Why Feeling Uncomfortable is the Key to Success

Repeat after me: It’s time I get comfortable being uncomfortable.

You know that saying, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”? It’s a great quote that I keep in the back of my mind daily. I try to do whatever I can to apply it to life. However, it wasn’t until recently that I realized I was looking at the quote all wrong. I had actually completely missed the whole point of it. While the point of struggle is eventually get to place where you can live comfortably, I realized a bit too late that you should be proud you’re uncomfortable.


If you are uncomfortable with your current situation, it’s actually a good thing.

If you recall from my early 2013 posts,I am scared of everything. You name it. I’m most likely scared of it. Heights, the ocean, horses, driving too fast – I’m scared of it all. And it sucks. Seriously, I hate it.  I was that girl who didn’t do anything she wasn’t supposed to like staying out late or even eating a cookie before dinner because I was so afraid of the consequences. It wasn’t long before I realized that when you follow all the rules you miss all the fun. And of course, if you are too afraid to do everything, you never do anything. That’s when I set out on this crazy challenge of mine to do something to scare myself everyday. Some days, it was something little like completing a corn maze. (Yes, I’m scared of corn stalks) Other days, they were bigger things such as snorkeling in Mexico. That was my interpretation of getting out of my comfort zone. Attempting to scare myself daily.

While scaring myself daily was certainly making life more exciting, I realized I wasn’t growing the way I wanted. I surely had great stories to share, but those stories weren’t taking me anywhere. But that’s because I took the idea of being uncomfortable and scared too literally. My main focus was doing scary things so I could be uncomfortable for that moment in time. Meanwhile, I should have been focusing on those not so obvious scary and uncomfortable moments that would make me a success. I had to think outside of the box and look at those uncomfortable things I been ignoring daily. Sure snorkeling, was a cool experience in which I learned a lot but it wasn’t the key to my success.

Maybe for you that uncomfortable thing  to bring you closer to success isn’t wild or crazy, but as simple as asking your boss for a raise. Or maybe its finally picking up the phone to inquire about registering a trade mark and signing up for that half marathon. It can even be that moment you realize you need to break up with a friend. These are all extremely uncomfortable moments. But as unpleasant as they may be, be proud you allowed yourself to get there.

If it weren’t for those uncomfortable moments, we’d never make it to greatness. It’s those brief moments of discomfort that can take us from mediocre to legendary.

Without uncomfortable moments, we'd never make it to greatness. Share on X

And if you think that you’re uncomfortable now, you’re wrong. You could be saying, “Well, Terri, how am I not uncomfortable now? I’m working 50 hours a week, living paycheck to paycheck, can’t afford vacation, drowning in debt, driving a subpar car and have no time to see my kids.”

Well, I’ve got news for you. That’s not uncomfortable. That’s called settling into a rut. Uncomfortable is cutting the cable to the big screen tv you cozy up in front of after work to pay debt off faster rather than being a couch potato with a glass of wine. Why not kick the discomfort up a notch and sell the TV? Uncomfortable is getting home from work and heading straight to your laptop to work on sponsored posts for your blog instead of taking a nap. Uncomfortable is waking up an hour earlier to ride your bike to train for a marathon coming up in a few months rather than sleeping in. Uncomfortable is turning down another dinner date with a friend in favor drafting that business plan. Uncomfortable is investing in that risky stock over taking the safe choice and putting it into a savings account. Hell, uncomfortable can even  mean disconnecting from Instagram for a while, going M.I.A so you can refocus.

None of those examples are necessarily living-on-the-edge, jump of a cliff, swim with the sharks kind of scary, discomfort most people think of. But they’re exactly the kind of discomfort you need to move forward in life.

And I’m pretty sure that in the moment not a single one of those items feel good. But that’s the point. They will probably make you feel scared, bored, self-conscience, lonely,  inadequate and of course, uncomfortable. But in time, you’ll go from feeling uncomfortable, to proud, to accomplished to legendary. But it all starts with just  a tad of discomfort.

If you’re not uncomfortable, you aren’t striving for something better. You may think you are, but you’re not because you’re clearly doing the same ole things that got you settled into your current situation.

Unless you’re talking about room temperature, feeling  comfortable isn’t usually the end goal. When you are willing to be uncomfortable, you’re willing to learn, grow and challenge fear.

So if at this point in your life, don’t just settle into lukewarm. Go for a bit too hot and do what you can to take the heat. If you are already feeling the heat, be proud you allowed yourself to get there and do what you can to make it work for you. 

As for me, I’m proud to be part of a 3-person family living comfortably uncomfortable in a 1-bedroom apartment so I can get my finances in order and spend money on experiences. Am I scared out of my mind that I may have made a mistake by not taking that offer for a bigger home? Yes. Am I uncomfortable with living in such small quarters with baby items slowly taking over every inch. Yes, I am. But it will all be worth it because my choice to be uncomfortable now is exactly what I need to be take me legendary. Can you say the same?

What makes you proud to be uncomfortable? 

TERRIfic Quip: If you are too comfortable, you’re in a rut. Change it.

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