Learn to be comfortable in the discomfort.
What does that mean? I’m sitting in a coffee shop, trying to shut off the voices in my head. Around me there is so much hustle and bustle—cars with their rushing tires and beeping horns, birds with their squawks and fluttering wings, babies with their laughter and coos—sometimes I feel like I’m lost in the mix of it all. And that terrifies me.
I want the world to make sense. I want to have the answers. I want to wake up every morning with a sense of who I am, what I’m supposed to do, and whether or not I’m on the right path. I want to know, without a doubt, if I’m following truth, if I’m with my forever person, if the questions in my head will have answers. I just want to know.
And when I look around, when I talk to the ones I love, when I encounter strangers, when people send me messages asking for advice or a listening ear—I find we’re all honestly searching for the same things. We all want to be understood, to understand, to make sense of who we are and where we fit in the big mess of this world. Isn’t that crazy?
I bring myself back to the present moment, stirring my straw around my drink absentmindedly. I feel so…off. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about discomfort—about the moments where everything seems wrong or out of place, when I can’t hear God’s voice, or when I’m blindly moving through my day and it feels like something is missing—discomfort.
Our human intuition knows that discomfort means something isn’t right, that something’s changed. And so we try to do everything in our power to keep it the same, thinking that if we push back hard enough, we’ll be able to resist fate.
It’s so natural to oppose discomfort. It’s so natural to want the opposite, to crave order, peace, and understanding. It’s so natural to chase what’s comfortable and easy, to look for anything that resembles the familiar or safe.
But the truth is not always what we want to hear:
In the discomfort is where we find who we are, where we grow, where we become better and more resilient versions of ourselves.
In the discomfort, we learn what makes us tick. We find people and opportunities that shape the way we see the world. We encounter pain that teaches us to heal in ways we’ve never tried to before.
In the discomfort, we learn that unanswered prayers are blessings all on their own. We see how to survive without the people we thought we’d have by our side forever. We discover the inherent ability within us to fight, pursue, and continue, even in the wake of brokenness.
In the discomfort, we’re pushed to be different people. We’re forced to shift the way we react, the way we love, the way we become. In the discomfort we find who we’re truly capable of being. And that’s not something we stumble upon when our world’s safe and all makes sense.
Learn to be comfortable in the discomfort. Maybe what that means is to simply hold on through the tough moments. Because those moments will shape us. Because those moments are temporary. Because those moments will lead us down the path we’re meant to be on. Because those moments are the ones that actually help us answer the questions we have in our heads.
We don’t grow if we’re always standing still. If we’re forever clinging to what we know, too afraid to try anything else.
We don’t grow if we don’t let life happen to us, if we resist anything that feels unfamiliar, if we hate discomfort too much to learn anything from it.
But just like the mix of sounds all around me, just like the constant ebb and flow of relationships, conversations, life itself—we’re never stuck in one place. And this is a good thing.
So we must learn to be comfortable with what makes us uncomfortable. Because in those moments of uneasiness are shaping us, are helping us find who we are, and will become.