Learn to love being uncomfortable

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” -Tim Ferriss

Achieving goals, by definition, usually requires being uncomfortable. Any type of meaningful growth, transformation, or metamorphosis involves an uncomfortable (and sometimes painful) process of changing yourself.

  • Becoming physically stronger involves sweating, soreness, and anguish at the gym.
  • Becoming emotionally stable might require slow, deep reflection on uncomfortable realizations about yourself and your behaviors.
  • Becoming more intelligent might involve abstaining from television and social media in order to read, study, and learn.

For so long, all I wanted to do was come home after work, make dinner, and set up base camp on the couch so I could binge-watch another season of Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, or whatever. But you don’t grow in those environments.

At best, that scenario is a temporary escape from reality, maybe even finding rest.

At worst, it’s a perpetuation of behaviors that will ultimately prevent you from becoming your highest self.

At this point, my wife would be reading behind my shoulder, my wife would say, “OK…that’s pretty intense.”

She’s right! But in this world where everything is vying for your attention and money — social media, advertisements, commercials, texts, phone calls, emails, push notifications, online shopping, breaking celebrity news, the Golden Globes award list, your grandpa asking you to do yard work — it’s alarmingly easy to realize your entire week’s free time was spent doing things you’ve been “comfortable” with, and nothing else.

What about the opposite? What does “being uncomfortable” do for me?

  • What benefit does taking a freezing cold shower every morning do for me?
  • Why should I embarrass myself trying to order Mexican food in my broken Spanish, since the cashier already knows English?
  • Why should I wake up at 7am every day when I could wake up at 8am?

I never knew a man to come to greatness or eminence who lay abed late in the morning. -Jonathan Swift

Why should we learn to love being uncomfortable?

Because there is a direct correlation between an increased sphere of comfort and creating an ideal lifestyle.

Taking a cold shower sounds awful, but after 20 seconds, you’ll feel more alive and invigorated than you’ve probably felt in a long time. Practicing your broken Spanish (especially when you’re not “forced” to) teaches you that looking silly isn’t so bad.

“It is possible to condition yourself to discomfort and overcome it.” -Tim Ferriss

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If you need help getting started on the path to becoming comfortable being uncomfortable, email me at [email protected] for a free coaching consultation.


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  1. Kevin Hoelscher says:

    I did the Polar Bear Plunge on January 1st down at La Jolla Shores. That, in a word, is uncomfortable, but you feel great after doing it! And I do wake up at around 4:30 every morning, some days are harder than others to do that. Right now I’m reading a book by Ian Kershaw titled To Hell and Back: Europe from 1914-1949. It’s been quite an undertaking, about 520 pages, but hey, I’m at about 490 right now, so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Studying history brings me face to face with those who have been much more uncomfortable than I have…like those fighting in the trenches of WWI or those killed in Stalin’s communist Russia. We have it pretty easy these days comparatively.

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