Three cheers for discomfort!
I just read a blog post on lifehack.org which I loved before I even read it. I so connected to the main premise of the article. The title is Can you transform without getting uncomfortable? and the hypothesis is:
There is a positive correlation between how uncomfortable an individual is prepared to get and their likelihood of success – irrespective of the field of endeavour.
Need I say more? I mean, the article is very worth reading but all I can say is that it totally hit home for me. I am a woman of comfort. The idea of discomfort – even feeling more tired than usual or having a little stomach ache – upsets me. I have noticed that more and more about myself lately and along with that realization, I’ve noticed how much it can set me back in my life. (Those of you who know me well know that I’ve done a lot of uncomfortable things in my life but there is a huge amount of stress around that because I am not at peace with the idea of discomfort.)
I think that it’s important to ask where that attitude – the one that hates discomfort – comes from. And I think that simply put, it’s that I don’t understand the positive aspect(s) of discomfort. Yes, I prefer not to suffer, but the fact is, and it was phrased perfectly in that blog post so that it became quite clear to me, that it is when you step outside of your comfort that things happen. That is when your life can go places and you can really create great things (along with less great things, which will feel uncomfortable) and change.
In Jewish talk I’ve heard ideas that try to make us feel OK about discomfort (discomfort includes pain and suffering in this case) but none of those explanations have ever spoken to me. Some of these explanations include ideas about how pain is just a part of life, pain makes us appreciate the good times, pain is one of the things created by God so even if we don’t know why it happens, we should believe it’s for the best… None of that does it for me at all.
I think that when it is clear that not fearing discomfort will allow me to utilize all my abilities and fill my potential in the greatest way possible, I feel compelled to go beyond the comfort. Because even just thinking about the idea of filling my potential and being as creative in this world as possible makes me happy.
But first I think I’m going to go take a little nap.