Discomfort can feel threatening. We naturally prefer experiences that bring us joy and a sense of peace. Why, then, would we intentionally enter a situation that we know will be tough?
Accepting challenges that intimidate us can strengthen us and help us.
Today, I’m sharing how to find comfort inside discomfort and why this could be one of your most transformative journeys.
What Does it Mean to Accept Challenges knowing they will yield discomfort?
Most of us find staying down on the ground much more appealing than scaling mountains, risking falling, or failing.
However, if we live on the ground, we will never experience the awe-inspiring views that can only be seen from the summit. Let’s start climbing.
Step by step, we’ll ascend, fighting doubt and insecurity. During the ascent, we may wonder if we’ve made the right decision, but if we persist, we’ll discover that the mountain we thought was going to break us will make us stronger.
The Importance of Challenges
Why should we do things we know will push us close to our limits? Most of us don’t thrive on adrenaline, and we’d much prefer to stay within our safe, cozy boundaries.
The problem with accepting the status quo is that it doesn’t leave much room for personal growth and development. There are talents and gifts within us that remain locked inside. There are talents within us that we can only discover when we’re facing adversity head-on.
Another reason to embrace our struggles rather than run away from them? Those mountains will be there when we return, no matter how much time we spend away.
That deadline we tried to escape will still be looming, or we’ll have missed it, and there will be consequences to our inaction. That broken relationship will still be shattered.
To live fully and wholly, we must acknowledge that hardships exist. We will face them. The struggle might be painful, but beauty and redemption are waiting on the other side. We can’t make the challenging parts of our life disappear by ignoring them or denying their existence. We’ll only use a portion of our potential until we face them head-on.
How to Accept the Challenges
We know deep down that we ought to start a difficult journey or face a tough problem. When we feel paralyzed by fear and uncertainty, what steps can we take to overcome those barriers and push ahead?
First, break it down.
We can’t climb a mountain in one giant leap. We can’t even run up it for long without getting winded.
Any experienced mountain climber will say that to make it safely to the top is to take it slow. Put one foot in front of the other, and focus on small victories along the way.
If faced with a difficult task, don’t try to rush and complete it all at once. Divide it into incremental steps so that it doesn’t feel as intimidating. Confidence grows with the completion of each step, so the next step is not as foreboding.
Next, celebrate small wins!
Every achievement, even if minuscule, is vital to our development. Acknowledge how hard we’ve worked to get to that point and recognize the strength we’ve developed along the way. Allow ourselves to feel proud of how we’ve grown, stretched, and bettered ourselves, even in the darkest moments.
Finally, find community.
Accountability is vital when accepting a challenge because we’re naturally wired to revert to our old, familiar ways when things start to feel uncomfortable. Without anyone in our corner cheering us on, we might feel tempted to throw in the towel and crawl back under the covers, where it’s easy, safe, and warm.
Find someone trustworthy or enlist the help of a coach or counselor. A partner will help to stay the course, motivating us and reminding us why it’s worth it. We’ll have to face some challenges on our own, but we don’t have to do it without support.
Accepting the Challenges and Finding Comfort in Discomfort
In times of distress, we experience what’s known as cognitive dissonance. Meaning there’s a rift between what’s happening and what we perceive to be happening.
This is what people refer to as “fight or flight” mode. These reactions are in response to our basic need to avoid perceived danger.
When we give in, we catalyze a negative chain reaction. Suddenly, we’re procrastinating. We’re making excuses, creating justifications, and living in denial. In time, we may question our power and aptitude, leading to self-doubt and insecurity. All these things hold us back from growth and make it nearly impossible to see the new opportunities on our path.
If we’re willing to do the hard work and slowly trudge through the darkness, those initial feelings of fear will eventually give way to clarity and calm. In time, we’ll discover that we will find comfort after accepting the discomfort, and after the storm, we can find the most beautiful places of all.
Accepting the Challenges Together
It seems counter-intuitive to enter an experience that we know will be uncomfortable. Some people spend their entire lives running away from the things that scare them.
However, when we allow fear and doubt to be our dominant emotions, we’re caught in an endless cycle of hesitancy and worry.
Growth lies just over that mountain, starting with a single step. It might seem scary, but we can face the mountains in our lives using the power and potential that lies inside us.
Contact me if you would like to unleash tangible steps and find the right tools and resources to get you to the summit.