Written by Aracelis Jones, CPA

Pop your comfort bubble

Anyone who knows me well probably knows that I hate change and that I’m afraid of being too comfortable. You might think that these two feelings are at odds with one another. And you’d be right.

The reason I’m afraid of comfort is because I know it can be dangerous. Comfort lives in a bubble, where it protects you from change or challenges and, ultimately, growth. Of course, you’ll experience moments in your life where you need comfort — after moving into a new home, getting married, or having a baby, for example. At those times, it’s nice to have a second to soak it all in and feel comfortable. However, you eventually begin putting in the work again to get ready for the next phase. Maybe it’s a kitchen renovation, expanding your new family, or picking out pre-schools.

Once you move past the comfort — or pop its little bubble — you force yourself to grow. And that’s when you become the best version of yourself.

It’s good to be uncomfortable

Growth is uncomfortable. It’s unpredictable, it has no clear path. As a classic Type A personality, I love my routines and plans. But as much as I value those things, I know it’s easy to fall victim to your routines. Without realizing it, you might start easing back and just going through the motions, instead of continually progressing to reach that next level.

While I believe failing to plan means planning to fail, there are going to be hurdles and challenges along the way that will test your mental agility and flexibility. But, it’s during these very challenges that we grow the most.

This never rang truer than when I made my decision to come to Siegfried.

A hard choice, but the right choice

It was probably the most difficult decision I have ever made and the most uncomfortable, but it provided me with a sense of growth, both professionally and personally, that has been unmatched. Coming to Siegfried forced me to look at my career and the aspects of my life that are important to me so I could assess the balance between the two.

As I thought about the decision, I confronted lingering feelings of reaching a professional plateau, a desire for a 180-degree change, and worst of all, the comfortable mentality that I realized I was bringing to work with me each day. A part of me was missing and I was just going through the motions, instead of operating strategically and passionately. I knew right then and there I needed a change.

I needed to once again put myself in a position to function with purpose. For me, that meant a fresh start and a chance to prove myself professionally. While my career is not my life, it is engrained in me and represents a part of who I am. I wanted to rediscover my sense of self and show others my personal qualities I value so much.

Siegfried gave me what I needed. It gave me the space and opportunity to grow, but I was only able to do that once I got uncomfortable.

Reacquainting myself with my unique intangibles – those qualities that set me apart – energized me.  At that same time, I realized how some areas in my life needed just a bit more attention. These areas included more my personal and professional relationships, my continued technical accounting knowledge, and my physical and mental well-being.

Nothing’s certain

I’m sure you’ve heard that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. Even the best-laid plans and decisions can turn out unexpectedly, but that’s the beauty of life. You never know when something is going to be more amazing than you expected or when you’re going to have to scrap the whole thing and start over.

Realizing everything happens for a reason forced me to identify the learning and growth opportunities in all experiences. Doing this has made me a better, more self-aware professional, daughter, sister and friend. And for that, I’m eternally grateful for everything I have experienced in my life and I look forward to see what is to come!

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