Sep 29, 2020 | Insights

Embracing Your Discomfort Zone

Creative director, Mila Thomsen, wears many hats—designer, lettering artist, proud Bulgarian, feminist, chocolate aficionado. She is a champion of leadership, winning “Most Organized Art Director of All Time” and co-founding one of the most successful Ladies Wine and Design chapters in the world.

Embracing Your Discomfort Zone
Meet Mila Thomsen
“It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.”
– Paula Scher

At a recent Circa Lunch & Learn, Mila kindly shared her creative journey with us along with six tips on embracing our discomfort zone, sound advice for creatives at any stage in our careers.


01. Fail A Lot.

“It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.”

– Paula Scher

Mila leaned on Paula Scher to give us this ultimate discomfort zone advice—fail … A LOT. Pushing our personal creative limits means falling short, and if that’s not happening from time to time, we’ll fail in a far worse way—by stagnation.

02. Just ask.

You will always have a no, but you might get a yes. Ask. Mila said we should try asking people to do a crazy thing just so we can learn to hear “no.” 95% of the time, people say yes, but we will never know if we don’t embrace our discomfort zone.

03. Take risks.

If you don’t take a chance, you will always wonder what could have been. Mila urged us to be open to new experiences, saying that many bold next steps in her career happened just by being willing to try something new.

04. Any idea is better than no idea.

No one really knows what they’re doing, especially when they work on something new. Try new things, see what sticks, and understand that bad ideas can open the dialogue to several new ones.

05. Literally no one has all the answers.

Imposter syndrome is real, and we all need to be told once in a while that it’s okay not to know it all. Mila says it’s important for us to do our own research, test things out, and stop feeling afraid of what we still have to learn—get excited about it.

06. Doubt is a good thing.

Certainty is a closing of the mind. To create something new you must have doubt.”

– Milton Glaser

Mila encouraged us not to punish ourselves for our doubts. Use them to fuel the creative juices and understand that failing is part of the process.

Thank you, Mila, for inspiring us to stay curious, find our own answers, fail A LOT, make friends, and keep growing.

Currently, Mila is a new-found Nashvillian and recipient of the Adobe Creative Residency Community Fund. She is the creative force behind a hand-lettering blog, Type and Doodle.

More to read…