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Why You Must Get Comfortable Feeling Uncomfortable.

why you must get comfortable feeling uncomfortable

People don’t like to feel uncomfortable in any situation in their life, work or business.

It feels… well…uncomfortable.

As a result, people will go to great lengths to avoid situations that make them feel uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, that avoidance strategy is a killer of creating change, achieving goals and living and working on your own terms.

Here’s why:

Change doesn’t happen by staying in your comfort zone. Change only happens by stepping out of your comfort zone.

And thereby lies the challenge.

To create change and strike out in new directions requires doing something you haven’t done before.

It means rocking the status quo. It requires deciding not to settle for mediocrity.

All those things can feel scary. It can bring up all sorts of feelings like fear, resistance and self doubt. And that feels uncomfortable.

So, unless you are willing to expose yourself to feeling uncomfortable you are going to stay stuck.

Many years ago, I tried for a long time to change a number of areas of my life and work in my safe little comfort zone and it does not work. It was only when I stepped out of my comfort zone that the really good stuff started to happen in my life, work, business and relationships.

If you want to create change or achieve new goals you have to be be willing to step into feelings of discomfort and uncertainty. You have to be willing to take calculated risks. You have to be willing to feel fear and carry on regardless.

Here is something worth thinking about:

Thinking staying in your comfort zone is safe is a huge mistake. It’s not safe at all.

It’s not safe because you are risking a lifetime of just existing rather than living. You are settling for mediocrity in your life, work, business and relationships. That’s not safe. From where I’m sitting that is downright dangerous. It is a hell of a gamble to take with your one and only life.

The bottom line is this:

If you are serious about creating change you have got to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable.

If you are willing to do that the sky is the limit. You could transform your life, work, business and relationships. You could thrive more, improve your results and feel more fulfilled.

To me, that sounds like something worth feeling a little uncomfortable for.

So I invite you take a look at what sort of feelings come up for you when you want to create change or achieve your goals. What do you need to do to manage those feelings so that you can learn how to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable?

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  • When I decided to leave the corporate world to follow my dream of working and living on my own terms I did a lot of preparing before taking the leap. I knew what had to be in place to make it safe for me to take the leap. However, once I had those things in place I still didn’t resign.

    I was paralysed with fear. Fear of my plans not working out. Fear of where the income would come from. The feelings were keeping me trapped somewhere I didn’t want to be.

    I know I would have to get to a position of being OK with all those uncomfortable feelings to move forward. So, I reminded myself I had put things in place to make the transition as safe as possible. Then, despite the sometimes overwhelming uncomfortable feelings, I did it.

    It is without doubt one of the best things I ever did. It allowed me to create real freedom in my work and personal life.

    If I had stayed in my comfort zone to avoid the uncomfortable feelings of change I would not have the life I have today.

    Getting comfortable feeling uncomfortable was the catalyst to creating the life I really wanted.

  • Aaron

    Thank you for this article. Very inspiring and straight to the point. I struggle with this from time to time and it is always helpful reading an article like this to inspire me and give me motivation and hope again. Thanks Ali!

  • Hi Aaron, so pleased you found this article inspiring. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

  • Sue Gray

    Hi Ali,  I really enjoyed this article.  I think you are right and am looking forward to feeling uncomfortable very soon.  That comfort zone is still very comforting though!  

  • Think of it as a muscle Sue. The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. It also becomes easier and easier when you see the results of stepping out of your comfort zone and into a bit of discomfort. Have fun playing with it.

  • Erin

    I love this post. Someone once said to me, every time you step out of your comfort zone, your comfort zone gets bigger. It’s easy to lose sight of that when life gets in the way.

  • That is so true Erin – the more we practice something the better we get at it. So we should proactively step outside our comfort zone so that we can get better at dealing with it and also feel the benefits that happen when we do.
    Thanks for dropping by.

  • Christianj Isaac

    Hello Ali,
    This article has changed my day and has been book marked for the moments that lie ahead when the fear and self doubt resurface.
    From months of debating, planning and with total support from my partner, I recently resigned from a well paid job. 
    I am in the final week working my notice and the demons have been gnawing away to the point where I am regretting my decision. I have been trying to rationalize why I am not at peace. I now have time in my future to do the things I have sat in my office dreaming about; to find out what inspires me; to slow down and smell the flowers.
    Your words makes sense. I am uncomfortable and I need to embrace this feeling.

  • Welcome to my website. I am delighted you found this article helpful.

    I can so relate to those overwhelming fears – when I left the corporate world I was terrified. I put the decision off for months just because of fear and the discomfort of such massive change.

    But since making that leap 11 years ago, I have learnt that feelings of discomfort, self doubt and fear are part of creating change. Those feelings are normal. It is how we respond to them that is important.

    I wish you every success with your new direction.

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  • Such good advice! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Women of Midlife!

  • Ali Davies

    Teresa, so glad you found it useful.

  • So true. I’m making myself quite uncomfortable these days, and the payoffs have been there!

  • Good for you Susan. It is like a muscle – the more you exercise the easier it gets.

  • Roxanne Jones

    Loved this. I’ve also found that when I’ve got several tough tasks to do/steps to take, starting with the one that’s scariest/most difficult sometimes works best. Because once I overcome that hurdle, everything else feels that much easier.

  • Great strategy Roxanne.

  • Haralee

    Good reminders. It is just too easy to stay comfortable. Life can be comfortable with adaptations.

  • You are so right. Folks often settle for comfortable even when it isn’t what they really want because they fear the discomfort of creating change. But that will never lead to true fulfillment or the life they really want. Magic happens outside the comfort zone.

  • This spoke volumes to me Ali! I’ve started taking baby steps along that line. Each year I’ve progressed a little further than the year before. I have a feeling this will be the biggest one yet. Starting a new venture in ’16 and just finished my first book. Fingers crossed on all accounts. See ya next year! Happy Holidays!

  • Rena, good for you for taking baby steps toward what you want to create. Your new venture sounds really exciting. Have fun with it all.

  • I agree! So much of yoga is about learning to feel comfortable with discomfort. That is how you grow. Thanks for the great reminder.

  • Yes, exercise is a great illustration of the need to be willing to step into feelings of discomfort as you cannot achieve your fitness goals otherwise. Same applies to all area of life and work.

  • C Renee Cumberworth

    This hit me hard because I am trying to stay in a comfort zone but my life is stuck. This is encouragement and the push I need to make some changes. Thanks for sharing

  • I am delighted you found this useful.

  • Excellent points clearly made. What do I do to manage the feelings? Keep my eye on what I want and don’t settle or lower my standards. In the field I teach in just admitting that there is more to learn about female pleasure can take people out of their comfort zone, but I’ve found there is NO WAY around the uncomfortable feelings. It simply takes courage to reach out for more and get the knowledge to have it. The growth that comes from going for it is unlimited, as you stated, “If you are willing to do that the sky is the limit.”

  • Tamara Grand

    Such an important thing to realize. And of course, it applies to fitness and healthy living too 😉

  • Rena, I work on the basis that the permanent pain of staying stuck is far worse than the temporary pain and discomfort of creating change.

  • Yes, managing the feelings are so important as they have the capacity to either move us forward or keep us stuck.

  • Yes indeed. It applies to everything in life. That awareness is liberating.

  • Marie Mack

    This is such an important thing to realize! While our comfort zone sometimes serves to keep us safe, we can’t get anywhere new if we remain held back by it constantly.

  • Marie, yes indeed. Our comfort zone is often not the safe place we think, for many reasons and on many different levels.