This may sound like an oxymoron, but it‘s a reality. Our culture teaches us to move when we want, think only how WE want, accept how things makes us feel, and rationalize issues to make them self serving. Sure, it may feel pretty good to do things solely on account of our own free will, but it actually breeds laziness, slows progression toward your goals, and robs you of achieving a life of bliss.
What do I mean by discomfort? I’m referring to activities that cause increased pressure, anxiety, boredom, fear, or those things you simply don’t like to do. Uncomfortable things range from eating vegetables to telling a friend how they have wronged you. Moments or seasons such as these, although uncomfortable, can really produce an awakening or a transformation in your life. Let’s take a look at some processes that require pressure or discomfort to produce beautiful things:
Gold is one of the most sought after metals in the world. People have killed for it and others have died in dangerous conditions while trying to obtain it. We mostly see gold in the form of jewelry but we are often blind to the process it takes to produce this luxury. Gold must go through a smelting process that utilizes pressure, high heat, and chemicals for purification. Once impurities are removed, it can finally be used to wear as a sign of beauty, wealth, and status.
This one is pretty self explanatory. The process of bearing and birthing a child can be a stressful and uncomfortable one. Women have been known to experience backaches, mood swings, constipation, muscle cramps, food allergies, difficulty sleeping, hemorrhoids, and even diabetes! While giving birth, women are often intense pain, high blood pressure, and emotional distress. However, at the end of this temporary season of discomfort a new little life is brought into the world. If you think about it, your mother experienced these unpleasantries for you to be here today!
The initial journey from the couch to your workout can be uncomfortable enough, but the process of building muscle and losing fat will definitely push you out of your comfort zone. Building muscle requires putting more stress on your existing muscles than you’re accustomed to. This causes them to sustain minor micro tears that cause muscle soreness. The tears are repaired when your body rests. The result is a larger muscle that is able to withstand stress better. Pushing your body to a place past constant rest mode requires exertion that counters a sedentary lifestyle and laziness, but persevering through this discomfort will lead you to have more energy every day, combat diseases, and improve concentration.
Why you should welcome discomfort as part of your progression
I get it. This may seem like a burden but it is actually something to get excited about! You should welcome this discomfort because:
It forces you to prioritize
When you are focused on meeting your goals, there is much to accomplish and little time and energy for distractions. As a result, you have to figure out what’s really important and what you can reasonably accomplish day to day. Not everything that needs to be done is important and it may not need to be done right now.
You learn how to be more efficient
We’ve all heard of the phrase, “Work smarter, not harder.”It’s a very applicable statement when you’re paving the path to accomplishments. There also will be times where you will be forced to figure out the most logical and timely solutions to life events in order to keep moving forward.
You build your path to becoming an expert
If you want to be an expert at something, expect to be met with seasons of discomfort at every rung of the ladder you climb. The great thing about this is that you will have to learn the lesson before you go to the next step. When you look back, you will have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with others.
In my own life, pushing past discomfort brought about transformation. I just became a runner about 3 months ago. I never thought in a million years that I would be running anywhere. I wouldn’t even run to my car if it were raining! (sad but true) One morning, a dear friend invited me to join her running group for a casual run on the track. Did I want to get up early? Heck no! Did I actually feel like exercising that day? Absolutely not, but I’m so glad I did. The moment I felt the awakening of my muscles and my endorphins sky rocket to new levels, I no longer remembered my discomfort I initially felt. Pushing past my discomfort encouraged me to keep doing so as I saw the mighty benefits of it. Since that day, I have run both a 5k and 10k, and I am now excited about getting up early to work out! I’ve lost weight, become more disciplined in ALL areas of my life, and ultimately proved to myself that I am capable of conquering my laziness.
Think about the obstacles or challenges you’re facing today. What’s stopping you from tackling them right now? Are you putting them off because you don’t have clarity? Do they seem too overwhelming to address? This may be true, but your unwillingness to go through the uncomfortable moments that take us out of our comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory is a disservice to your growth and maturity. The next time you are faced with an uncomfortable obstacle or challenge, don’t run from it. Run straight to it full speed ahead until you reach your goal. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself every time!
Let’s get uncomfortable together!