The One Truth About Discomfort

There is one truth about discomfort: You can’t avoid it.

You will never be able to go through your life without ever being uncomfortable. Even if you never do anything, you will still feel discomfort soon enough. You will get hungry, tired, and bored. No matter where you go, or what you do, you will be uncomfortable at some point. You might feel anxious in traffic, or helpless that you aren’t able to connect with a family member in the way that you want. You might feel that your career isn’t going where you want it to, or that the project that you are in charge of is about to fail. You may have that dreaded 7am meeting tomorrow morning, or the 6pm date where you are going to have ‘the talk.’ (Notice that ‘the talk’ could mean something good, or bad, but you still don’t feel at peace with it.)

Feeling discomfort is a human condition. It is due to the fact that we need to keep moving as humans. We never stop. Our hearts are always beating, our breath keeps pouring into our lungs. If we became comfortable with the blood that was currently in our veins our the air that we just inhaled, then we wouldn’t take the next breath, or force the next heartbeat. And we would die.

Embrace the Discomfort

So we need to stop trying to avoid the discomfort. We need to embrace it. We need to move towards it. Obsessing and worrying won’t help. (If you obsess about your next breath, you’ll miss out on the rest of life.) But don’t try to avoid it either. If you aren’t comfortable with the amount of money you make, lean into your discomfort. Either give more money away, or focus on making more money, depending on where your discomfort comes from. If you are embarrassed about your looks, lean into it. Embrace that you want to be different, and embrace who you are made to be. Find others that you can encourage to be themselves also. Finish the following statements:

  • I am uncomfortable with . . .
  • Something I wish were different is .  .  .
  • I want to change . . .

You can’t avoid being uncomfortable, so you might as well name what you are uncomfortable with. Once you identify it, you can decide what you want to do with it.

There is one truth about discomfort: You can’t avoid it.