How to Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable to Foster Amazing Life Changes

By Lisa Shanken | Healthy Living

Comfortable with being Uncomfortable

One of my favorite quotes that I often repeat to my own kids (who are barely kids anymore so they have heard it for many years lol) is “To make progress, you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Sometimes that uncomfortable place is where the magic truly happens.

Of course, no one enjoys being uncomfortable mentally or physically. But oftentimes, making necessary changes to achieve the goals you set requires exactly that - getting out of your comfort zone. This can ring true for many goals related to improving your executive functioning skills.

For example, it could mean putting yourself in social or business situations you would rather avoid. However, by participating in these sometimes awkward situations, you can make friends or grow your business (Executive Functioning Skill - Cognitive Flexibility). Another example that relates to executive functioning is procrastination (Executive Functioning Skill - Inhibitory Control). A student may be failing a class and have to meet with the teacher to get extra help, which may be difficult and uncomfortable to confront. An additional example could be forgetting an important task at work (Executive Functioning Skill - Working Memory) that affects other people and then having to admit your mistake to your boss.

Many people will avoid these uncomfortable situations because avoiding discomfort temporarily feels better. But low and behold, the discomfort will catch up with you one way or another, whether it’s realizing you have not made new personal connections, continuing to fail in your endeavors, or never getting that promotion you want. So how do we get more comfortable with being uncomfortable so that you can accomplish your dreams? Let’s look at strategies that can get you out of your comfort zone and move into your zone of growth and progress, all the while improving various aspects of executive functioning.

  1. Break larger projects that feel overwhelming into smaller tasks. This will help lessen the resistance to starting a big project and make it easier to get going.
  2. Practice doing your daily routine differently in various ways/order. Getting out of your normal routine but seeing that you can still accomplish the same daily tasks using different strategies can help build your confidence in getting out of your comfort zone.
  3. Learn a new skill (try learning an instrument, a new software, or how to cook). Learning new things is hard, but proving to yourself that you can do it will increase self esteem and prove that you can handle other uncomfortable situations that come your way.
  4. Try starting a new exercise regimen (even if you already follow a regular regimen). Exercise can release endorphins, a natural “happiness chemical” that helps relax your nervous system. This can decrease anxiety in situations that are uncomfortable.
  5. Attend a Meetup group or other new event by yourself. Getting out into a group of people where you do not know anyone and will be forced to mingle with strangers is certainly challenging. But it’s also great for personal growth and building character, as well as making new connections.

All of these small ideas can lead to tremendous changes in your life. Feeling supported during this time can make it feel less intimidating to face uncomfortable situations. Please reach out if you are ready to get out of your comfort zone and grow exponentially!