Are you comfortable with being uncomfortable? For many people, the answer is a resounding NO.
Many of us prefer the easy road. We fear change, so we don’t push ourselves to the next level. We possess a natural proclivity to stick with the status quo, to resist the unknown, to stay comfortable.
Yet discomfort as a natural part of the human experience. If you’re uncomfortable with discomfort, you probably run away from uncertainty and change. But the fact is in today’s world you can’t run away from change! Change is all around us-everything in life is fluid.
We exist in an increasingly fast paced world. You either evolve or let the world pass you by.
If you can’t force yourself out of your comfort zone and embrace the discomfort of change, you will remain stuck. We all have people in our lives who fight like hell to maintain the status quo– people who have not evolved in ANY sense of the word—in 5, 10, 15, 20, sheesh in some cases even 30+ years.
There is no growth without change. The question is do you want to grow? Do you want to make progress in your life–in your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, your personal development? Or do you want to stay in the same exact place you were for many, many years?
It is easy to look at the people in our lives and see who IS changing and growing. We can just as easily look at the people around us and see who is the poster child of stagnation. Yet it is much tougher to take a good, long, hard look at ourselves.
Ask yourself–what has changed in your life since last year? Five years ago? Ten years ago? If you find the answering to this is “not much” this may be indicative that your growth game is NOT strong. If you stop growing, you are going to be unhappy.
The thing that often stops people from growing is their disdain of discomfort.
The truth is people often bolt at the mere sign of discomfort. But when you hide from the tough issues, you may play it safe and refuse to take risks. You may steer clear of difficult conversations at home and at work. Afraid of conflict, you may fail to challenge yourself or others, to greater performance and a better life. But when you expect discomfort as a natural part of life you do not overreact to it. You are not thrown off by it. The real issue facing our society is many people feel entitled to not feel any discomfort in their lives.
Being able to sit with your own feelings of discomfort without ACTING on them is a sign of emotional maturity.
Most people can’t even tolerate being uncomfortable for short amounts of time. This is why we see people disappear into forms of escapism and distraction— eating, drinking, drugs, drama, all kinds of addictions, or abusive behavior.
How often do we let discomfort stop us from being who we truly are or from living the life we dream?
Many of us are driven by the need to be comfortable at the expense of all else. There are people who crave security and certainty even if this consists of compromising on other goals they may have.
Many of us never even try because we are afraid to even start.
Because we all KNOW starting can suck. Whenever you start something new, it sucks. Not always, but quite often. You are the new guy at work, it sucks. You are the new student in school, it sucks. You are moving across the country to start anew, it sucks. You start a diet, it sucks. You start working out, it sucks.
Anything outside of our comfort zone can seem daunting.
A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.
Growth requires change. It requires discomfort. Ask yourself: are you comfortable with being uncomfortable? Can you go through the growing pains and make it out to the other side?
If you are going to win at this game we can life, it’s all about not letting your discomfort make you throw in the towel, not start the race, or give up in the middle.
You’ll get comfortable with being uncomfortable when you realize that pushing pass those feelings of discomfort and leaning into the discomfort is where you feel the most genuinely alive.
You will also be able to handle WHATEVER life throws at you. Being comfortable with discomfort is the cornerstone of self-efficacy.
If you find you struggle with being uncomfortable and see it have a negative impact on your life, counseling may be a place to start processing through those feelings.
To schedule a counseling session with me (AND if you are a reader who lives in New Jersey):
Erin Doyle Theodorou, M.Ed, LPC, NCC
Anew Counseling Services LLC
617 Oradell Avenue, Suite 3, Oradell, New Jersey, 07649