Temporary moments of discomfort or “TMD” for short, are situations we must encounter and persevere through, if we want to experience the most out of life. This was the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, Farrah Storr’s takeaway message to us from her inspiring TED talk.

TMD puts you in situations you find uncomfortable and naturally want to shy away from. As an opening gambit to her talk, Farrah made us stare intensely into stranger’s eyes for 5 seconds without blinking, or looking away. The experience was awkward for both participants, and there was a lot of nervous laughter.

However, once we worked through the five seconds of awkwardness, everyone felt a lot better. Collectively we had achieved something we did not want to do. Completing the task although uncomfortable, proved to us that we could do it again if necessary; making the whole process a little easier a second time around.

Hearing Farrah talk about TMD resonated with me, as I am a naturally cautious person. As an adult it is easy to fall into a trap of going along with the lifestyle you have become accustomed to, because it is what you know. It is easy to put things off with excuses such as “I’m too busy”, or “I’ll do it next week”, when in reality if you are being totally honest with yourself, you are probably just a little bit scared to give it a go.

Farrah’s talk on TMD inspired me to try and make the step up in my rowing club from my intermediates squad to the ladies senior squad. I am a complete novice to rowing having only got into a boat for the very first time last March. My new team mates have competed in prestigious rowing events such as Henley and these levels of competitions are their aim. In short, they are formidable athletes. I know I am not as fit or as technically skilled as my team mates yet, but I have decided to push myself hard to try and get there. I could have taken the easy option and staid put where I was, at a comfortable level towards the top of my old group; but staying put means stagnating and not improving. So thank you Farrah for your inspiring words, and pushing me through my TMD to hopefully reach new rowing heights!

Kate is a solicitor at Stephens Scown who works in our construction team.