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Avoiding discomfort drives every decision we make. How we choose to deal with it decides our growth.
Sending out this newsletter each week makes me very uncomfortable. I worry if you’ll even open the email and read these words and if you do, what you might think about me.
But if you are reading these words, I want to say thank you. I hope you find value in what’s below and if you have any feedback, feel free to hit reply or leave a comment!
Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you're doing something that others were unlikely to do, because they're hiding out in the comfortable zone. When your uncomfortable actions lead to success, the organization rewards you and brings you back for more.”
- Seth Godin
As humans, we have an innate tendency to avoid discomfort (long lines, itchy sweaters, etc.) and chase comfort (hot chocolate, a great Netflix series, etc.). In fact, as we continue to get older and our lives develop, most of the decisions we make are to remove discomfort. Moving out of a small apartment in a noisy city, settling down with some you love, and working towards a new job or promotion are all motivated by the avoidance of discomfort.
This aligns us all in a pursuit of similar goals, but as much as we try to avoid discomfort, it’s a necessary step for anything worthwhile. The awkward uncertainty of first dates leads to love. The monotonous grind of an entry level jobs teaches us what we need to get promoted.
It’s impossible to get stronger, faster, smarter, funnier, or develop meaningful relationships without discomfort. Regardless of what your goal may be, discomfort is necessary on the pathway to growth.
Instead of avoiding discomfort, we can all benefit from intentionally placing ourselves in uncomfortable situations. Learning to deal with discomfort in one area of life invariably carries over to the rest of our life as well. The same way consistent exposure to the sun slowly darkens our skin, constantly facing discomfort builds a tolerance for the uncomfortable and developing the skill of being uncomfortable unlocks avenues of growth that are systematically avoided by most.
Where am I avoiding discomfort?
How can I make discomfort a part of my daily routine?
In what area of my life would I most benefit from consistent discomfort?
The Art of Getting Started - Kevin Bronander
A recent blog post on designing your life to overcome discomfort.
Hard Things Club - Joe Rinaldi
A community of people doing hard things on purpose to build resilience and character.
Thanks for reading! I’ll see you next Sunday.