How long can you hold your hand over an open flame? How long can you stay in a room before noticing its stench? How long can you go throughout the day in a wet pair of jeans?
I don’t know what it is about the human condition but we respond best to discomfort. I don’t know a lick of karate, but I will do a Daniel-son arm swipe at a mosquito in a second.
$1 million can be on the line, but if it came between the money and an irritating itch best believe you would not be able to stand a second go by without scratching.
This itch — this feeling of discomfort that demands a solution — is something we should always welcome.
The best inventions come from the greatest necessities, so until we view our goals as necessities — as a stench only overpowered by the fragrance of completion — we will remain sitting in the same room, smelling like failure.
This is why we must find comfort in being uncomfortable. In everything we do, in every aspect of our life, we must challenge ourselves to find what the next level is.
The moment we get lax is the moment we get stuck, and if you look around, you’ll see that getting stuck is going around like the common cold of late.
Here are some perks of being uncomfortable.
We are creatures of habit. We like what makes sense to us and we hate learning new things. Because we’re wired as such, it’s easy to become blind to our repetitive nature.
When we are uncomfortable however, it disrupts this fairy world that everything is okay. Like the hand over the flame: life can get nice and cozy, but we need the actual burn to get us to move.
A good way to ensure that we’re never satisfied with where we are (to keep up this uncomfortable environment) is to always set new goals for yourself and to make them visible. Not only will this keep you striving towards new accomplishments but it will always serve as a reminder that there is more to be done.
You know the feeling that you should be doing more than what you are doing currently and the feeling that you should be further along than where you are? That fleeting, very imposing feeling that comes unannounced?
That is the feeling you should bottle up and use instead of pushing it to the back of your conscious. That is the feeling that will force you to make a difference and change your life to the where you want it to be.
Helps Push You
If you’re familiar with P90x, then you’ve heard of their muscle confusion strategy which basically employs throwing different workouts and your muscles so your progress will never plateau. We should take a similar strategy with our lives.
When we take on challenges, stick it out in challenging environments, and always strive for somewhere higher, it puts us in a constant state of tension, forcing us to grow and never plateau.
A good way to push yourself and switch it up would be to go on a cleanse, set up goals for yourself to complete each week, or have something new that you’re chasing.
When you’re adamant about putting challenges in front of yourself and putting yourself at discomfort, you will disrupt all waves of complacency.
You don’t want to be Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, waking up every day trapped in the same reality. It happens to too many of us, all because we shy away from the work necessary to making our dreams come true.
Make sure that isn’t you.
Wakes You Up
The tension of making your life challenging and uncomfortable makes you more aware of what you need to do. Suddenly you can prioritize what you do and don’t have time for, what to spend money on and who to hang out with.
It’s amazing how a little adversity will force us to get our heads on right. And it’s not about placing yourself in compromising situations, either. It’s about making sure you’re not satisfied with anything short of your intended goal.
Taking pride in the goals you’ve accomplished is important, but what’s more important is understanding where those accomplishments fit in the grand perspective.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It will help you face your fears, confront your enemies and grow into the person you want to be. It’s a matter of the mind and it’s something that you can choose to activate at any given point and time.
Set goals for yourself, take on an extra job, say yes to a challenge you would normally say no to, and make yourself uncomfortable so you can grow.
Sometimes we need the flame, the wet pair of jeans, and the mosquito in our lives. Maybe all we need is that extra nudge to push us to greatness.
I think if we welcome these elements during periods in our life, we will be ready for whatever comes our way.