Getting to this level in my life wasn’t an easy feat. I’m convinced that it’s similar to almost everyone. However, in my case, I was never brought up to the point of ever accepting discomfort or permit any difficulty in any sector of my life — even when the situation presented itself.
I was taught to have a good countenance always, smile through bad situations, and omens. I was even made to learn to reject the habits of internalizing them.
Until a certain point in my life very recently actually, when I encountered an inescapable pain of abandonment and contempt from the very people who taught me not to see red and also strangers who didn’t care if I did or not.
My life was crumbling. I experienced incessant bouts of anxiety, uneasiness, loathing, you name it. In short, I felt like not existing anymore.
Not so funny enough, that became my turning point.
The awe-inspiring moment when I found me. The real me. The current me. The me now who embraces discomfort has enabled me to mature a whole lot in many areas of my life.
It was until then I came to the conclusion that I had been rejecting the one thing that makes me who I am, that if only I got to embrace earlier enough, I would be more humane.
That one thing was discomfort.
I hated the feeling. I was made to be afraid of the times I experienced discomfort and attempts to express it. I was made to feel ashamed too.
But here are some of the upsides of discomfort that I discovered — things it does for you, as opposed to against you:
Discomfort puts you on your toes
When you’re experiencing a difficult time, it breeds discomfort. If you embrace it as part of the process, a natural phenomenon of what you’re going through, it helps put you on your toes to fathom a way out of it. It forces you to source a better way or encounters out of it, compared to if you deviated from accepting it.
Discomfort helps you rid unhealthy habits
When you’re happy and comfortable all the time, it nurtures a lot of unhealthy habits that ultimately derails you. Habits such as eating too much, drinking too much, oversleeping, over-talking, excess of everything. These habits can feed the comfort loop further — making you more comfortable. Imagine if all you did every day was watch Netflix? That routine alone can stimulate other unhealthy habits.
Sometimes, also, overindulgence (like eating, sleeping, relaxing in excess) kick starts the process of comfortability — although you might not have been feeling so in the first place.
While there’s nothing wrong with being happy and showing it, being in your comfort zone for too long can make you adopt and exercise traits that aren’t in tune with what you originally want for yourself.
Which brings me to the next point
Comfort can breed an inauthentic version of you
Similar to the point above.
When you adopt and exhibit several unhealthy habits that aren’t in tune with your true self, you’re equally giving in to a fake persona, all in the name of being and feeling comfortable. We can’t all be real every time and do the right things all the time as fallible as we are as humans. However, curtailing some measures that will expose us more to being inauthentic rather than our true selves is cheating ourselves and our living. But when you embrace discomfort sometimes, or create a healthy opportunity for it, it helps you to balance that hysteric equation.
Embracing discomfort, in this case, would be substituting that enjoyment galore for spending alone time at home.
Embracing discomfort could be by refusing to hang out with family, instead of with a mentee.
Embracing discomfort could be canceling a TGIF venture (going clubbing or night hangouts) to get a hang of your work project at home instead.
These might appear either fickle or mean much to you, but the point remains that we should learn to disrupt the flow of being overly comfortable. Because there’s a whole lot to learn, true life lessons accompanied by growth and maturity, mostly when we get to the other side of our comfort zone, which is embracing discomfort.