Comfort is the Enemy
Are you the type of person that avoids learning new things? Do you only stick to what you know and are good at? If so, this blog is for you. Don’t be a bitch; lean into discomfort my friend!!
On the surface, it is natural and even intuitive to do what is comfortable and makes us feel good. This is a trap!! Don’t fall into it. Comfort is the enemy; it makes us soft both physically and mentally. We tell ourselves, “I’m not good at this,” or “I don’t like that.” This type of mentality chases comfort. Like a soft, warm blanket, it may feel good at the moment to avoid being uncomfortable, but I promise, your future self will suffer because of it. You will not have built the physical or mental callouses needed to tackle the difficult tasks that life requires. As you read on, open your mind to the idea of trying something that you automatically dismiss because it makes you uncomfortable. Becoming the best version of yourself demands constant failure and leaning into discomfort.
Discomfort is your Friend
Most physical or mental activities that are difficult in the moment, are good for you long term. Let’s dig into some examples.
- Everyone knows starting an exercise routine sucks. It’s time-consuming, ego-deflating, physically painful, and challenging. The fucking definition of uncomfortable. Everyone also knows that when exercise is done consistently, the rewards are massive. You will be a stronger, fitter, and much more capable version of yourself. Instead of being a fat, weak slob that losses their breath going up a flight of stairs, you will be able to run around with your kids or chose to do fun physical activities that you would have had to otherwise avoided.
- Meditation practice is hard to do consistently. It takes lots of practice to get good at, and most people quit before seeing the benefits. It is uncomfortable to be alone in our heads in this digital world with no external inputs offered. Some benefits are reduced anxiety and stress, reducing negative emotions, and focusing on the present. :
- Nutrition: Healthy eating is essential to long term health. Most of us do it wrong. A large part of the reason is that it’s challenging and time-consuming. Eating healthy means buying whole foods such as fruits, veggies, and meat. You then have to process, cook and package this food. It’s so much easier to buy pre-packaged food and microwave it. Nutrition is key to health; start today. Check out my to losing weight the right way.
- on building wealth. Anyone can do it! We get no formal education on building wealth or budgeting. The only way to get good at it is to learn about it and put it into practice. This takes time and is challenging. Getting your financial life in order takes away a huge amount of stress. Who doesn’t want that? Check out this
All of the above examples require real effort and hard work. You have to be willing to be uncomfortable and embrace the suck. Go into it with the knowledge that you will come out the other side far better for it. This applies to all difficult things in life. Learn to lean into discomfort.
How I Stopped Avoiding what I sucked at
It wasn’t until my late 20’s that I started to explore human optimization and the desire to become the best version of myself. I used to be the type of person that would actively avoid activities that I sucked at. I quit football and wrestling in high school after the first week because I didn’t know any better and didn’t know that it would have improved if I could endure the suck initially. If I were not automatically good at something, I would quit. I attached my natural ability to my value as a person and did not understand the importance of perseverance. I did not lean into discomfort. Quitting was automatic without any thought into the long term repercussions of this type of behavior.
Eventually, I learned that it was necessary to fail 1000 times before I could succeed. A lightbulb was turned on. I could apply this to all things in my life. I became a YES man. I would accept or try anything that made me uncomfortable. Did going to a dinner party make me want to cry and run away with social anxiety? Am I willing to go anyways? The answer is YES! Do I suck at all things math? Will I voluntarily sign up for a college-level Physics class anyways? The answer was YES! Try being a yes man; you just might find your superpower.
Turning my Weakness into Strengths
Weakness can be turned into strengths. It just takes time, effort, and a willingness to lean into discomfort. In my late 20’s, after a conversation with my wife about starting a family, I was terrified at who I was and the person I had become. The reality that I would have to be responsible for raising a human in my current state was unacceptable. I started to explore what I sucked at and became determined to turn my weakness into my strengths.
I was riddled with social anxiety. The very idea of meeting and interacting with new people froze me in my tracks. What did I do? I threw myself into meeting new people even though I hated it. Anyone who knows me now will tell you I am the most social person they know. Through prolonged exposure to uncomfortable situations, I turned my social weakness into a social strength. It took years, but the discomfort that I put myself through was so worth it.
The above example can be applied broadly to all areas of weakness in your life. Start today, find that one area that could use some work, and lean into discomfort!!