I’m the first to admit I’ve been guilty of living a comfortable life; a confined life in which I ignore and avoid the things that cause me discomfort.
When you think about comfort you realise how essential it is to us as individuals. We seek comfort within a companion, comfort within a home, comfort within a career and comfort and acceptance within our social circles. Often in most cases if something in our lives makes us that little bit uncomfortable, our immediate reaction is to throw in the towel and call it a day. As much as we all crave a comfortable lifestyle, it seems the key to being motivated and productive lies within conquering what we perceive as “uncomfortable”.
Let Neale Donald Walsch remind us that, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. Daniel H. Pink, author of “Drive: The Surprising Truth about What motivates us” acknowledges that being productive often means being uncomfortable and putting yourself outside your comfort zone, in his words “Productive discomfort”. He draws on the effect discomfort has on us being “productive”. He explains, “If you’re too comfortable, you’re not productive and if you’re too uncomfortable, you’re not productive – like Goldilocks, we can’t be too hot or too cold”.
His words couldn’t be truer, like most things in life you need to establish your happy medium. Overcoming a little stress and anxiety every once in a while can be incredibly stimulating and motivating!
Although I’m guilty of myself creating the “too hard” pile in my own life and deeming things “uncomfortable” and “gut-wrenching”, generally they turn out to be things I end up accepting as normal and necessary. I’ll never forget the first time I was asked to give a 20 minute presentation at TAFE for an assessment. My initial gut feeling towards the dreaded words “presentation” struck fear within me, and before I’d even made a start on the task I was already convincing myself in my head that it was “too hard” and that I “couldn’t do it”. A few years down the track at University, presentations are something I do quite regularly, and sure there not always the most fun thing to do, but they are critical to my studies.
The truth is it doesn’t remain uncomfortable forever. That nauseous, uneasy feeling eventually fades and your left feeling like it was never anything to be worried about in the first place. It becomes normal to you, even though it was once foreign and unknown. Almost all my achievements were uncomfortable situations for me at first. Even the initial thought of going to University made me cringe.
If you’re anything like me, your anxiety will always try and get the better of you and conquering that will always seem like an uphill battle – but nonetheless a battle worth conquering. BUT REMEMBER: Don’t miss out! it’s easy to think in “worse case scenario” but rarely will it ever eventuate in worst way imaginable, and if it does, laugh it off. While comfort and familiarity are always going to be more appealing, they’re not always more fulfilling or productive.