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Embracing Growth: Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

A few days ago, I read Seth Godin’s book – The Dip. It’s a great short book about the strategic quitting in our quest to become the best in the world. The book explains why there’s always a ‘dip’ in our projects – be that getting a promotion, falling in love, building a business, writing a book, even parenting. In the beginning, as we start to put in more effort, we see good results. Then there’s a dip. We end up putting more and more effort, but the results don’t improve. This is the time when most people tend to quit. However, as Seth says, if we can push through the dip we can come out the other side successfully and even as the best.

This book made me think of my topic for this week - The first step towards embracing growth either in a dip or while evoking change is being able to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Does that sound a bit absurd to you? But, here’s the truth. I very often talk to people who feel “stuck” in different situations – life, career and relationships. Even though they know their current situation is not the best, they prefer to stay right in it. Why - because it feels so comfortable and safe. The known devil, perhaps? I’ve been in this situation so many times myself. But why do we resist change even though we know we don’t belong in that “rut” – the answer is simple - change can feel hard and scary.

We are conditioned to believe that motivation is positive and when we feel this fantastic buzz of positivity, we jump up and start making changes. However, most of us are motivated to make real changes and breakthroughs only when there’s some severe dissonance in the way we live or be. I’m sure we can relate to a few of these - “I just had enough of feeling this way, it’s getting to me. Its time for a change, I’m going to eat healthy, exercise, and lose weight.” “I’m sick of being treated this way at work, I can’t feel worthless every day, this is enough.” “I’m stuck home all day with the kids, I love them, but it’s too much. I’m going to make time to do something for me.”

How often do we feel threatened by the possibility of discomfort that we create “reasons” and “excuses” for why change is not possible and blame circumstances or others? As a life coach, I believe there is a tremendous opportunity in discomfort. The truth is we don’t start making meaningful changes or accomplish anything by staying comfortable. Mediocre or average will not create the need for shifts or breakthroughs. The feeling of uncomfortable can push you towards great things, and that’s just how we grow.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Embrace the feeling of knowing that you need to do something else with your life. Don’t avoid it.

  • If you are self-aware and know that what you are doing is not enough, then you are uncomfortable in your current situation. This, my friends, is the starting point of growth. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

  • If you are in a dip, embrace it. Being uncomfortable is ok.

  • Don’t play it safe – look around for resources – a life coach can be a great partner with you on change work; there are plenty of books, blogs and podcasts that can open so many doors to help with change.

  • BE the change you need to see in your life.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Seth Godin – “If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.”

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