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Can You Be Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable?

Can You Be Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable?

Two of the men participating in the reality show “The Amazing Race” said that one of their keys to success is that they were comfortable being uncomfortable. BINGO. They nailed one of the most essential survival skills that any of us could master to help support us in winning our own personal amazing race.

Learning how to be comfortable while being uncomfortable is something that most of us have to learn how to do. Most of us can’t even tolerate being uncomfortable for short amounts of time. We distract ourselves from our discomfort by using emotional high drama, eating, drinking, drugs and all kinds of addictions, or abusive behavior.

Some people simply withdraw. I deal with my discomfort usually by writing about it. When I write about something, the discomfort often leaves me completely, like a passing storm.

I don’t think that staying with discomfort comes naturally. And finding ways to be with your discomfort is an essential skill for staying in the race. Any personal growth usually involves some kind of ability to stay with feelings of discomfort.

Let’s face it. If you are a seeker of any kind you will push boundaries. When we reach for personal transformation and start pushing edges and boundaries in our lives – we meet “the big work” and feelings of discomfort and wanting to flee from change surface.

Will Fredericks, a Sex and Intimacy Coach based in Seattle, nailed it in a comment left on a blog in my Shameless Community: “Stepping into your own life, on your terms is activism. It defies the status quo, and makes you in some ways an outlaw.”  When we step out, create change, move things around and set new rules for how we want to live, we do indeed become activists for our own lives. It’s extraordinary work, and it does not come without feelings of discomfort.

And it’s important to remember that every big experience forward is an “expansion” in our lives. Expansions usually comes with an equally big “contraction.” Pleasure and pain are wedded together, they help us experience each aspect of our lives fully. So it makes sense that if you are in a journey of self discovery, you will be riding a lot of emotional waves. Try to make friends with their feelings. Know that you are the earth, and all of the emotions and uncomfortable feelings are simply passing weather. Take some shelter, but don’t run away. Be in it and see what happens.

Helpful Tips For Getting Comfortable During Feelings of Being Uncomfortable:

1. Walk, or run outside. Movement in the fresh air can really help ease feelings of anxiety, stress and unease.

2. Write about it. I asked one of my friends if my writings sometimes worried her when I write in emotional states. She laughed. She said, “Pammy, I know that by the time I get to read your writing you have completely moved on and passed through those feelings.” She is dead on right. When I write, blog, or journal, it is a tool for me to move through my own uncomfortable feelings. Try it.

3. Help a friend. Get out of your own story and help someone with theirs! There is nothing like leaving your own uncomfortable feelings alone for a while to support someone else in theirs.

4. Get on the table, and get a massage. Self pleasure. Give a massage. Make love. Moving physical energy is wonderful for helping pass the weather through your body. Get out of your head and into your body.

5. Give yourself some mantras: “Everything is going to be okay. If it’s not okay it’s not over” is a favorite of mine. Also reminding myself that I am indeed the solid earth and the weather will pass.

6. Water in. Water on. Water out. Water is a great mover of energy. Drink lots of it, pee, and take long showers or baths.

7. Be in stillness. Meditate and connect to your breath.

8. Connect to your own spirituality and / or religion. If you have a spiritual practice, practice it! Connecting to a higher power can be a beautiful way to find comfort in uncomfortable times.

If you are going to win your own amazing race, it’s all about not letting being uncomfortable make you throw in the towel, not start the race, or give up in the middle.

And it is good to know, that whatever you are feeling discomfort about, there is someone else out there in the world, feeling exactly the same thing. We are never really alone in our discomfort. Sometimes just knowing that can make us feel more comfortable!

Do you have any tips for being comfortable while being uncomfortable? Tell us about them! Leave a comment for this blog, or start your own post on the subject. We would all love to hear your thoughts and wisdom.


What To Do After Reading This Article?

1. Please leave a comment, like it, email it, tweet it, and share with your social networks.

2. If you would like to learn more about Pamela Madsen’s Coaching Practice, her Shameless Community, and her book, Shameless as well as her “Back to the Body Retreats for Women,” please visit her website:

Read more: Addiction, Anxiety, Depression, Drugs, General Health, Mental Wellness, Obesity, Recharge Your Life, Relationships, Spirit, Stress, , , , , , , ,

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Pamela Madsen

Pamela Madsen is an Integrative Life Coach Specializing In Women's Issues: Sexuality, Fertility, Body Image, Wellness and Rejuvenation. Pamela is also author of the best selling memoir Shameless (Rodale, Jan 2011), and founder of The American Fertility Association.Her websites and her daily blog,, are a breakfast essential for reporters, writers and policymakers.


+ add your own
7:19AM PST on Dec 3, 2012

I live with chronic pain, out of necessity I've had to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable! Otherwise I would have gone insane by now! thanks for the article

4:56AM PST on Nov 15, 2012

thanks for sharing

12:00PM PDT on Oct 17, 2012

Everyone has to deal with discomfort. These eight tips are good ones and can help a person cope.

9:56AM PDT on Oct 14, 2012

this is a subjective view really, doesn't apply to everything. but its also very true.

9:09AM PDT on Oct 14, 2012

Thank you! I am struggling with anxiety issues and so this article is helpful, it reaffirms all that I have been trying to do for myself... Thanks!!!

10:28PM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

Any one that has gone to college and graduated(online college does not apply. Getting out of bed and driving with your book bag to school where you go to "work" for free(school is work) daily, carrying a 20-30lb book bag) knows what it means to being uncomfortable and living with it.

10:24PM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

When it comes to being in a long term relationship with another, being uncomfortable gets very old and is not really worth it. Walking on eggshells around your partner means you need a new partner or maybe just prefer to be by yourself.

5:27PM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

Competing for lots of money makes uncomfortable feel would to me.....

Secondly, when I seek to make myself feel better it is better for me to connect to the higher powers in life.....

7:51PM PDT on Oct 12, 2012

This is one of the best articles I've read lately. Thanks for posting. All good tips.

5:41PM PDT on Oct 12, 2012


being uncomfortable may possibly be "inharmonious emotions and vibrations"

if so, Yogananda suggests:

"By meditating regularly, you become increasingly charged with the pure magnetism of God. Think of God so constantly that He is with you wherever you go. When you meditate and live in the consciousness that you are God’s child, you gradually dissolve all inharmonious emotions and vibrations."

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