Does Embracing Discomfort Help or Hurt Your Life?

Does Embracing Discomfort Help or Hurt Your Life?

It’s easy to like comfort.

And comfort can be easy … and pleasant.

But that type of positive emotion is ALWAYS a good idea ALL the time.

To really enjoy accomplishment and achievement and growth, we need to try different things. And trying different things will, by definition, be uncomfortable. Which is why appropriate discomfort can be good at times …

via Psychology Today by Douglas LaBier


  • Accepting discomfort can be used as personal growth in two ways—to pursue something or let it go. Both are fueled by internal awareness.
  • One study found that people who view their discomfort as an “ally” experience an increase in motivation and risk-taking.
  • Some research indicates that optimistic people know when to turn away from a pursuit and not engage in it further.

When is it psychologically healthy to put yourself into uncomfortable, even risky situations, and when can it be harmful? How can you tell the difference? Some recent research provides new answers.

The first study, conducted jointly by Cornell and the University of Chicago and described by the British Psychological Society, looked at what often happens when people are faced with a challenge to try something new that they hope to become successful at. Often, one might fear an unsuccessful outcome, feel too awkward to try, or give up the attempt at the start. An example might be learning a new skill or knowledge set; a different language; or pursuing a possible new relationship with someone you’re interested in.

The researchers pointed out that feelings of discomfort or fear can become barriers to new growth and success. But such emotions necessarily have to exist before you can experience any progress or success. And that’s the point at which you might decide—or convince yourself—that it’s too much effort and just give up.

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

So this study explored the positive potential of embracing and accepting those disturbing, otherwise inhibiting emotions; “owning” them as part of the whole of your being—your full emotional reality. Then, rather than resigning to those inhibitions or fears as a necessary turn-off, if you view them as providing valuable motivation and energy you need to pursue your goal, what impact might that have?

… keep reading the full & original article HERE