Comfort Is Our Greatest Enemy

Feeling comfortable is a universal human desire. This relaxed, sometimes euphoric state of being draws us in and provides us with a settled mind. Life feels good when we’re comfortable.

But this “good” feeling can become empty and unsatisfying—especially when it keeps us from working on our higher aspirations. Comfort may be our greatest enemy when it comes to making progress on our most important but difficult tasks and goals.

It’s not surprising that trying to escape our comfort zone doesn’t come easily. When something unknown, challenging, or new presents itself, we are all wired to retreat and do the easier thing, we are instinctively drawn towards the safety of satisfying comforts.

And that’s exactly why many struggle to step beyond what’s familiar and easy. Here are four reasons we retreat to comfort:

Our fear of failure is strong.

It seems like the safest route at the time.

Saying “no” to something new seems easier than saying “yes.”

We compare ourselves to others and think we could never live up to that standard.

Don’t let these common thoughts hinder us from taking steps towards growth and goals.

Doing Hard Things Makes Us Better

You’ll never know until you try, is the type of mindset that I try to model for my kids.

I try to encourage my kids that they too have the ability to do hard things. This teaches them to embrace challenges with optimism, strive to keep growing, and use that growth to fuel their motivation to continue learning. Rock climbing, gymnastics, reading, bike riding, giving compliments, helping those around you, playing an instrument, saying please and thank you, these are all examples of doing hard things that eventually will make my kids even better (I hope).

Like many lessons I teach them, I can apply this principle of growth to my own life.

I’ve learned that comfort may sometimes lead to complacency—but it doesn’t lead to growth.

Doing hard things is never the easy path, but it does deliver the greatest gains.

I think this quote from Fred Devito sums it up nicely:


With that quote being said, here is an exhaustive, but not complete list, of how you can do more hard things to make you better:

-Turn the devices off and engage with your kids.
-Start a new gym routine.
-Admit that you may need help and enlist the services of a coach or someone who has been there before.
-Read for 10 minutes instead of watching your favorite Netflix show.
-Look up a recipe and cook a healthy meal instead of ordering out.
-Don’t go for seconds for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
-Go for a walk instead of sitting on the couch.
-Call your Mom more often.
-Stand instead of sit at your desk.
-Skip dessert.
-Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
-Make your bed in the morning.
-Call your friend and have a conversation instead of texting them.
-Arrive to a meeting 10 minutes early.
-Stretch or foam roll for 5 minutes after class.
-Be more accepting of people different than you.
-Don’t take the closest parking spot at the grocery store.
-Put your neighbors’ trash cans away.
-Travel to a new place.
-Play with your kids instead of watching them play.
-Pick up that piece of trash you see in the parking lot.
-Let that person at the intersection go in front of you.
-Give your gym buddy words of encouragement when they are struggling mid workout.
-Do the extra rep when your toes don’t hit the bar.
-Get up 10 minutes earlier, so you’re not so rushed.
-Do 1 more repetition when the Coach yells “time”
-Give a thank you to those who have helped you.
-Smile instead of frown.
-So many more.

The ‘hard things’ in life can be whatever you think they are. All of these things make a small difference, and over time, add up with the potential of changing your life.

Do the hard things and you will be a healthier, happier, more fulfilled individual.

Do the hard things and you will reap the benefits, but more importantly, you will have a positive impact on those around you.

Doing hard things isn’t comfortable, but if it’s comfort you seek you’re limiting your ability to learn and grow and giving up on the opportunity to become a better version of yourself.

Be diligent to look for ways that you can step outside your comfort zone and see how hard things can become opportunities for growth.

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Up Next: The Power of A Growth Mindset