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Why Getting Uncomfortable is the Key to Personal Growth

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“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Jon Krakauer

Not everyone is open to new experiences. There was a time in my life where I wasn’t willing to step into my anxiety and push my limitations.

I only did what felt comfortable and only tried when I knew I wouldn’t fail.

Sure I felt safe and secure in my comfort zone, but I also didn’t feel fulfilled and wasn’t living up to my potential.

I was stuck in a rut and living a life on autopilot.

We all get used to doing things a certain way and have a routine that makes life more efficient. That isn’t what I’m referring to.

Having a routine and some form of structure is obviously important for many reasons. Building healthy habits and creating discipline can require some rigid routines.

However, when we stop trying new things and settle for a life of discretion and caution, we might wake up years later wondering how life past us by, and why we’re still in the exact same position we have always been in.

I believe we all need a little adventure and some intentional “growing pains” to really make the most of our life. As the saying goes, “no pain, no gain.”

The most simple and basic way to transform and change into a more powerful person is to stretch ourselves.

So, how often do you push yourself past your comfort zone?

How often are you willing to fail and do things that scare you?

This can include all sorts of things, from taking up a new hobby, learning something new and exciting, meeting unfamiliar people, or traveling somewhere that takes you out of your comfort zone.

There are two main routes to grow as a person. One route is through knowledge and learning, and the other route is through experience and practice.

Learning, reading, or taking classes can help us to gather more information but we must use the information. What do you need to learn to help you grow? What knowledge or information can help you shift perspective and expand your outlook on what is possible?

Both learning and experience are important, however experience in my opinion is the true way to make change and grow as a person.

Just like the actor who takes on a challenging role that they have never done before, we too have to stretch ourselves to do what we are afraid to do. 

We have to do some research, learn what we need to learn, and then ultimately take this knowledge and apply it in our life. The rubber has to meet the road and we must take action to make progress.

It can be scary to doing something new that will stretch our current limits.

We may feel afraid that we will fail or that other people will disprove of our decision, but when it comes down to expanding as a person stepping into this unknown territory is how we can climb past our plateaus and onto new heights!

What can you do to move out of your comfort zone?

What can you do that will really allow you to grow as a person?

As the New Year approaches it can be a powerful opportunity to start doing what you have always wanted to do, but have been afraid to try.

It can be a perfect catalyst to push past the resistance that holds you back and make the choice to start growing into your potential.

Why Getting Uncomfortable is the Key to Personal Growth

Joe Wilner

Joe Wilner is a life coach, licensed clinical psychotherapist (LCP), and drummer from the band Yes You Are. He is also creator of You Have a Calling, a blog and online community helping people discover and pursue their life’s work and mission. Through deep and personalized coaching, he helps ambitious, creative, and spiritually minded individuals make a greater impact, grow as leaders, and design a soulful life they are inspired by.

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APA Reference
Wilner, J. (2014). Why Getting Uncomfortable is the Key to Personal Growth. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Dec 2014
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