Being comfortable with being uncomfortable

Episode : . A Blue background with a yellow neuron with a body the shape of a star. Words say Ex-gifted podcast. Helping exceptional kids become functional adults. A Yellow stripe across the bottom reads With Raine Eliza from

There's a new podcast on the way, but it needs more work than a standard episode, so I recorded a little something until then. Find the video here:

It's tossed about a lot: that you will never grow if you allow yourself to be comfortable.

It's bullshit.


Growth itself is uncomfortable, but comfort and safety provide the best foundation for the discomfort of growth. In other words, you don't grow by forcing yourself into uncomfortable situations. Growth comes when you take care of yourself and leave space for it.

What we can do about it:

One thing that can help you make space for growth is learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Cultivating discomfort tolerance is one of the best things I've done for myself - my word of the year is growth after all - but it doesn't bring about growth on its own (except for growing your discomfort tolerance, that is.)

What discomfort tolerance does do is take away some of sting and fear of growth, because when things get uncomfortable you know you can handle it, and you know how to take care of yourself and keep yourself as comfortable as possible through this period of growth.

Growth is a time of vulnerability - so you must keep yourself safe, secure, and as comfortable as you can in all other areas during that time.

The last thing is to remember that growth isn't meant to continue indefinitely. In preparation for the uncomfortable winter, plants die back and halt growth. People have to do something similar, allowing periods of quiet consolidation after their time of rapid expansion.

If plants don't finish this process before the first freeze, they can die. If we don't do it, we face burnout.

Keep growing (and also resting)


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Kawai Kitsune by Kevin MacLeod



About the Ex-Gifted Podcast:

If you are a former gifted kid who grew up to struggle with basic adulting, then you need the Ex-Gifted podcast.

Host Ren Eliza talks about gifted kid burnout, and the damage that lasts long into adulthood. Damage like battered self esteem, decimated internal motivation, and a continued failure to live up to expectations even while we were placed on pedestals and alienated from our peers.

Ex-Gifted will cover failure, procrastination, imposter syndrome, and chronic anxiety and depression, and a whole lot more.

Each episode also offers suggestions to deal with your executive dysfunction in adulthood so you can rebuild the systems that allowed you to shine so brightly in childhood.

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Hi friends. Um, I'm working on my newest podcast episode, but it takes, it's got kind of more, uh, bits to it than I am used to. So it's gonna take a little bit of extra time. So I just wanted to address something that I've seen going around recently. It's not new, but it's this idea that you can't grow from a place of comfort.

This is my Monstera. It's my baby. I actually rescued it a couple of months ago from a Kroger where it had been left in a storage room while the plant lady was out on her vacation. It was deprived of water and light and when I got it, it was very yellow. The leaves were turning brown and they were limp. I got it, brought it home, put it in the light, gave it some water and it started to green up a little bit, but was still kind of having a hard time. And then I moved it right here into the window. And since then, it has been not only, uh, doing better and coming back from where it was, but actually thriving.

And so it's actually, now that I have made it as comfortable as it can be, it is growing.

So there's kind of two things here that are conflated and really shouldn't be. Growth is not especially comfortable. Growth is a kind of change and change can often be, uncomfortable for being confusing and uncertain. However, it's a mistake to assume then that you need to make yourself uncomfortable in order to grow.

It's great to make yourself as comfortable as you can to give yourself space to grow because the growing itself is gonna be plenty uncomfortable. You don't need to add extra discomfort into it. What you need is not to make yourself uncomfortable. What you need in order to grow is to make yourself okay with being uncomfortable. And those two things are not the same.

Cultivating some discomfort tolerance is one of the best things that I have done for myself. So one way I do that is with meditation. Sitting in a quiet room with nothing, but my thoughts can suck. Being, being uncomfortable in little bits here and there opens you up for the opportunity to be okay with the discomforts of growth but still trying to keep yourself feeling as comfortable and safe along the way as you can.

So you're not making yourself uncomfortable in order to force some kind of growth. That doesn't really work like that. You are just getting more comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable. And that way you won't be so afraid of the growth and change when it comes.


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