Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable: Advice from an Alumnus

It wasn’t until Cisco Reyes ’03 stepped out of his comfort zone and did something new that his life fell into place. While he cautioned he is the exception, and most journeys have hurdles, Reyes believes success is a matter of risk taking and hard work combined.

As a student at Pacific University, Reyes said he wasn’t sure precisely he wanted to do with his career or even which career path he wanted to follow until the spring semester of his senior year.

Reyes spent his time at Pacific not stepping out of his comfort zone to try to become a physical therapist, which was his first ambition, but rather playing baseball and coaching throughout the summers. Looking back, Reyes said “[he] developed late professionally because of [his] unwillingness to be ‘uncomfortable.’ Students need to learn how to be okay with being vulnerable; they’ll learn more about themselves that way.”

By putting themselves into more "uncomfortable" situations, networking or going to events, according to Reyes, students will be able to not only make connections that will help them later on in life, but they will be able to get their C.N.P. or Certified Nice Person.

“People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” said Reyes. The more students are able to network and have a variety of friends, the better their chances are of being able to know the one person who, if they vouched for them, could mean the difference between having their dream job and getting passed over for the person who did make the connections.

Making these connections, networking and putting themselves in uncomfortable positions isn’t something students should try just for the sole purpose of helping their careers, it is also something that can be very beneficial in helping students find out more about themselves. Not only will new experiences and new people help to avoid some of life’s hurdles, they will also help students to develop and grow as individuals.

The more students are able to put themselves in uncomfortable positions, whether that be volunteering, staying away from home for a summer to work closer to your academic career or even just making and maintaining friendships, the more luck they will have.

A favorite quote of Reyes by Thomas Jefferson sums up his theory, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014