How to Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Our brains look for comfort in patterns and sameness. This means, naturally, we don’t like to step out of our comfort zone. However, if you feel unhappy, unsatisfied, and overall unfulfilled, it’s likely because you’re cemented in the same old, same old.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, especially in your late twenties or early 30s. You see the same things, people, and environments every day. And, though it’s comforting, it doesn’t allow for any personal growth. Relationships, careers, hobbies, and more become flavorless after a while without variety.
However, getting outside of your comfort zone can be terrifying! The thought of failure and embarrassment can keep you stuck in the same cycle day after day. So, how do you get comfortable being uncomfortable? Well, that’s what we’re discussing today!
How to Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Start with trying new things that don’t matter.
Putting yourself in difficult situations is, well, difficult! But, truly, the only way to feel comfortable being uncomfortable is to expose yourself over and over to those awkward situations. But, don’t worry, you don’t need to go signing yourself up for a hip hop dance class or head out to the nude beach. You can start small!
Since your brain is swimming with all the possible risks that could happen when you’re in an uncomfortable situation, you need to pick something ultra low stakes. Start with switching up your coffee order, taking a different walking route, or dressing differently from normal. These situations rarely affect anyone else, so it’s great practice for getting out of your comfort zone! Hopefully, these situations will give you a rush of good vibes and motivation for the next step!
Put yourself in unique social situations.
To become desensitized to uncomfortable circumstances, place yourself in unique social situations. These should be locations where there are lots of opportunities to talk to people! It could be something as simple as arriving at an appointment early to talk to someone in the waiting room or sitting next to another parent at the park. It could also be bold, like going to a rave alone or joining a language class! When you’re in these places, chat with those around you!
Do something you’d never do.
Another way to push yourself out of your comfort zone is by doing things you’d normally never do. Make yourself a fish out of water by enrolling in a painting class, joining an improv group, jumping out of an airplane, or traveling to a new city. These experiences are scary, but exciting, and the bursts of pride you get from completing these tasks will help teach your brain that taking risks is a good thing!
Remind yourself that everyone is uncomfortable.
This is so important. Anytime you’re in an uncomfortable situation, you feel awkward and totally isolated. But, remember, everyone feels uncomfortable in new settings! If you’re dating later in life, you don’t think your dinner date has clammy hands? (Learn more about dating over 40+ in Divorced Not Dead.) Or, if you’re in a beginner writing class, don’t you think everyone is a little embarrassed to read their work aloud? Of course! Everyone is uncomfortable. Try to bond over the embarrassing situation.
Bring a friend if you need to—an extraverted one!
If you’re struggling to get out there, bring a friend. Let them know your goals, and allow them to push you out of your comfort zone! If you get to the club, and you don’t want to go dance with that hottie over there, they’ll push you to do it. Or, if you get cold feet before your repelling trip, they’ll be there to tell you going back isn’t an option. Find an extraverted friend who will stick with you through the ups and downs of this big endeavor.
Again, your brain is going to try to protect you from this situation. It says: “Danger, Will Robinson!” It wants you to stay safe and comfortable. So, even though you’ve decided you’re going swing dancing or eating out alone, it’ll be really easy to talk yourself out of it every day. You’ll put it off forever! So, schedule it. Set a date. If you can somehow, pay for it too! If it’s a set event or date, you’ll have fewer excuses when the time comes to walk out that door.
Ask questions about different beliefs, ideas, and values.
As you work on getting out of your comfort zone, you’ll see tons of change in your personal life. You’ll start to develop more confidence and boldness each day. Continue to exercise this by challenging both those close to you and those you just met. Ask questions about their beliefs, ideas, and values if they’re different from yours.
Yes, this could be an uncomfortable conversation, but so what! This will make you learn that your voice matters and that lots of people care what you have to say. It’ll also broaden your horizons and challenge you to learn new things each day. So, don’t be afraid to let your curiosity and creativity drive potentially risking conversations.
Know that bad feelings don’t equal a bad experience.
We’re not going to tell you that you won’t be uncomfortable. You definitely will be. However, remember that bad feelings do not equal a bad experience. So, if you get home after a date or event and feel anxious and embarrassed, that’s okay! That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have done it. It’s all a part of the process!
Embrace discomfort by turning your insecurities to purpose. Olivia Perez discusses this at length in her podcast “Friend of a Friend.” You can listen to the episode here and learn to deal with these negative emotions, work past them, and achieve peace!
Always reflect on your experiences and feelings.
Just because we embrace discomfort doesn’t mean we should ignore our feelings. After each event, journal or meditate on your experience. Develop healthy mantras and keep your eyes on the prize!
If facing your fears and dealing with anxiety is still really challenging, we’ve got some podcasters to help. Mind Body No Soul’s episode called “Social Anxiety Solutions” and Looking Up’s episode “Facing Your Fears, the Power of Perspective . . .” are both great resources for pushing through fear of getting out of your comfort zone.
Acknowledge progress and reward yourself.
