Leaning in to discomfort…


Brené Brown – shares with us the concept of leaning in to discomfort.  Sounds uncomfortable, doesn’t it?  So why would you do it and what are the benefits?

What does it mean to “lean into discomfort?”  Why would you do it?  What are the benefits of it?  Will it hurt?

Of course, I am not talking about leaning in to physical or emotional discomfort to the point that it causes you harm.  Rather, leaning into situations that make us uncomfortable, sometimes even highly uncomfortable.  Depending on how committed you are to “leaning in to your discomfort” it may potentially have some physical side effects. For example, it may cause anxiety and feeling anxiety may cause physical discomfort to a certain extent.  Anxiety will not kill you, but it may make you want to walk away or give up.  So that is the downside, yes?  Will it hurt?  Probably….

I once had a professor tell me that if it does not make you uncomfortable, then you are doing it wrong!

What is the upside of leaning in to your discomfort? Probably the biggest upside to it is the potential for personal growth.  The ability to eventually tap into something very powerful either within yourself or something tangible within the world.  Opportunities which might not have presented themselves otherwise, as we had to reach a place within ourselves……where they could then manifest.  This can be very rewarding!  Is it worth it? Probably….

I am learning to lean in to my discomfort as I journey through my Master’s program.  It has been tough and on a few occasions, it has caused me to want to quit.  I have at times, been extremely uncomfortable.  I have doubted my abilities and questioned my commitment.  At times, I have thought it would be easier to just continue in the profession I already have, especially since I have finally become successful in it.  Starting over in a new career field, that will pay me a lot less than I am making now, is also concerning.  So is not really being able to have a bad day in my future career as a counselor.  My future clients will count on me to show up and be present for them, regardless of what is going on in my personal life and they deserve that from me.  Sound scary?  It is…..

Is it worth it?  Yes!  I have grown so much!  

I have overcome personal challenges and found new levels within myself.  My confidence is growing.  I have been able to put better, more healthy boundaries in place.  The journey in and of itself has been amazing, even though it has been challenging at its best and worst moments.  Also, I have met so many wonderful people along the way.  I can honestly say, I would not change a moment of my experiences.

I expect it will continue to be challenging.  I also expect, I will continue to learn to lean into discomfort.

I am committed to the journey.

I would love it if you would share with me the different ways you “lean in to your discomfort.”  Has it hurt?  Have you grown?  Was it worth it to you?




About thoughtfulstroll

I am a veteran, a professional business woman and a counselor in training. Follow me on my journey to becoming a mental health professional.
This entry was posted in Counseling Related, Thoughts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Leaning in to discomfort…

  1. Love! Love! Love! Brene Browns work is really amazing. I also really have enjoyed books by Barry Neil Kauffman and Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic”. Keep up the bravery! Sending love and hugs! ❤️❤️

  2. tiffiny223 says:

    I totally agree that if you force yourself outside your comfort zone, you can experience opportunities that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. When I moved to a new city across the country and was no longer working outside the home, I forced my introverted self to join the local MOPS group, and it has lead to so many invaluable friendships four years later!

    • I could only image what it must have been like for you to have just moved across the country, while simultaneously experiencing being a new mom. New place and lots of new things and experiences to be had. Then on top of all of it, you are naturally introverted. It must have been difficult for you to venture out even further beyond your comfort zone than you already were! I am glad it was rewarding for you. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

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