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Why Being Uncomfortable Should Be Your Favorite Feeling


 

To state the obvious, being uncomfortable means you don’t feel comfortable with the situation you’re in. You are outside of your comfort zone and experiencing something that you don’t typically encounter on a daily basis. I am not talking about being uncomfortable because you’re scared or something embarrassing happened, I’m talking about being uncomfortable because you’re experiencing something new and unusual; you have the urge to retreat to your “safe-zone”. Public speaking, trying new foods, traveling to new places and meeting new people are all good examples of feeling uncomfortable.

As humans, I think we are innately attracted to sticking to a routine, or at least some semblance of one. To some people a routine might be extremely rigid, while for others, it might be a looser interpretation. Either way, we all have our likes and our habits, and we all tend to stick close and hold onto them day in and day out. I will be the first person to admit I love my routine and my comfort zone. With all the pressures and stresses that exist outside my control, I tend to stubbornly grasp onto anything familiar whenever possible. Although this is not only good, but also healthy to have hypothetical “rocks” to hold onto in times of need, it’s equally as important to push yourself away from them and outside your comfort zone.

Before I go on, let me emphasize the difference between the two ways of going outside your comfort zone: being pushed vs. pushing yourself. Being pushed outside your comfort zone teaches you the very valuable lesson of adapting to adverse and/or new situations, whereas pushing yourself outside your comfort zone allows you to get to know yourself and shape your experiences and perceptions.

The value of both should not be underestimated. In both cases, you are faced with a novel situation that you might not know exactly how to interpret. For some reason our society has groomed us to see this uncomfortable feeling of not knowing or not being familiar with something as bad, rather than good. Why should we be afraid of things that are different than the norm? If you really think about it, everything that’s comfortable to you now at one point was foreign and probably did give you at least some tinge of discomfort.

Being uncomfortable means you’re learning something new. You’re learning something about yourself and the world around you. So many times we ignore or underestimate the power of these lessons, but they are some of the most simple, important ones in our lives. Whether it ends up being a positive or a negative lesson learned, every single new experience that you encounter and every single time you feel uncomfortable adds something to your life. Whether you accept the change and appreciate it is fully in your hands. All I’m asking for you to do is give your “uncomfortable” feelings a second chance and realize what benefit they can provide.

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