Discomfort Is Your Guide

Each time you feel uncomfortable, take a moment to evaluate if you're uncomfortable in a positive or a negative way. Lean into the former. Avoid the latter.

Our natural tendency is to look at being uncomfortable as a universally bad thing. Media and marketing attempt to convince you that you can remove discomfort from your life.

Being uncomfortable in a situation isn't necessarily a bad experience. Sometimes, it can point you in the direction of something you should lean further into. For example, you may be uncomfortable speaking up in a group setting, but getting comfortable with this means that you will be able to contribute to your team in a more effective way. In this case, your discomfort was a positive – you were presented with a challenge that will help you grow.

This doesn't mean that all discomfort is a positive – after all, placing your hand on a hot stove is uncomfortable and should be avoided – but it helps to re-frame your perspective on discomfort.

Writing on this blog, as an example, makes me feel uncomfortable. Sometimes I don't feel like I have anything to say, or that what I write is wrong or irrelevant. My discomfort, however, tells me that this is a challenge I can rise to, that I do have something to say, and that if I'm wrong, then I take the opportunity to correct myself and move on.

Each time you feel uncomfortable, take a moment to evaluate if you're uncomfortable in a positive or a negative way. Lean into the former. Avoid the latter.