Life Is Discomfort and Uncertainty–Get Comfortable With Them

Breakups, job losses, deaths, and uncontrollable circumstances are going to happen. All of this stuff is just a part of life. Small discomforts, not getting what you want, and uncertain feelings are also going to happen. Instead of fighting against discomfort and uncertainty, you’d really benefit from learning to get comfortable with them.

  1. Getting comfortable with discomfort takes practice.This is not a process that happens overnight. Rather, at some point you start seeing that discomfort keeps popping up and you keep dealing with it in ineffective ways. You begin to see that it’s much more effective to deal with discomfort by leaning into it and getting comfortable with having it around. After all, it isn’t going anywhere.
  2. Know that discomfort is an inevitable part of life.It’s almost as if it’s written into our human DNA to be uncomfortable. Actually, if you were comfortable all of the time I’d be really concerned. Instead, it’s helpful to acknowledge that discomfort is a natural and inevitable part of life. The bad news is that discomfort will definitely come to visit, but the good news is that it will never stay too long. For example, exploring a new relationship at a slow-pace is sure to bring discomfort, but it’s totally worth it.
  3. Feelings won’t kill you.Despite thinking that the feelings of discomfort and uncertainty might end your life, I promise they can’t kill you. I know that discomfort feels tremendously hard to sit with, but if you just hold on a little bit longer, you’ll survive. Those feelings in your mind and body aren’t facts, they’re just feelings. If your gal pal does something to betray you, it may feel as if your feelings will eat you alive, but they’ll definitely pass.
  4. The only constant is change.John C. Maxwell said that “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” Change is going to happen. It’s one of the only parts of life that is guaranteed. You can choose to lean into the change and make the best of it or you can fight against it in the hopes that change will somehow stop or reverse itself. When things shift at work and you get a new boss, this is where you’ll be able to practice acceptance of change.
  5. Fighting discomfort only results in more pain.Fighting reality is only going to bring even more pain and discomfort into your life. You can certainly fight discomfort by trying to numb through drugs, alcohol, sex, and other worldly things. The better alternative, though, is to accept that discomfort is a reality of life and lean into it. For example, if your partner breaks up with you–you can slash his tires or you can move the heck on.
  6. It’s normal (but not helpful) to have an aversion to pain.Know that it’s natural to have an aversion to pain. Buddhists say that we have an aversion to pain and an attachment to pleasure. We’re either trying to pull something towards us or push it away. This aversion to pain may be natural, but it certainly isn’t helping you. What about if every time you’re uncomfortable you avert pain by drinking alcohol? Quickly you’ll turn into an alcoholic. It’s better to just sit with the discomfort or use healthier means of distraction.
  7. Discomfort can sometimes be growing pains.The good news about discomfort is that it isn’t always a crappy thing that you have to just sit through. Rather, sometimes the pains mean that you’re growing in areas of your life where you’re feeling challenged. For example, starting to make healthier choices with boundaries in your family may at first feel very painful and uncomfortable. Family members may have hurt feelings, but you know that these are just growing pains that are worth it in the long run.
  8. Comfort zones aren’t where the growth happens.T. Harv Eker said “Whenever you feel uncomfortable, instead of retreating back into your old comfort zone, pat yourself on the back and say, ‘I must be growing,’ and continue moving forward.” It’s all about moving out of your comfort zone so that you can start growing into a better person. Say yes to something that scares you and take a chance.
  9. The more comfortable you are with uncertainty, the happier you’ll be.Pema Chodron, one of my favorite Buddhist teachers, said “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.” What the heck is she talking about with annihilation? Well, she’s talking about getting comfortable with exposing yourself to uncertainty and discomfort over and over again.
  10. In a world of quick-fixes, there isn’t one when it comes to uncertainty.I know, in our culture we want quick-fixes. This article may have pissed you off or confused you, but I promise that continuing to lean into discomfort and uncertainty will shape you into a better and a more contented person. Making peace with these things brings far more joy than wine, sex, and Netflix ever could.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at