfortable


(HUFFPO) — I’m very lucky to be someone who lives a “comfortable” life. There’s always food on the table, heat in the winter, and, above all, love in the home.

School has always been something that comes easily to me, and I steer clear of things that I don’t know for a fact that I’m good at. Most kids want to try a bit of everything, and while I was involved in many activities when I was younger, it was rare for me to branch out.

Like the year I played softball, I couldn’t catch to save my life, and I was deathly afraid of the ball, which I only hit once during the season. The entire situation was grossly uncomfortable.

As it turns out, I am a person who is easily made uncomfortable. I could list the situations, but that would make me uncomfortable. Needless to say, I was really miserable for a while. I spent a lot of time in my room wishing there was an ibuprofen I could take that would stop the anxiety that seemed to be at the forefront of my mind almost constantly.

The cure, of course, was right outside my bedroom door the whole time. Sometimes in life, you’ve just got to be uncomfortable.

I believe in being uncomfortable. I believe in being vulnerable, and I believe in being real. Amy Poehler put it best when she said:

Vulnerable people are powerful people. Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it…we see something, and we think, ‘I think I can do that. I think I can do it. But I’m afraid to.’ Bridging that gap, doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zones, taking risks like that… that is what life is.

Sure, it’s easy to do what we’ve always done, to go through the motions, and to never try anything new. That’s being alive, but is that living? I don’t think so. Everything good I’ve gotten in life, I’ve gotten from a painful combination of working hard and being uncomfortable.

I don’t think I’m the only person who is guilty of thinking something along the lines of “I won’t try my hardest, so that when things don’t turn out like I want, I won’t be as disappointed.” This line of thinking is a cheap shot at returning to the comfort zone, and it’s dumb.

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About the author

Brett Harris

is co-founder of and co-author of Do Hard Things, along with his twin brother, Alex. He is married to his best friend, Ana, who blogs at He is the founder of the Young Writers Workshop — an ongoing coaching program for serious writers.


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  • I liked the part where she says that vulnerability can lead to a more open society. Just like Allison, I also get uncomfortable easily, probably more than her. All the people I know only show a few emotions (happy, excited, playful, bored), and it’s not interesting. I feel like I’m the only one who wears her heart on her sleeve, which is a lonely road to take.

  • Wow, this really resonates with me. We have to start being uncomfortable if we’re ever going to find true freedom! For so long I lived “safe”, never taking risks, never stepping out of my zone. But this past year I determined to change. I’ve pushed myself into so many uncomfortable situations purposefully…but whatever awkwardness or discomfort it may cause temporarily, it’s so, so worth it! People gravitate to real people, and you can’t be real unless you’re willing to take risks. Stepping off the edge into freedom has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. I still have to push myself, but now it’s easier to think of the benefits of being “uncomfortable” when the going gets rough.

      • Hi Brett, that’s kind of a hard question to answer because it involves a lot and I’m still on this journey of finding freedom. I’m still trying to sort out exactly what happened in this past year myself! I guess up until January 2014, I was living in a lot of bondage. I’ve had to face various sickness and struggles growing up, and a lot of that stuff has left it’s mark on me. It evolved into a lot insecurity, and I lived a pretty sheltered lifestyle. It got to the point where I was really depressed. I think it was when I read the book, “The Search for Significance: Youth Edition” by Robert S. McGee that I first recognized the lies and bondage in my life and learned the truth about who I am in Jesus. From that point on my whole life began to change. I realized that a huge step of the healing process was stepping out of my insecurities and fears and exposing myself to the risk of failure and rejection. I was no longer content to just live life safe – I had reached the point that I was willing to take the risk no matter the consequences. Part of this included just doing practical hard things that I would have never considered before. I went on a mission trip, I went to a two week Christian summer camp where I knew no one, I tried out for and played on a volleyball team, and I joined a Bible study. I know a lot of those things may appear like “normal” activities to some, but they were big steps of healing for me. It wasn’t easy, and it continues to be difficult – but because I now know that I am completely secure and accepted in Christ, a whole new world of opportunities has opened up to me. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

        • Love that verse! And keep it up. Yeah, because other people are watching you…but most importantly, because God is watching you too. Keep looking to Him and going after the most practical thing within reach. Our Lord will bring you each new challenge exactly when you need it!
          “Worship is giving God the best that He has given you”- Oswald Chambers
          Give it all.

          • Ezra, thank you. It’s like you knew exactly what I needed to hear. I was just feeling overwhelmed with life in general, with graduation next year, with college searching, with finding a job…all that good stuff. I love that quote! Seriously, thank you!! I want to give it all. It was like the Spirit was speaking through you into my life at this time when I needed it. Wow, God is good!

  • Hey this post …

    Allison Lantagne, Age 15: Finally Okay with Being Uncomfortable

    January 9th | by Brett Harris …
    seems to go really well with …

    Any advice on how to overcome complacency?

    January 6th | by Alex and Brett Harris
    (or was that planned? 😉 …

    Grant Bingham

    ‘s comment (on the other post) would really fit well here too” …You’re probably satisfied with your life because you have no Idea how
    awesome your life would look like if you stretched out some more…” well put Grant 🙂
    Amazing how God has “pushed” me into doing something I didn’t think I could, Only to find it becomes one of my best/strongest gifts.
    No guesses to who had the better wisdom….God always has our best in mind 🙂

  • Any tips on how to trust God? That definitely makes me uncomfortable. I am currently dealing with an injury that may end up putting me out of soccer this season. How do you let go and let God?

    • That is exactly my problem! It’s so much easier to let go and take risks in the normal world than it is to do that with God. It’s really sad.

      • Hey @emilybrownlee:disqus. I would recommend a book called, Trusting God, Even When Life Hurts. It’s by Jerry Bridges. I am just now starting it today! It’s really good.

        • Awesome!! Thank you, this issue has been causing a few moral crises and in-depth examinations of myself, I really need to address it now…

By Brett Harris
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →