I recently read a post by Michael Hyatt related to the concept of ‘embracing discomfort’. I am fascinated by this idea and those that know me are aware that I am perfectly fine if you (or I) are a bit uncomfortable. I think we are all going to be challenged and potentially grow from being uncomfortable and I am going to use Michael’s original ideas and then expound on them a bit for our purposes.
According to Mr. Hyatt comfort is overrated, discomfort is a catalyst for growth, and discomfort is a sign we’re making progress.
- Comfort is overrated – Comfort doesn’t lead to happiness and it can actually make us lazy. Comfort can lead to boredom, self-absorption, and discontentment. Comfort can also be related to the idea that equilibrium is the precursor to death. Once we become too comfortable we are far more likely to stop growing, stop achieving, stop serving, and simply sit around waiting for the next comfortable opportunity to come along.
- Discomfort is a catalyst for growth – Being uncomfortable will cause us to act in some way. Discomfort regularly makes us want more and forces us to change, stretch, and adapt. When we are uncomfortable we respond in multiple ways – we may respond physically be literally moving away from the situation. We respond emotionally be reacting and telling others that we are uncomfortable. We respond intellectually by trying to figure out what is causing the discomfort and then seeking ways to change the feeling of being uncomfortable.
- Discomfort is a sign we’re making progress – When you push yourself to grow, you will experience discomfort. As an adolescent you probably had literal growing pains and as you look back you realize that the end result was much more positive than not physically growing. When we push ourselves we adapt, grow, change, and adjust as needed to meet the needs of the situation. Recognize that you are growing when you are uncomfortable and your outlook will be much more positive.
My prayer for you is that you will recognize when you are too comfortable and seek out ways to embrace the idea of being uncomfortable.
Charles D. Sands, PhD, MEd
Dean, College of Allied Health
Professor, Health Science