The Year of Living Uncomfortably

by Kristina Leonardi

I recently read that “a person’s success in life can usually be measured by the amount of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” Many people begin the year by starting a new exercise or other routine that can have them feeling sore or out of sorts, and doing this with your patterns of interaction and communication can also reap rewards. Like any muscle, growth happens outside of your comfort zone.

Maybe that uncomfortable conversation needs to be with your boss, that contact for your dream gig, your partner, a parent, your neighbor, that cute guy/girl you’ve been eyeing, that celebrity you’d love to talk with, or just putting yourself in a foreign social situation. But it’s also that honest conversation you need to have with yourself in order to face the reality of your life as it is versus the way you’d like it to be — because the one common denominator in your life is YOU, and taking responsibility for why it is the way it is is paramount, if not always pleasant.

The good news is that by chatting with yourself on a regular basis, you can know what changes you need to make to move your life closer to your ideal!

Not quite feeling it? I say, “Fake it till you make it” and remind you that, like Einstein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” So if things aren’t going your way, why not try a slightly different approach from your usual MO? Or you can go whole hog and be like George Costanza in the Seinfeld episode where he does the exact opposite of what he would normally do, to some hilarious effects and success!

So this year resolve to have those challenging conversations, not care what people think, try new things without worrying whether you’ll look foolish, stand out in a crowd, and be OK with not being perfect. (Well, those were some of mine…just insert whatever makes you uncomfortable!)

Wondering how to get from here to there? Give me a buzz and I’ll be your personal trainer to stretch those inner muscles, help you have that heart-to-heart with yourself, and make your discomfort as comfortable as possible along the way!

This article originally appeared on


Kristina Leonardi is personal growth expert who has helped others make the most of their personal and professional lives over the past 20 years. As a holistic career and executive coach, she has a proven record of getting “stuck” clients empowered to make lasting changes aligned with their true passions and talents in a short time, and live with more clarity, balance and direction. Known as a speaker with unique yet practical perspectives on career transition, leadership and work/life wellness, she has presented to organizations such as LinkedIn, UBS, Ogilvy and the HR Association of NY, and offers coaching privately as well as in affiliation with NY Women in Communications and The Muse. As founder of The Women’s Mosaic, she was one of Hispanic Magazine’s Top Latinas of 2004 and was honored by the WNBA’s NY Liberty as part of their 2009 Inspiring Women Night. Kristina holds a B.A. in International Relations from Boston University and has taught extensively for NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS). She is the author of Personal Growth Gab (PGG) and has been featured in,, Psychology Today, and The Huffington Post.

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