Nigerian born, US-based author, Luvvie Ajayi was at TEDWomen 2017 conference and she gave a talk on “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
The author of “I’m Judging You – the Do Better Manual,” Luvvie debuted her book in September and it made it to No.5 on the New York Times best-seller list in October.
She has also been celebrated by Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes, and Ava Du Vernay; however, she did not get here in one day.
Growing up, Luvvie wanted to be a doctor but when she got to college and had a D in Chemistry, she changed her mind about the profession.
In 2010, she lost her marketing job and, “then what was a cute hobby became my full-time job,” she said, speaking about blogging, which she started in 2003.
But it took Luvvie nine years after she started writing and two years after she lost her job to call herself a writer because of fear.
“So it took me that long to own this thing that was what my purpose was. And then I realised that fear has a very concrete power of keeping us from doing and saying the things that are our purpose.”
When the realisation of what fear is hindering her from achieving hit her, Luvvie, on her 30th birthday decided to do all she’s being scared of doing.
“Ok, 2015, I turned 30, its going to be my year of ‘Do it anyway.’ Anything that scares me, I’m going to actively pursue it,” she said.
Of all the things she did that year, Luvvie wrote her best-selling book!
She also went sky diving, a sport that really scared her. But amidst that fear, Luvvie realised that sitting at the edge of the plane was comfortable but looking at the beauty of the earth, she decided it was the greatest thing to do.
“And I think about the times when I have to speak the truth, it feels like I am falling out of that plane, it feels like the moment when I am at the edge of that plane and I’m like ‘you shouldn’t do this,’ but then I do it anyways because I realise I have to. Sitting at the edge of that plane and kind of staying at the edge of that plane is comfort to me. And I feel like everyday that I’m speaking the truth against institutions and people who are bigger than me and those forces that are more powerful than me, I feel like I’m falling out that plane. But I realise comfort is overrated. Because being quiet is comfortable. Keeping things the way they’ve been is comfortable. And all comfort is done is maintaining the statusquo. So, we’ve got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable by speaking these hard truths when they’re necessary.”
And because honesty is so important to Luvvie, she decided to leave her comfort zones and speak the truth, ensuring her voice is heard as regards her advocacy for human rights.
However, Luvvie doesn’t think that people like her should be the only one demanding accountability from the government and institutions, she wants everyone to join forces together and make things happen.
In this bright, uplifting talk, Ajayi shares three questions to ask yourself if you’re staggering on the edge of speaking up or quieting down and encourages all of us to get a little more comfortable with being uncomfortable.