Each time you put yourself out there, celebrate! Reward yourself with something comforting that brings you joy. Finally, hit “Order Now” on your Amazon cart, take yourself out for smoothies, or binge a few more hours of your favorite podcast. Do what makes you happy and acknowledge every accomplishment.
Remember, it’ll take time to feel comfortable and confident.
This won’t happen overnight. This is a long term gain. Keep pushing and know that it’ll be tough and awkward for a while. In fact, the feelings might never go away completely, but you’ll learn to deal with them and push through the discomfort. You got this!
Why Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone is Important
Now that you know how to step out of your comfort zone, what’s the point? Why is it important to jump out of the predictable routine and do something risky? Well, here are a few reasons why this is crucial:
Open yourself up to new opportunities.
When you stop overthinking and push past fear, you open yourself up to lots of new opportunities. As you get out there, you’ll meet new people, explore new talents you didn’t know you had, and realize more of what the world has to offer. This will make you available for more, whether it’s a new career, a new relationship, or a new skill! It’ll empower you and bring SO much joy to your life.
Make great friends.
Most people lose a lot of friends in their twenties. This is normal. As people grow and change, naturally, you break up. However, staying in your comfort zone can leave you with no new friends either. This leads to isolation and loneliness.
But, getting out of your comfort zone will allow you to meet lots more people. When you meet new people, you can find love—platonic and romantic! These new friends will provide the necessary community you NEED to survive.
Find greater success in your career and ambitions.
The Yerkes Dodson Law theorizes that the right amount of fear is good for us. Too little makes us careless. Too much freezes us with stress and anxiety. However, the perfect amount keeps you focused and pushes you forward. You won’t want to fail, but you’ll know there is a good chance you’ll succeed. This principle will take you so far in your career!
Pushing out of your comfort zone will make it easier for you to stand out in your career and do more to get ahead. You’ll call that difficult client. You’ll push to complete your project. And, you’ll try that experimental marketing plan. Whatever you’re shooting for, go for it. If you need more help with your specific career goals, check out these great podcast episodes:
- “How to Survive the Art World” by Going Mental
- “Quit Doing Sh*t You Hate” by Note to Self
- “Why It’s Never too Late to Start a Business, Tips for Handling Risks . . .” by The Dream Bigger Podcast
Grow your self-confidence.
Beyond getting further in your career and relationships, learning to be comfortable with discomfort will give you confidence. You’ll know what you can control, you’ll know your voice matters, and you’ll know all that you’re capable of. Learn more about getting confidence with Caroline Stanbury in “Divorced Not Dead.”
Learn to heal faster.
Have you ever had an uncomfortable situation, and you couldn’t stop thinking about it? You’re probably just overthinking, but it still gives you anxiety and stress. Luckily, as you get comfortable being uncomfortable, you’ll learn and grow. You’ll heal faster when you’re hurt and dismiss embarrassment and discomfort from your mind much faster!
Podcasts About Embracing Discomfort
If you need some inspirational content, we’ve got some great stuff for you! Dear Media has dozens of podcasts that help you become a better, stronger person. Be the best version of yourself and learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable with these podcasts:
Eileen Kelly was a successful social media star and sex educator when she walked away from it all. She was struggling with her mental health, and entered treatment to reform her life and discover herself. Now, she has a podcast that seeks to destigmatize mental health.
Friend of a Friend
Olivia Perez is a journalist, fashion lover, and creator who explores interesting stories of success and gives listeners the inside scoop on how to achieve their own goals.
Divorced Not Dead
Caroline Stanbury, is, you guessed it, divorced, not dead. She wants to tell you there’s life after divorce and help you find yourself along the way. She deals with lots of social stereotypes and stigma, and tells her listeners that she pushes out the noise and listens to her heart.
Gabby Bernstein, a bestselling author and international speaker, is your life coach in her popular podcast! She takes her listeners through life-changing transformations and supports them on their journey through personal growth.
Note to Self
Here’s another advice podcast that’ll help you explore yourself, the world, and new perspectives. You’ll feel empowered by the host, Payton Sartain, and all her inspiring guests.
Mind Body No Soul
Take it easy with Jackie Schimmel, a wellness guide who will help you practice meditation, affirmations, and mantras. These will help you get a grasp on your mental health and discover more about your soul.
Looking Up with Dr. Deepika Chopra
Dr. Deepika Chopra has studied the science of happiness, and she’s sharing it with you! You’ll get expert advice and science-based evidence to be more optimistic, successful, hopeful, and resilient.
The Dream Bigger Podcast
The founder of the wellness brand Arrae, Siffat Haider, hosts a podcast to help inspire you to live your best life! She interviews entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and experts on topics you care about. You’ll feel uplifted and empowered to achieve your dreams!
Learning to get comfortable being uncomfortable will open you up to a new world of possibilities.
Learning to be confident in who you are is hard. They tell you that the awkward stage is over in middle school, and it’s totally not! However, with enough exposure, your brain will learn to deal with uncomfortable situations, and you’ll start realizing all you can accomplish without the constraints of your comfort zone! You can read more life tips here on our blog. We want to help you realize your full potential and achieve your dreams!