Less Comfort

Photo by Bench Accounting

It is natural to avoid uncomfortable situations:

  • Awkward conversations
  • Difficult workout
  • Not buying something when all of your peers are
  • Not attempting a new venture that might fail

It is more comfortable to stay put. To stop challenging ourselves. To not take any risks. But consider what might happen if we lean into the discomfort — or, as Seth Godin says, if we choose to dance with the fear.

Sometimes, the benefits are obvious. We all know about the value of eating healthy food or exercising regularly. It is still easier to keep eating what tastes good whenever we are hungry (or whenever we are bored). And there are many times we will not feel like exercising. It would be much easier to skip the walk, the run, or the gym. But saying no to the easier choice has clear benefits.

Other times leaning into the discomfort might have unpredictable results. Like apologizing to a close friend. We cannot control their response. Or like starting the new side project we have always wanted to try. It might not work. Without a clearly defined benefit, it is even easier to say no. To avoid the potential discomfort.

Here’s the catch. The most powerful positive moments in my life have almost all come from times I chose to lean into discomfort. To act in spite of the urge to stay put. Accomplishments at work, my deepest relationships, finishing a half-marathon, paying off our mortgage, side project successes, and more. Each had a point early on where the tiny voice inside was telling me to stay in my lane, not to go there, or to think about all of the ways this could backfire. Award-winning projects rarely start by following the status quo. Deep relationships are full of vulnerability. Physical accomplishments take an annoying amount of discipline. Same for financial freedom. And side projects rarely work out without any risks.

Your first blog post is going to be awkward. Your first workout will be annoying. The first time you say no to superfluous spending will seem pointless. Your first sales pitch is going to get rejected. Personally opening up to somebody is going to feel embarrassing. Staying in our comfort zone is easier. It certainly feels better. But leaning into less comfort leads to a deeper, more satisfying life.

About The Author

John MacAdam is a Professional Engineer and mobile app developer from Columbus, Ohio. He is currently writing about living with less and growing a side business. Join his private email list to be notified of new posts.

This story was originally posted at macadam.blog/comfort




Professional transportation engineer, web designer, and mobile app developer from Columbus, Ohio.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Love is a Spiritual Gift and it IS your Super Power.

Is Beauty an End Value?

Why Seeking Discomfort Pays

Ego or Self-esteem?

why is it easier to start than to finish?

“When I think I’ve given it my all and there is nothing else I can do, I try one more time and then…

How Being Obsessed About Your Goals Will Bring You Success

She Wasn’t Interested

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
John MacAdam

John MacAdam

Professional transportation engineer, web designer, and mobile app developer from Columbus, Ohio.

More from Medium

Atomic Habits: the Book that can Change your Life.

DailyEd Newsletter

New Year, New You? A Resolution Is The Easy Part

Resources to Improve Your Communication Skills