Wake Up and Choose Discomfort

Lauren Sullivan
3 min readFeb 19, 2021
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

As human beings, we have a habit of gripping onto what makes us feel good. Our brains love attaching to predictability and safety. This can be a great thing. Our ability to remember what makes our lives easier is the reason why we have meaningful relationships in our lives, a roof over our heads, and food to eat every day.

What makes us comfortable, makes us feel safe and satisfied. A warm blanket at the end of the day. A shoulder to lean on in tough times. A familiar face to catch up with on the weekends. It is a wonderful privilege to be comfortable.

But comfort can only serve us until it begins to hinder us. Leaning too far into what is known and familiar will ultimately result in avoidance of challenges. Even if it’s a subconscious avoidance.

When we choose to not speak up in the fear of being judged or rejected. When we stay in bed instead of getting up for that workout. When we avoid that tough conversation with our significant other because we’re terrified they will leave us. When we avoid being honest with our friends about how they hurt us. Avoiding discomfort looks different every time — but it always results in a negative effect on your long-term growth and happiness.

The trouble with comfort is that it’s a sneaky enemy. It will lurk in the corner of the room and sit on its hind legs waiting to tempt you into its shadow. It’s attractive on the surface, but when you get close its’ ugly nature is revealed.

Comfort has the ability to always be around. It’s always available to you as the easy way out. When you're faced with fear, you can turn your head and walk toward comfort instead. This is comfort’s scary pull. While this decision brings us short-term relief, it compounds the long-term anxiety of avoiding hard things in our lives.

It is our job to get better at jumping out of the proverbial comfort zone. Because when we do decide to finally stray away from our comfort, the growth we experience is unparalleled.

When we decide to abandon comfort, we discover that the failure or rejection that once scared us is diminished — because the anticipation of these ugly demons is worse than their experience.

Let me say that again — the idea of being uncomfortable is more intimidating than the

Lauren Sullivan

A millennial living in Manhattan, eating too much sushi, and writing until 2am.