The Beauty of Discomfort

May 6, 2018

What is your relationship with discomfort? Where do you find yourself when faced with the most difficult of challenges or changes you want to make in your life. Perhaps you are like me and can find a number of ways to distract or divert attention away from the problem at hand. Distraction is actually the easiest one for me unless I'm emotionally connected to something or have already created deep habits. I think back to starting University and feeling overweight. Being emotionally attached to the idea that I can change this and started a daily workout program that has now lasted almost 20 years. Looking back, that was easy because of that emotional connection and yet today new things can be challenging. Amanda Lang has written a book (The Beauty of Discomfort) that covers a variety of individuals who have gone through big changes or faced discomfort and overcome, and how.

 

It's a strange thing to recognize what we find uncomfortable, but also beneficial to us in the long run, and still, find ways to turn away.

 

"When we reframe discomfort, either by associating it with something positive or by treating it as normal and even helpful, we engage the prefrontal cortex, our brain's CEO, which can act as a top-down neurological commander to close the gate on unbearable degrees of pain. ... The first step is simply to change our minds about what discomfort means, and consider the possibility that it's a sign we're stretching and growing." - Amanda Lang

 

Not only must we reframe how we view discomfort but ultimately we have to recognize what comfort means to us and what it could potentially be doing to us. Eating is often the most commonly used example but it can arrive in the form of thinking, the wheels turning, and not acting or not doing. Sometimes it's easy to start a business and then do busy work to avoid doing the effective work that needs to be done. We look back a year later and have we moved the needle? Comfort has found its way into our lives.

 

We must think of "comfort as a trap, not a cushion." Recognizing what we do to keep busy that leads to us feeling comfortable but in reality isn't moving us forward. That is where we have to reframe the comfort and push towards discomfort. "I can sit here and post photos and be comfortable or I can reach out to as many people as possible, even though it's uncomfortable, and try to grow this business."

 

I'd love to hear your areas of discomfort. My discomforts centre around trying to grow a non-existent business from scratch. I'm comfortable in the career world slowly climbing the ladder but want to feel the self-ownership and growth of being a true entrepreneur. My comfort is avoiding the difficult decisions or taking the steps that will move this forward rather than sitting comfortably with what I know.

 

Paired with this Saison Rue from The Bruery. A Belgian style farmhouse saison with a nice tartness to it. Powerful at 8.5% but not overwhelming. Have I said how much I enjoy the Belgian style of beer!

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