The importance of being uncomfortable

The importance of being uncomfortable

Complacency happens when you no longer challenge yourself and you become happy and uncritical of the way things are. This can hinder your motivation to learn and grow. A nine-to-five routine, for example, can become boring and predictable despite being stable and secure, particularly if you don’t find your work compelling.

Once you know exactly what your week holds, from the daily commute to the sitcom you watch when you get home, you can start to feel unfulfilled, bored or lazy.

As much as you are comfortable and might not want to rock the boat, at your core, you might feel your ambition disappearing and the monotony starting to eat at you.

Life evolves, do you?

The reason you should aim to be uncomfortable is that you can only progress when you’re being challenged. Learning is not a comfortable thing. Taking a risk or trying something new is not only uncomfortable, it can be scary too. The fear of failure is overpowering for many people. Most of us would rather not try than risk the disappointment.

This can apply to the way you stagnate or flourish in your professional life as well as in your personal life. Stepping out of your comfort zone is healthy and beneficial for many reasons:

  • It makes you question your thinking and your worldview
  • It helps refine your talents
  • It helps you develop skills you have never developed
  • It encourages creative solutions

A few tips on getting comfortable with being uncomfortable Learn a new skill

Commit to learning a new language or enrol in a short course, because upskilling is invaluable if you’re looking to progress in your career. Alternatively, learn an instrument if you’re looking for something more fun and equally rewarding.

Visit a different place

This could be a park, a café, a museum or a completely different city. Exploring new places physically takes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to engage with an unfamiliar environment, which can broaden your horizons.

Set a new goal

Set a goal to do something you’ve always wanted to do or achieve. It doesn’t have to be related to your professional career, necessarily. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a CEO or make a music video. Start taking the steps to make it happen.

Find a hobby

Take up a dance class, try yoga or photography, maybe start a blog, or learn how to fish or make furniture. The possibilities are endless; find the one that interests you.

Speak to someone you’ve never spoken to

Find out about someone else’s views and life experiences. People have a lot to teach and share that could enrich your life. Try speaking to someone much younger or older or someone from a different part of the world or city. New conversations might surprise you.

Do something new every day

Even if it’s small, do something you’ve never done before, every day. Start today.

Grappling is good

Issues arise and problems abound. Life and work are full of obstacles. Whether you like it or not, the situation will come about where you are uncomfortable or unhappy with something. Challenge yourself to resolve things and fight for your progress.

It will be difficult at first and you might not feel like you’re in control. But, eventually, your brain activity will spike. Experiencing the unfamiliar allows your brain to forge new neural pathways and form new links between pieces of information you’ve had stored.

Grappling and struggling are good. Always remember that discomfort comes right before innovation. So start realising your potential, grow a thicker skin and step out into a new paradigm.

Why not step out of your comfort zone by starting a part-time or full-time distance learning course with Oxbridge Academy? You’ll receive R1 000 off your course with Edgars Club.

All you have to do is call 021 110 0200 or send an email to to find out more. You will need to quote the following voucher number upon registration: EDG2017

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