Sunday, February 7, 2010

Be Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

Anyone familiar with these:

"But I don't want to... I've never done that before."

"I can't... I'm afraid of the unknown."

"What if I face something I'm not prepared for? I hate that feeling."


Mr. Comfortable is a tricky dude. He makes us think we need him in order to become successful, but I've learned (mostly the hard way) the opposite is true. We'll find a deeper, longer lasting success if we learn to invite Uncomfortable into our day.

Uncomfortable makes us think... Uncomfortable creates the need to look for new and innovating ways to accomplish. She can sting, often confuse, but always teaches. The challenge with Uncomfortable is the difficulty we have making a lasting friendship with her. It's too easy to get upset with her, as she constantly puts us in positions we're unfamiliar with. Very often, this unfamiliarity makes us want to make that call back to Comfortable... we have his number memorized.

Comfortable is so supportive, isn't he? He always tells us what we want to hear, and makes us feel good about ourselves no matter what we choose. He never tells us the whole truth though, leaving us feeling a false sense of security. Comfortable wants and NEEDS us to keep coming back, which means he's never going to suggest diving into the unknown... even if it means personal growth and achievement. He's the anti-growth!

Uncomfortable, conversely, will never tell us only what we want to hear. Her goal is to always tell us what we need to hear, knowing this is the only way to reach new levels.

She understands we must learn to be Comfortable with being Uncomfortable!

Becoming Comfortable with Uncomfortable will make us look at growth through clearer lenses, allowing us to see expansion, where others only see downsizing. If Uncomfortable becomes a natural part of our mindset, and is accepted as "normal," think of the possibilities that will automatically arise. How different would our every day become if we invited Uncomfortable to join us in our decision making process? How many more opportunities would come knocking?

The next time Comfortable texts you or leaves a message on your home phone, hit the Erase button, and immediately speed dial Uncomfortable.


14 comments:

Bendigo said...

My former employer understood uncomfortable extremely well. He made a point of keeping us out of our comfort zone. Constantly striving to learn something new. I have to say I didn't like it at first, but soon learned that the very diversity I loathed, was the one thing that kept me wanting to go back to work....Loved the challenge

Great Post!

Bruce Coltin said...

I have yet to meet a person, including myself, who elects discomfort over comfort, even when fully aware of the benefits. I think we are usually dragged kicking and screaming into that zone, by events or by another person. I shamefully admit that I am discomfort resistant. I wish it were not so.

spldbch said...

You've touched on a topic near and dear to my heart. It's important to be able to tolerate and accept all emotions, not just the positive ones. Negative emotions often provide us with information, either about the present situation or about ourselves. Trying to push them away only serves to generate additional negative emotions. Thanks for addressing this! Great post.

Dayne Gingrich said...

Bendigo: Your boss was brilliant ;-). He definitely understood the benefits of pushing his people.

Spldbch: Glad you like this. I enjoy reading your comments almost as much as I like writing the original post. You always find a way to take my stuff to other levels. Thx!

Bruce: My mentor always put himself into Uncomfortable positions (on purpose) to test himself. I agree... we don't instinctively WANT to feel the discomfort, but that's the point of this post. We have to consciously make ourselves go to those places, knowing the "other side" will be worth the short term discomfort.

sometimes a lady said...

More or less, it sounds like what you are trying to get at is instead of settling, keep striving for the next level even if you don't think it's necessary. Because being comfortable is another way of saying you're settling. And settling is ultimately fear of wanting something more. Settling is the fear of not being able to attain what you really and truly want. So why put yourself in an uncomfortable situation if you think you're just going to fail at adapting, right? This is something I definitely need to make a habit in my day to day thinking. Great post :)

Matty said...

Dayne, the best part of this lesson is "She can sting, often confuse, but always teaches". By our very nature as humans, we want to be in the comfort zone. But in being there, we tend to relax and let our guard down. Learning to be comfy in being uncomfy is difficult to master, but necessary nonetheless if we want to learn her lessons.

You always make us think.

Melissa said...

I see exactly what you saying. You know "uncomfortable" is the reason I decided to start losing weight. I was "uncomfortable" with looking at myself in the mirror.So something positive can come out of being uncomfortable. Thanks for the great post!

irishminx said...

I came across your blog today and I needed to hear it. Thank you Dayne.

Blogger said...

Yup you are absoultely right ..We always seek for Mr.comfortable , because he helps us live in a safe cocoon ..Its Ms.uncomfortable , though is very easy with us , that helps in self realization .But I have a question : When you accept and welcome Ms.uncomfortable and be with us , with time , doesnt she also become comfortable , as we get used to her ways ??

Dayne Gingrich said...

Great question, Blogger.

The best/toughest part of Ms. Uncomfy is she never allows us to feel very comfortable with her. She seems to manipulate our comfort zones, attempting to keep them just out of reach... resulting in the never ending process of trying to create that comfy place.

Right when we "think" we've GOT IT, she changes it up again.

Blogger said...

Yup Dayne ..I agree with your last line completely :) Thanx for dropping at my place :)

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