Embracing Discomfort & What Is A Growth List?

Apparently comfort is for lazy asses and kittens.

Apparently comfort doesn’t buy happiness.

Apparently as humans, we were never meant to be constantly comfortable, because our cavemen ancestors really weren’t.

According to Dennis Corsi’s post, comfort is overrated and the statements above are true. He says that in comfort there is no sense of adventure or living life at its fullest. I’m not completely sure if I agree with any of the above, but it made me think.

I mean… If given the (free) choice, I will always prefer flying in First Class than Economy. I’ll embrace the adventure once I land, thanks.

First Class on an Emirates A380

He also says that most people take being uncomfortable as a sign that something is wrong. That we need to change our thinking. That being uncomfortable should be a sign that you are stretching and growing. We equate comfort with happiness.

I tend to agree with that.

In spite of my travel and adventure bug, I love comfort. I often make an effort to feel comfortable whenever I can.

I am a creature of comfort.

And I do think it’s a weakness because it can cause a bad perspective and lots of complaining.

I do wish I didn’t need comfort as much as I do because it would make life easier. If you are content with being uncomfortable, you can be happier. Complaining is a sign of discomfort and if we are not complaining then we are okay. I would like to be okay always, no matter how uncomfortable I am. I would like to reach that state of remaining cheerful in spite of pain and suffering.

Different things cause us pain and suffering as humans. From actual physical pain to the even worse emotional pain. Being uncomfortable is a state of mind. That’s why I agree when Dennis says that we need to change our thinking. Perception is all there is.

I always say I am not a pessimist (or an optimist), I am a realist. But maybe, just maybe that is a way of not wanting to admit that I can be a pessimist sometimes. Most of my worries are of things that never happen. (I guess worrying works..?) Okay, it really doesn’t, it doesn’t help.

The Growth List

Dennis writes about Sean Kim’s idea of a Growth List. The author describes it as, “a Growth List is comprised of all the things in life that makes you uncomfortable. These are fears, insecurities — anything that gives you the jitters.”

It’s basically a to-do list of your fears and all the things that make you uncomfortable and then you go do them, and then you do them again, and again, until they are no longer uncomfortable. Sean writes about taking a completely cold shower:

It was hard at first. But surprisingly, it got easier the second time. Then even easier the third time. Before I knew it, my body stopped shaking — I was no longer uncomfortable, I’ve conquered my fear.

I think this is possible with everything we do. The body and the mind are trainable. Some things might take longer to get used to, but it is completely possible.

I have decided to make my own “Growth List”. I don’t know how many, if any, of the items I will be able to check off, but I figured that you have to start by making the list. And I remember things better when I write them down, so maybe, if I write down the things that make me uncomfortable then when one of them crosses my path I might be able to remember my list and actually act upon it.

A lot of these things, once you do them, you realize they weren’t as bad as you thought.

Your list could include anything from wearing a polka dot coat, to calling that person you hurt years ago and asking for forgiveness.

So here it is:

My Growth List aka: Things That Make Me Uncomfortable

  1. Talking to strangers (not including people who are selling me stuff like at a coffee shop or store).
  2. Borrowing our roommate’s car when I need it.
  3. Taking photos of strangers. (Many times I have found people that I would like to capture with my camera, but I am afraid they might not like it and even more to ask, but I know photographers do it all the time.)
  4. Correcting people how to pronounce my name correctly. (Did this today at my crossfit class, took me 3 weeks.)
  5. Directly telling my close friends and family about my blog.
  6. Publishing my book. (First I have to finish it, but the fear comes in publishing it because it is very personal.)
  7. Dance in public, without music.
  8. Waking up at 5 am to meditate.
  9. Not consume any sugar for a week, or longer.
  10. Drive in a new city by myself. (I have the worst sense of direction and fear getting lost.)
  11. Stop nagging to my husband. (I only do it because I care, but it comes off as overprotective and controlling)
  12. Burpees.
  13. Keeping my female kitten contained for three days after her spay surgery.
  14. Go take a walk outside out of the blue.
  15. Ask strangers if they need any help.
  16. Spending a week without any internet.
  17. Attending a gathering or party where I don’t know anyone or almost anyone.
  18. Returning my food at a restaurant when there is something wrong with it.
  19. Admitting when I’m wrong.
 Your turn! I challenge you to write your own Growth List and share it on your blog, or keep it to yourself. 

12 thoughts on “Embracing Discomfort & What Is A Growth List?

  1. A growth list sounds like an interesting idea, though not everything that makes you uncomfortable is something you should do. Some things are better not to do, no? But those things aside, there’s something to be said for facing down your fears


    1. That is a very good point because when I was writing my list and thinking of things that make me uncomfortable, I came across ideas that I though they aren’t things I should do, like killing makes me uncomfortable (anything from bugs to animals and humans)… so that’s not something I should try to do I think haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly my point. Some things that make us uncomfortable do so because of nature human aversion to such things and we should let them be.


  2. That is a good list. Fins some that I agree on (or feel the same way about). Like taking photos of strangers. Telling friends about my blog, not so much anymore. Have no problem with them reading it but before it was a bit embarrassing actually.


  3. This is a great post and I love the idea of challenging us to make a growth list too! I do think that these days living out of your comfort zone is becoming almost a fad. I know that for me, thriving abroad means knowing my comfort zone (and self) well enough to challenge myself at times so that I grow, but also to know when I need to be in my comfort zone so that I can recharge and disconnect.


  4. Loved it. You made me start thinking.


  5. Okay here’s a little anecdote. On my Rugby team, one of our players, Charbel, is all about fitness. “The reason we lose is because we’re not fit. We’re all fat. Blah blah blah” So when we have our training sessions, he typically leads the fitness session. Bad idea… I never suggest you do One Charbel. Yes, “One Charbel” is a unit of measurement. One Charbel = 70 burpees. I HATE BURPEES.

    I know that was a little of topic, but when I saw burpees on your list, I felt I had to share. Also, I chuckled at your “first class vs economy” comment, so thank you for that.

    Thanks for the awesome post.


    1. Haha! I loved your little anecdote. Burpees really do suck huh.
      Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend Alex!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Guess what! I started taking crossfit classes about 3 weeks ago. Everyday has been a different type of workout. Guess what I had to do today? 75 BURPEES! Plus run 1.5 miles. I don’t know why I do this to myself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s 1 and 1/14th of a Charbel! Keep pushing through, mental toughness is key

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for posting this, reminded me that in order to grow or accomplish our goals, we have to be willing to be a bit uncomfortable. No. 10 is something I’m adding on my list.


  7. Thats a wonderful idea – the growth list. Got to start working on mine too now i guess!


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