Why We Should Pursue Discomfort.
The world we live in is absolutely chock full of comfort.
It’s a world of scientifically-engineered foam so our bodies can rest in comfort.
Gel insoles so we can walk in comfort.
Stretch jeans so we can bend in comfort.
Comfort-shaped earbuds, climate-controlled cars, and white-noise machines…
It’s all about comfort, all of the time.
Physical comfort is one thing…
Emotional comfort is a whole other story.
We have been designed as humans, to have a range of emotions.
However, in the pursuit of comfort, we have decided we want to try to only feel one side of the emotional spectrum.
We seem to only value feeling good: happy, content, peaceful, joyful, excited, optimistic, energized.
This is an important, noble pursuit.
But, there is a whole branch of the emotional spectrum that has been discounted.
Now this is not to say that we want to necessarily go around feeling dejected, enraged, cowardly, downtrodden, or lonely all of the time.
But without our experience of this side of the spectrum, we wouldn’t even recognize that we feel good when we do.
And these “negative” emotions can serve absolutely serve us in their own way.
These feelings are important. They are necessary. They are useful.
What would the civil rights movement have been without anger and injustice?
What would the death of a loved one be without sadness and grief?
What would coming in last place be without disappointment?
You might argue:
“Feeling these emotions feels terrible and causes so many problems in the world.”
I would argue back:
“Feeling negative emotion is a part of our human experience.
And, more importantly,
It’s not the feeling of the negative emotion but rather
THE ACTIONS WE CHOOSE TO TAKE IN RESPONSE
that lead to problems.
We have developed a fear of feeling negative emotion that has led us to overeat, overdrink, overmedicate, procrastinate, disconnect, numb, escape, and avoid.
But, can you imagine what life would be like if instead of running from the discomfort of negative emotion, we embraced it as useful and important??
What if instead of wishing these emotions away…
We recognized that we can’t feel joy without pain, freedom without fear, peace without turmoil?
What would you do…
Who would you be…
If you were willing to feel discomfort without fear?
You would be UNSTOPPABLE.
It all begins with a thought.