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Why You Should Seek Discomfort

One random Sunday afternoon during the beginning of the pandemic, I decided to complete a 5 km run around my neighborhood. I absolutely hated the idea of going for a run and despised cardio, so why would I ever choose to do this? I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could complete something that seemed so unlikely for me to successfully finish and enjoy. Ultimately, running 5 km that day helped me take a step forward and seek discomfort. 

The concept of seeking discomfort was introduced to me by a YouTube channel by the name of Yes Theory. Simply put, to seek discomfort is to explore realities outside of your comfort zone and grow as a result. The entire concept revolves around self-improvement. By seeking discomfort, you can encounter more than what you know and have been taught. One of the best ways to grow and experience authentic happiness comes through overcoming adversity. Think about it, some of the best experiences in people's lives are moments they never wanted to undertake because it was too far outside of their comfort zone. These experiences are obviously different for every individual. Some may experience discomfort by bungee jumping, flying in an airplane, swimming with sharks or even sparking a conversation with a stranger. The similarities in all of these experiences are that they are outside of people’s comfort zones and therefore, people perceive them to be scary and dreadful. However, by pushing yourself to seek discomfort, new unknown experiences are discovered. As a result, you have the ability to be brave and enjoy moments you never thought you would. These new experiences can help you evolve into the best version of yourself.

Two weeks after my 18th birthday, I decided to take a trip across the world for a month-long adventure in Thailand. It was my first trip without any of my family members and I was beyond nervous for a number of reasons. I had been watching Yes Theory for years at this point so I knew that ultimately my nervousness would turn into happiness and growth. I jumped on the plane and took a 16-hour flight to Hong Kong, then another three-hour flight to Bangkok. I had spent days before stressing about the flight and worrying that I would lose my mind being on a plane for so long. In reality, the plane ride felt like it lasted 15 minutes. When I arrived in Thailand, I was still nervous about so many pointless things and had spent the night wondering if I had made the wrong decision. The next day, all my nerves went away and sure enough, my fear had changed to excitement. After the month-long trip, I had evolved into a new person and had genuinely felt myself grow in so many ways. By pushing the limitations I had of myself, I had never been more sure of who I was as a person. 

Stepping outside of your safety bubble or even re-evaluating daily decisions and actions can help you find out new things about yourself and encourage positive personal progress. By pushing through the fear and anxiety, you can reach your full potential to flourish. To seek discomfort is to fearlessly go after what you think. This will help you grow and become a better person, regardless of all the doubts stopping you. Whether that is going for a 5 km run or traveling across the world, everyone has their own discomfort that can be triumphed. Today, I encourage you to do something outside of your comfort zone and unlock a new piece of yourself. 

Maya Allen

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Maya is a third-year communications major and global studies minor. Her passions include traveling, helping others, staying active, cooking and Harry Styles.
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