Demystifying Discomfort

We always experience this in one way or the other and in different degrees. And generally speaking, we all want to avoid discomfort or anything that makes us feel uncomfortable; we like to avoid experiencing pain and suffering.

What’s Discomfort?

Discomfort is generally anything that you’d rather avoid. It could present itself in the form of a career concern or issue, a financial crisis, a confrontation you’re always deferring, a health issue, a bad habit, a fear you need to overcome, or an unexpected illness. It could come and “haunt” you in the form of an emotional, physical, psychological, sociological, financial or professional challenge.—or a combination of all these.

What’s really neat about discomfort is that it’s completely personal in terms of how and when it works and what it means to us. I mean one person’s discomfort will be another person’s tiny setback or even nothing at all. There is no universally relevant discomfort scale because we all think, feel, experience and respond in many different and unique ways. But there is another perspective that we can use to have a different notion of discomfort.

What Discomfort really is and what it should be

In reality, discomfort comes or begins when we are taken out of our comfort zones. And whenever we are out of our comfort zones, two things can happen. You can either come out stronger and happier, or you can come out of it defeated. But who wants to come out defeated? All of us want to be better and to win more battles. And that’s what discomfort really is: it’s an opportunity. Opportunity to what? An opportunity to grow.

You saw that coming didn’t you. Well, I should give it to you. If you’ve already felt that this is going to be a “growth” post, then chances are you’re way ahead than most people. Because only people who see discomforts as ways for them to grow really do feel that growth is going to be the end topic to discuss about when we speak of discomforts and sufferings, and failures, and setbacks.

In the context of this discussion, growth could mean a range of things: learning, improvement, adaptation, skill development, greater insight, better understanding, less fear, more confidence, greater productivity, more patience, and fewer destructive habits.

No matter how you look at it, discomfort and pain should always lead you to some kind of awareness that there is a room for growth. Even a stupid thing as standing in the way of a speeding car and getting hit by it still holds a room for you to grow and a lesson that you can apply if you’re lucky enough to be alive to learn it. And in that example the lesson is strikingly simple: don’t stand in the way of a speeding car.

That doesn’t sound so serious, but I stand by it. I’m trying to point to the fact that there are more important things that happen to your life than just that stupid example. And if you can derive a lesson for you to grow in with that stupid example, how much more those things that are important and can impact not just your life but those of others as well?

So have we demystified discomforts in less than 600 words?


Your thoughts

What do you think? Do you agree? What other things do you like to discuss? What do you like to add?

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About the Author

Stephen NellasStephen is part of the Software Jewel team, the company behind Clutterpad and BiP. He's also a regular author for BiP.View all posts by Stephen Nellas →