Do you want to know the secret to grow and improve in every aspect of your life? It’s actually quite simple. If you truly desire to grow in any area of your life then you need to learn to love being uncomfortable. For it is in discomfort that we grow, adapt, and learn to overcome the status quo. Being uncomfortable is something that most people look to get away from. In today’s society, comfort is valued and highly desired.
People love to relax and “take it easy.” This is why people invest lots of money and time buying and doing things to improve their comfort and make things more convenient. But, have you noticed that these things tend to contribute to our laziness as well as the degradation of our bodies and our minds? The level of comfort that we experience controls our growth rate. And unfortunately, comfort is killing us.
Two Examples of Discomfort
If you really think about this quandary, it starts to make sense. Take a common example such as trying to lose weight. The fact of the matter is that eating less and exercising more is uncomfortable. No one likes to feel hungry and no one likes to feel sore or experience pain after exercise. I’d wager that I lot of people don’t like to “get sweaty” during exercise either. There’s an old saying that goes “no pain no gain.” While this is often in reference to weightlifting and bodybuilding endeavors, it can certainly apply to all aspects of life.
Let’s look beyond the obvious physical situations and take this idea a step further. Pretty much everyone knows that going to school and learning new things is not necessarily easy. In order to learn new things and expand your mind, you have to step out of your comfort zone. For many of us, this may mean just taking that first step and actually signing up for school (or training) or even perhaps just picking up a book for the first time. When you want to grow your mind, you’re going to have to allow yourself to become uncomfortable and perhaps even vulnerable as you listen to a lecture, force yourself to read a book or allow yourself to be challenged in a debate or in a public speaking endeavor.
Therefore, if you want to grow and become a better version of yourself, then you’re going to need to learn to love being uncomfortable. Being in a state of discomfort is the only way to grow and improve yourself
“If you’re never able to tolerate a little bit of pain and discomfort, you’ll never get better.”Angela Duckworth
Triggering Discomfort in Our Lives
There are three main ways in which you can trigger discomfort that can result in self-improvement. These ways are 1) Unexpected Events, 2) Aided Growth, and3) Personal Choice.
Sometimes life throws unexpected Events in your path. for example, you could be involved in the car or your boss would fire you or you could come across a large sum of money or you could have a relative passed away. There are endless examples of unexpected events that can occur to anyone at any given moment. When these things happen, it forces us to adapt and change in order to overcome them. these situations of discomfort require us to change something about ourselves so that we are never the same person afterward. and all of these things, there’s a lesson to be learned. It’s in these types of situations that many people are forced to become something they never thought they could be.
During World War II the United States mostly stayed out of the conflict until Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese December 7th, 1941. After the harbor was bombed, the Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was reported to have said, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant”.
It was after this moment that our nation was changed forever. People from every walk of life, from every background, and every economic situation got together and did something that no other country could do. The people of this great nation banded it together in unity to fight the Axis powers and eventually win the war. And as a result of this war, people came back with a renewed sense of the value of life as well as a new sense of what can be accomplished when we face discomfort together. In addition, this event shaped our culture and our thinking forever from that point forward.
The idea of aided growth is to bring someone into your circle that can help you grow and improve in areas that you would otherwise be significantly challenged by. This is why people hire personal trainers to help them reach their health and fitness goals. Other examples of this include hiring personal tutors, life coaches, leadership consultants, or other professionals to help you improve in many areas of your life. A good trainer or personal coach is going to challenge you just enough in a specific area so that you get outside of your comfort zone and start growing. In other words, a personal coaches goal is to you uncomfortable enough to start improving.
Another aspect of this method of triggering discomfort and growth is to find a mentor that can help lead you down the right path. Mentors help you by sharing their knowledge and experience with you. However, in order to find a good mentor, you first must be willing to recognize that you don’t know it all and that you need someone else to help you. A second thing that must occur is that you must be willing to go out of your way to find someone that can mentor you. This may require you to have patience while also being persistent.
Many you have probably heard of one of America’s richest internet Marketers, Tai Lopez. When he was young, he realized that he needed a mentor to help get him started on the right path to find the “good life.” After writing to his grandfather for advice, eventually began to seek out other successful people to mentor him. After much struggle, he eventually talked 5 successful entrepreneurs into mentoring him.
The final mechanism for triggering a state of discomfort in your life is simply making the personal choice to do so. This is the idea that you just decide to make a change in some area of your life. Going back to the examples of physical exercise, this could simply be choosing to get up early in the morning to workout every day. Recognizing the importance of physical fitness, you can choose to be uncomfortable and exercise when you would rather be sleeping.
Another example of making a personal decision to improve your life could be choosing to read more books. You could simply choose to set yourself a goal and commit to reading each day. You could read a chapter a day or choose to read for a set amount of time instead. In either case, we have the power to choose our destiny and our future. By choosing discomfort we can realize our true potential and grow ourselves into something that would otherwise be impossible.
It’s only natural for people to move away from discomfort and towards comfort. If you look at all of history, whether through new inventions or innovations, this has been one of man’s primary goals. However, the attainment of total comfort should not be anyone’s primary goal if they want to become a better version of themselves. In fact, we must learn to transcend the normal state of modern life and go where to places where we’ve never been before to do and experience things that we’ve never done before. You must consciously acknowledge the discomfort in our lives and embrace it. You must learn to love being uncomfortable so that you can use these circumstances to advance your growth. For it is only in this is an environment where growth can actually occur.
“Learn to associate discomfort with getting better.”Tim Ferriss