Seminar invites students to dive into discomfort

Those attending learn to develop personal growth by using discomfort to their advantage

Yasir Ali Khan and Jeff Torrens host the Diving into Discomfort seminar at TRU. (Photo credit: Marut Sethi)

On March 14, in the TRUSU Lecture Hall, Jeff Torrans and Yasir Ali Khan hosted a seminar to help the community to break out of their regretful tendencies. Jeff Torrans, a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team, and TRU Students Yasir Ali Khan, Sam Coyle, and Aaron Madaisky spoke on the topics of addressing personal fears of the unknown, self-liberation, creating a better version of yourself, and breaking through the terror barrier.

Ali Khan opened the seminar by addressing common situations that helped disarm the audience and make him more relatable. He explained his journey into discomfort by starting with the tale of him in Pakistan, his home country, laying down on the city sidewalk. This exercise demonstrates a hyperbole of stepping out of one’s comfort zone; attempting to feel comfortable with many people staring at you while practicing a strange act. Ali Khan explained that this was one of many comfort zone challenges intended to force an individual to deal with other’s opinions, feel pressure, and gain the confidence of achievement when rising to your feet.

Coyle told his personal story of losing stability once he moved to Canada from the United Kingdom. Coyle explained that he turned into an introvert after being a social butterfly for most of his life, turning to online gaming and YouTube. With this coping mechanism, Coyle made online friends. He started to meet up with these friends and throw himself out of his comfort zone by shouting out absurd, random phrases in the food courts of a metro Vancouver shopping mall. Coyle explained that through these seemingly weird and arbitrary activities, he felt more comfortable with who he was, and who he wanted to become as a person.
Madaisky also reflected on his time spent as a university athlete and uncomfortable practice situations. He spoke about a coach of his who made his sports team participate in the “big house run” which was a warm-up inside a giant stadium full of people. Madaisky drew on the comparisons of physical training to feeling comfortable with new and unknown experiences. He said that you must try and exercise your comfort zone every day. Personal attributes can be exercised just like your body; expanding comfort zones are 100 percent mindset and can allow a gaining quality of life.

Torrans emphasized that we cannot get back the past experiences of life. We must fight the urge of returning to our “safe zone,” debating and justifying retreat to ourselves. When we digress into our comfort zone after turning down an opportunity, we often feel regret. Torrans explains that we must challenge ourselves to fight the reflex to return to comfort, and do it afraid.
“I think the ability to take risk is not common, especially with the people I have met here. The whole purpose of this seminar was to teach people to go out of their comfort zone and do things that are outside of their day-to-day routine. Hopefully, when they do that, they invite new experiences, people, and skills into their lives,” Ali Khan told the Omega. “Trying something new every day is difficult, it is very easy to forget and be caught up in a routine. This seminar has inspired me to do just that, and try something new each day,” attendee Ayesha Uchil commented.