The Prescription: How Seeking Discomfort Helps You Grow

The Prescription: How Seeking Discomfort Helps You Grow

Seek Discomfort - Actively pursuing a state of vulnerability.

Uncomfortable situations are either your best friend or your worst enemy, and the way you approach them and the friendship you develop with them will determine the pace in which you grow. 

Those who seek discomfort, embrace it, and make it their best friend will achieve growth and eventually, outcomes. 

How to Pursue Discomfort:

This is simple. The litmus test for discomfort is anything that scares you. Being scared is a root of fear, and fear is usually rooted in a few things. Most often including the perspective of other people or how you’ll feel if you ‘fail.’ 

Before you start your pursuit, remind yourself these things:

1. Other people's perspectives are temporary and even more so, irrelevant. 

People don’t really care that much. Their perspectives don’t matter. The only people that care about your outcome is the person using it as fuel for their own security because of their insecurity. If this is the case, you’re already far ahead of them.

2. Failure is not a destination, it’s part of the process. 

Failure is your ‘first attempt in learning.’ Failure is pertinent to success, and it will happen. But you can’t be defined by it, because it was never the destination, it was just part of the process. If you fail, you’re one step closer to the goal, and one step further from where you would have been had you not tried. 

Now you're ready, it’s time to take the leap.

What To Do When Your Uncomfortable:

Now you know how to do it, and you know a few of the reasons you haven’t yet taken the leap, yet. I believe in you and it’s time to take the leap. I don’t have all the answers, but I have five things you’ll have to be aware of when you're in the thick of discomfort. Lean in!

  • Self-Talk 
  • The way you communicate to yourself is key. I always give this reference with discomfort or really any situation. You always have two voices in your head. One voice works for you, one works against you. The voice working for you says, ‘you got this, keep moving’ or ‘this is temporary.’ The voice working against you says ‘you’re weak, you can’t do this’, and it will tell you all the things other people have said to you along the way. 

    The best way to talk to yourself, is to remind yourself of the truth of the situation and what will provide the best outcome. Listen to the voice that is on your team, not the opposition. 

    You’ll be tempted to resort back to old thinking, but you’re in growth mode now. Reframe and align your mind to thoughts that will accomplish the goal. 

  • State Why 
  • Don’t beat yourself up because it’s hard - it’s meant to be. Remind yourself why it’s hard, or why it’s uncomfortable and lean into the positive self-talk you just learned about. Reminding yourself that it’s okay for the current discomfort to be there is pertinent, welcome discomfort into the current moment with you. The longer you stay in this uncomfortable moment, the easier it will get. 

  • Give Yourself Permission to Grow
  • Acknowledge yourself for coming this far and thank yourself for making the jump and pursuing this state of vulnerability - it’s hard. This is the time you shift your identity to a new state. You are not who you’ve said you were before, you’re new… you’re an overcomer and you’re a pursuer. 

    The skills you’ve developed up to this point have prepared you for this uncomfortable moment and they will get you through. Remember, your physical body can do 10x more than your mental perspective. 

    Remind yourself that you’re prepared and give yourself permission to become better, it’s okay to be new and it’s okay to be better. 

  • Stay Put 
  • Embrace it! Pain is temporary, you haven’t always felt this way and you won’t always feel this way. Discomfort is quickly lived in the grand scheme of life. The door is just behind you, you could back track… but what’s the worst thing that can happen? This moment of discomfort could be the open door to a lifetime of freedom. Envision the outcome you’ll soon receive and be patient. 

  • Reflect
  • Now that you’ve made it through the discomfort, take some time and reflect… Was it that bad? How do you feel? What were some of your thoughts? Reflection is pertinent. This is the time you build the arsenal for belief in future outcomes of uncomfortable situations. Past victory is evidence that you can receive victory in the future. Now that you’ve done it, you’ve given yourself a newfound freedom you would have never had if you didn’t take the leap. You

    5 Ways to Get Uncomfortable Immediately:

    Sometimes discomfort is tough to find in our lives, especially if we haven’t been known to seek it. I want to provide a few immediate steps of action you could potentially take to make yourself uncomfortable so you can grow. Remember the litmus test for discomfort is anything that scares you. Here are some immediate actions that may scare you but might just be perfect for you to take the next step in living a more fulfilling life. 

    1. Quit Your Job

    There is nothing worse than giving up precious life to slaving away at a job you hate. This could be an unpopular opinion or provoke some push back… but money is not worth time at a job you can’t stand. If you truly believe you should be doing something else, make a change, and do it now.

    2. Train for Something

    Setting a fitness goal is a great way to get uncomfortable - set a goal to run a marathon, to train for your first triathlon or to compete in a CrossFit competition. These goals will test you mentally and physically and will certainly make you uncomfortable.

    3. Go to Counseling

    This one is tough, but so important. If you’re struggling mentally or even if you’re dealing with anger or past trauma from childhood or relationships, you’ll likely give pushback when someone suggests counseling. Set aside your pride and meet with someone who can talk or walk you through it. This will make you uncomfortable, but you will grow and get better.

    4. Sauna & Ice Bath

    Nothing like a little flight or fight by making your physical body endure some temporary challenges like cycling back and forth between freezing and burning temperatures. This is a perfect and low barrier to entry to make yourself uncomfortable and to get some recovery along the way.

    5. Take the Trip

    Some of my greatest moments of clarity have come from changing up my routine and doing something I always wanted to do, but never made the time for. Taking a trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to or challenging yourself to hop in a van and drive across the country will give you perspective and put you in a place where you can think and grow. If you’ve never done this before it will be uncomfortable but life giving. 

    Only Those Who Risk are Free:

    “...Being uncomfortable is something you should embrace. Putting yourself in new and unfamiliar situations triggers a unique part of the brain that releases dopamine, nature’s make-you-happy chemical. Here’s the mindblower; that unique region of the brain is only activated when you see or experience completely new things.

    Few people actually enjoy the feeling of being uncomfortable. The challenge is to get past that initial feeling of wanting to return to the norm, so you can grow and benefit from that discomfort.”

  • Sujan Patel 
  • The outcome of discomfort is freedom. The only outcome that can come from willingly putting yourself into situations that scare you is growth. When you choose to face your fears head on you gain power over the situation and you build a stronger belief in yourself as it relates to uncomfortable situations. 

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You can only delay obedience; you’ll never be able to outrun it. It’s only a matter of time before you face this uncomfortable situation again. 

    Seek Discomfort - Actively pursuing a state of vulnerability.

    Uncomfortable situations are either your best friend or your worst enemy, and the way you approach them and the friendship you develop with them will determine the pace in which you grow. 

    Those who seek discomfort, embrace it, and make it their best friend will achieve growth and eventually, outcomes.


    I’m afraid of pain. The thought of it makes me anxious. I’ve realized this in my training recently and I know for a fact it affects me in other areas of my life and I’m not okay with it.

    I’m fine with pain alone… but the thought of what I might do in a group of people when I’m in the pain cave scares me. I’m afraid of being seen in this state… but I’ve been working on it. 

    What I can say about this, is the more you seek it, the better you’ll get at being in it. It’s like anything else in life, you adapt, but you have to be willing to push the envelope so you can find who you really are. 

    Seek discomfort and be okay letting others see you in it.

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