LIKE ANY ADDICTION, COMFORT REQUIRES PAIN TO BREAK
Last week, I was talking with someone about my self-development routines. I explained to them how I wake up at 5.30am every morning, workout, meditate, journal, and then get to work . I also told them how I try to run at least 3 miles every other day, rain or shine.
My friend grimaced and said, “You must be addicted to pain!”
It wasn’t the first time I had heard an opinion similar to this. It always puzzled me to hear it. Isn’t strange how one person’s journey and habits to improve their mind and body can be so abhorrent to another.
Has anyone ever said that to you since starting your self-development journey? Or perhaps you’ve even thought that about someone else?
I started thinking about what that person said. Although I’ve heard it before, for some reason it started my mind moving. Am I really trying to just make things difficult or more arduous for myself?
After a while I began to think about why a person would make that statement. I suppose I could look at other’s habits and maybe say the same.
THE COMFORT ADDICTION
There is a challenge for the doubters and the people who don’t understand why others willingly push themselves into the uncomfort zone. Think of people like David Goggins, sometimes called ‘the hardest man alive’, who pushed himself through ultramarathons. Events where people have died! He’d do things like compression tape his ankles and ignore the excruciating pain of stress fractures. That is extreme in anyone’s judgement!
People to give up their comfort addiction and go through pain understand there’s something far greater that awaits them on the other side. It doesn’t have to be running races with painful stress fractures in your ankles. It can be as simple a just getting up an hour early in the morning — if that pushes you out of your comfort zone.
Seth Godin writes:
“Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you’re doing something that others were unlikely to do, because they are hiding out in the comfort zone. When you’re uncomfortable, action leads to success.”
WHY USE PAIN AS A MOTIVATOR
Too many people plod along, comfortable, stuck in their ruts. What they fail to see is that discomfort, or pain, is often the only thing that will break them free from self limiting habits and attitudes.
Without pain, you will never understand that pushing yourself through something like taking cold showers for a month leads to a state where cold feels comfortable, even pleasurable. (This is not personal example, but from an acquaintance!)
When you push yourself out of comfort, you become stronger than ever. Every morning you feel like you’ve had a double dose of dopamine and adrenaline. You are energized and motivated for whatever the days throws you.
Without discomfort, you will never understand that forcing yourself out of bed at 5.30am on a the chilly morning eventually leads to a new-found zest for life.
A point where you wake up naturally at 5.29am and turn off the alarm before it starts, feeling fresh and rested.
It is a tremendous state of satisfaction knowing you’re ahead of the game before most people even open their eyes. You’re getting stuff done while everybody sleeps. You’re going to bed and resting while others sit up late, mindlessly scrolling on their iPhones or watching Netflix.
BENEFITS OF DISCOMFORT
It sounds strange, but you gain a lot when you intentionally get out of your comfort zone. Some of the benefits I’ve found include:
Great focus – being able to meditate. I can calm all the random thoughts running through my head. It allows me to experience a calm and peaceful mind.
Great motivation – the coming day doesn’t create anxiety. If I know I can push through discomfort in the past, then the day doesn’t dog me. I know that whatever is coming I can handle it.
Great growth – All growth starts with pain. Whether it is the pain of being stuck in one place or state or the pain of taking on something new. You can’t really grow without some discomfort.
Are you ready to grow, to be more focused and energize. Decide today that you will break your comfort addiction. Try a little discomfort. Push through it and you will be amazed at how good you feel!