Jacquelyn Smith

Getting Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

[“slow down” by Bongani]

A while back, I was watching Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, and something the trainer said to one of his makeover candidates really made me stop and think:


“You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”


That one little sentence has been lodged in my brain ever since. It’s so simple, yet so profound.


We spend so much of our lives seeking comfort. Even when we’re going through a time that’s uncomfortable, we tell ourselves it’s only temporary, and that things will get better when we get through it. Then we’ll be able to relax and be comfortable again. (Either that, or we try to find a way to back out and retreat to our comfort zone.)


And why shouldn’t we want to be comfortable? It’s a nice feeling. But how much are we growing or challenging ourselves when we’re really comfortable? I don’t know about you, but in my case, usually, not much at all…


OK, so discomfort is a part of personal growth. But do we have to grit our teeth and resist it so much? What if we embraced it as a sign we are evolving into something more instead of viewing it as something to be endured or avoided? I think this kind of mental shift could make the difference between just getting by, and being unstoppable.


(The next time I’m feeling whiny because things are tough, I’m going to try to remember I said that. ;))


How do YOU handle discomfort? Do you grin and bear it, run away, or embrace it?


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2 thoughts on “Getting Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

  1. aniko

    This post comes at the perfect time for me, Jacquelyn. I have just started to practice Zen meditation and I want to make it known to the world that sitting still looks easy, but is one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried. Also, if you get it wrong, your foot falls so deep asleep you begin to worry about the need for amputation! Life is full of worthy goals that will be uncomfortable to attain. The only way to get to where you need to be as a fully developed human being is to learn how to embrace discomfort as part of the path.


    1. Jacquelyn Post author

      Meditation is a great example of this. :) (And also reminds me I should get back to some regular meditation again.) It’s funny how something that appears so relaxing and effortless actually takes a lot of effort and concentration to get to that point.

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