Be Uncomfortable Most of The Time (and GROW)
I wonder if our human nature often works against us. We are programmed to move toward pleasure and away from pain. That programming in our DNA has worked well for Homo sapiens sapiens (humans) for over 200,000 years. But I pose the question, has the modern technological age made us soft? I believe it has. Pleasure and comforts are every where around us. For most humans, the true pain they feel is emotional, not physical. For those who do feel physical pain, an increasing percentage of that pain is due to overconsumption of food and lack of physical training. Perhaps it’s time to rewrite our human software and embrace pain or discomfort.
By embracing discomfort, putting yourself in situations that are uncomfortable physically and emotionally, we are more apt to grow and develop our true potential. Growth is a human need. Growth and contribution are the only two needs that fulfill us emotionally, yet humans work so hard to avoid pain and discomfort that we are limiting our ability to grow. By putting yourself in painful situations (situations that cause discomfort, not physical or emotional injury) you will develop a greater tolerance and soon those types of situations will not be uncomfortable. In other words, you force emotional growth. You develop your potential. By lifting progressively more weights in a proper movement pattern, your muscles are triggered to grow. The pain of muscle fatigue and soreness will lessen over time as your training frequency increases.
So start today! Don’t try to always avoid pain. Embrace it instead. Make a call that you know will cause discomfort. Instead of doing 12 repetitions of bicep curls, do 20. Or increase the weight and try 12 more. Do something everyday that scares you or makes you uncomfortable. Work against your human nature to avoid pain and force yourself to grow. Soon, you’ll find what used to be painful may become something that you are strong at. I never used to like conducting meetings. I talk loudly, I am very direct and I was afraid that people would be put off. Now I’ve done so many meetings, I’ve refined my craft and worked at it so many times that I find great pleasure in leading them. I also used to hate the Squat exercise. I have a fused spine, so it caused my great physical pain, plus it was physically exhausting. Once I saw my peers pack on pounds of muscle, and become faster and more flexible after being able to squat, I decided that I was going to make my weakest exercise one of my strongest. Now I can squat over 400 pounds without pain and I’m more flexible than I have been in years. So let me ask, what makes you uncomfortable? Confront your fears and make your weakness a strength by living in a state of discomfort- a state of constant growth.