When buffalo sense and incoming storm, they instinctively charge into the storm.
Wilma Mankiller was the first Cherokee Chief. She was interviewed by the author Donna Brazile and told Donna about a great story.
Donna wrote, “Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee nation, once told me how the cow runs away from the storm while the buffalo charges directly toward it — and gets through it quicker.
I love this story. We all know what the feeling of running away from our problems or trying to ignore some of the itchy feelings we bury deep inside. Personally, I do my best to tackle problems or difficulties head-on whenever possible instead of letting it fester. I’d rather deal with it now instead of have it hanging over me, knowing I can’t escape it anyway. I’m not perfect and sometimes procrastinate, but I do my best!
That said, not all storms are good. Some are hurricanes and cause permanent damage. It’s also important to note that some storms are helpful. We need storms to help the forest grow and keep the rivers flowing. We need storms to nourish the environment. We need some of the storms in our lives too. Storms helps us grow, especially when we choose to charge into them instead of running away until we eventually get swallowed up in them.
Maybe your storm is debt and you won’t look at your credit card statement. Maybe your storm is a difficult conversation you need to have in a relationship. Maybe your storm is taking ownership of your health or getting in shape. What storm can you face a little sooner?
It takes practice and courage to charge head-on into the storm and optimism to know that you will come out the other side. It takes a growth mindset to look at the storm as an opportunity to grow. Choosing discomfort is like a muscle – you learn to adapt and deepen your capacity for it (just like riding a bike uphill!). It takes courage to willingly choose discomfort instead of prolonging it, but with intention and a little bit of work, you will come out better on the other side.