“I have never learned a lesson and enjoyed the process. Honestly the things that have meant the most have not been Fun, Ever” - Steven Shubin
One thing I am really good at is saying “I Can’t” and I hate it. Specifically when it comes to accomplishing physical feats in training with myself alone. If I set out to run 5 miles I start to hear this “I Can’t” voice at about mile 3.5. At that point I start to think “hey you kept a good pace; this was good enough for your AM workout”. If I set a goal if 200 reps. in a Crossfit workout once I get to about 160 and my lungs are burning I start to think “it’s only exercise, you did good enough today”. I hate this; as soon as I feel Discomfort it becomes easy for me to make excuses. The best, scratch that the only thing I like about about Crossfit is the metal training, it forces me to do things I would rather not do because of Discomfort. My buddy Josh gave me a talk a few months back about the result this “I can’t because it’s hard” attitude has on your ability to become stronger. Having this attitude is the first step towards failure. Knowing you can and telling yourself “you can” will keep your focus tight and you will perform at a higher level. I roll my eyes every time I hear “enjoy the suck or “get comfortable with the uncomfortable” but I do think there is something to it. This is not only applicable inside a Crossfit gym or on the running path but also in our daily lives.
Growth doesn’t happen without Discomfort. The thought of doing something new or different is always scary and it creates Discomfort in us. Now there is a spectrum of scary; driving to Yoga class for the first time might be a bit less scary then booking the Plane ticket to Alaska to climb Denali. Discomfort comes in making hard decisions that will change the path of your life. Staying with a job that is familiar is a lot more comfortable then taking a leap of faith in starting a new venture you are passionate about. However the discomfort that comes with trying something new will create all sorts of new knowledge and will evoke changes in yourself that you were not expecting.
Heartbeak and Loss can force you to explore some of the darkest parts of Discomfort. This battle will last a lot longer than the remaining 1.5 miles of a run; this discomfort seems to overwhelm your consciousness through the day and continue into the hours you would like to be asleep. You can not distract or step away from this Discomfort. You have to become part of the Discomfort process; this process will be tough, become tougher and evolve into the toughest. You need to hold on tight and realize you are in the midst of growth and that change is happening and “you can” get through this discomfort just like the other types. The greater the level of Discomfort; the greater the change.
The best part about Discomfort is that it is finite; it has definable limits and will always be limited in nature. You will never know when and all you can do is have faith I knowing that it will at some point complete. The result will always be change; you will be different at the end. I don’t know if I will ever “enjoy it” or become “comfortable in it” but I do realize it is an inevitable part of the growth process in becoming better in any aspect of life.
You are in it and you can do it. Love.
“Avoiding discomfort is the world’s worst strategy because it requires choosing discomfort. For example, if you choose to avoid situations that make you anxious, you are choosing anxiety, and strengthening anxiety’s ability to control you. If you choose to avoid opportunities that trigger self-doubt, you are choosing self-doubt and convincing self-doubt it is right. … Do you want to feel anxiety while avoiding things that have meaning, or do you want to feel anxiety while you do them?” - Kelly McGonigal