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Discomfort & Development

In a bustling city center surrounded by many people, buses, and the noises of a large city while providing adjustments to the El Salvadorian military, this past week had many aspects of discomfort to overcome for everyone. What makes being on a mission unique is that it adds stress on top of day-to-day stressors we all have in our lives. The doctors and students were required repeatedly to step out of their comfort zones each day and on top of this some got injured, one was recently divorced, a few got ill, one was extremely anxious, and personally, I missed my family tremendously! But I gave my word to be there and teach, so I went...The team consisted of 84 doctors and students from across the United States and one from Australia, who was awesome to have! All of them had different degrees of experience with adjusting and were in varying stages in their willingness to grow. My job was to chip away at their comfort zones and push them to be better in these areas because when you are uncomfortable, you grow. When I was a young doctor I had mentors do the same for me. I didn’t like it, I got angry and extremely frustrated, I cursed and wanted to quit on a regular basis. It was no different for these doctors and students this past week, some got frustrated with me, most thanked me, and some of the ones that been frustrated came back and thanked me. Each day I got to witness growth in each of these individuals. It was different for me to be on the other side as a mentor with completely different obstacles to overcome. I knew I needed to push enough for growth but not defeat.You don’t have to do mission work to grow, but you do have to get outside your comfort zone and your norm to grow. This is different for everyone, but usually when you get in a state that you are not comfortable with, you’ll work harder and rise to the occasion. Additionally, it allows you to step away and get a 10,000ft view of your life and get an outside look at what’s happening in your “norm”. Maybe some aspect needs to change. Maybe something needs to be reinforced. For me, I realized I wanted more family time.If this helps one person then I’ve done my job.Love you guys,Dr. John Palmer


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