The Value in Being Uncomfortable

Do something uncomfortable

By Dawn Onley

I had an “aha” moment this past weekend.

I was thinking about my fitness goals and lamenting that I’m not making as much progress as I’d like to make, and then it hit me. I’ve gotten way too comfortable.

For the most part, I still eat the same. I usually stay just under my daily calorie limits with the My Fitness Pal app, but I haven’t really given up anything that I enjoy eating. I’m merely eating a little less of those items. And I haven’t kicked my workouts into high gear so far this year. Although I usually get my 10,000 steps in each day, I’m hardly breaking a sweat.

I’ve been putting in a mediocre effort, which is why I’m yielding a lackluster result. There is a direct correlation between effort and result.

I’ve become too comfortable. I’ve grown too accustomed to my routine, and it’s no longer working for me. If I continue down this path, I will continue to get frustrated with my results.

I don’t think I’m alone. Many of us could probably examine some area of our lives where we’ve grown a bit comfortable and I’ll bet those areas are suffering as a result. Perhaps we’re not challenging our spending or keeping a budget, and as a result, we’re living paycheck to paycheck. Maybe it makes us uncomfortable to be alone so we’re sacrificing our emotional health engaging with people who deplete us. Or perhaps we tell ourselves what we long to hear, even if it’s not the truth or what we need to hear.

We do whatever it takes to stay comfy.

I’m learning that there is value in being uncomfortable. It’s not fun, at least initially. It often requires that we give up something that we really enjoy, or even something that we’re fearful of giving up. It requires that we do something in a totally different way. It can be painful. But there is value in shaking things up. This is the reason why high intensity interval training yields such impressive results. It switches up the routine, requiring a person to do a cardio activity that gets their heart rate way up for a short period of time (e.g. 1 minute) before allowing them to cool down for a short period of time. This process repeats several times over the course of a cardio workout.

Nothing can stop you


We go to great lengths to ensure that we’re comfortable. Then we wonder why, year in and year out, nothing changes.

The beauty in being uncomfortable is that eventually, we’ll adjust. Eventually, we’ll become comfortable again. And improved.

We often have to lose something to gain.

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