In a year where comfort has in many ways gone out the window, we are starting to recognize the need to embrace discomfort in order to progress in life. We need to go through the uncomfortable journey of self exploration, equal parts accountability and forgiveness for the damage we’ve caused ourselves, and possibly those around us, along the way.
Last week I spoke with my coach who told me that sometimes, in the depths of struggle, we need to push and persevere just that little bit further to come out to something amazing on the other side. Often we give up right before the possibility of greatness. Discomfort is a proxy to progress. We become so focussed on the goal that we lose sight of the journey – and no worthwhile journey is easy.
Fear lives where discomfort happens. Did you know that temporary discomfort increases your long-term comfort zone? The more we experience, the more comfortable we become as and when situations arise. It teaches us to face our fears and embrace imperfection, after all – the goal is to become whole, not perfect.
There is infinite potential that exists within each and every one of us, with a higher self that we aspire towards. That higher self has always existed within us, but life experiences and conditioning cause us to lose sight of it. We start to create limiting beliefs, self doubt, repressed emotions, and convince ourselves we need to be someone other than who we truly are. All of these things create our body armor, which we pile on out of fear of getting hurt. We no longer fully show up, covered in layers that try to shield us from any additional emotional pain. The trouble is, these defense mechanisms also mute our experience of positive emotions.
We cannot achieve what we want by remaining as we are. We have to plant the seed, remembering that the day we plant the seed is not the day we eat the fruit. The planting of the seed is the tricky bit. We’ve got to dig deep and ensure conditions are right for the seed to grow. And we cannot expect that growth to happen instantly.
We need to stop being a spectator and find the courage to start showing up as the protagonist to our own story. Be all in. Show up, even when it’s hard. Show up like we’re meant to be there, trudging through mud as we become the lotus. We need to be in touch with how we feel, without labelling our emotions as good or bad and without allowing them to overwhelm us. Let’s get comfortable, with being uncomfortable.
Being comfortable with discomfort (when there is a clear benefit) brings with it opportunity: to pay attention, learn, grow. In yoga I often talk about riding the edge of discomfort in our poses and practice, because it’s at the edge that we feel, that we break barriers, that we display true courage, that we SHOW UP – raw.
We don’t avoid the punches – we get good at sparring. We learn. We heal the wounds and let the scars be a reminder that we kept showing up.