No pain, no gain

It is important to understand that, at times, one has to undergo discomfort to grow and realise one’s potential, says Megha Bajaj. In the end, you won’t regret it

Are you someone who wishes to grow in life? In all aspects? Be it health, wealth, relationships, and spiritual progress? Then one of the first things you have to embrace, along with growth, is discomfort.

Yes, you read it right. Discomfort.

As humans, our natural tendency is towards embracing pleasure, embracing what feels natural and comfortable and rejecting discomfort. And yet, growth lies in embracing discomfort.

I want to become fitter. To do so, I have to do asanas that seem challenging. I have to eat food which is more health-conscious than tongue-conscious. I have to bring about shifts and stick by those shifts. With so many people talking about health, yet so many struggling for it, the clear indication is that thought doesn’t become execution. And what stands between us and growth, is discomfort. If I can master discomfort, and even learn to make it fun for me, I will achieve my health goals.

The same is the case with our professional growth. It is so comfortable to be where we are, and yet, to get where we want to be, we have to take risks. We have to throw ourselves into the unknown; we have to go beyond the finishing line. Sometimes, something as simple as speaking to people you never have spoken to might feel so uncomfortable. Selling your product to a world which doesn’t seem approachable feels equally so. It is uncomfortable, and yet, those who have surprised us with the results they have produced—the legends—embraced the one thing that came between them and their dreams: discomfort.

I am sure, like me, you have faced these uncomfortable situations in relationships. You want to say no, but because the other wants a yes from you, you end up saying yes. Strength in relationships is not just built by every yes you say, but also every no you say. The love and foundation of any relationship should allow room for noes, for a difference of opinion, for going through challenges and coming shining forth. A beautiful relationship is one where both are allowed to retain their originality and yet come together to create something beautiful. And when you love someone so much, all you want to do is make them happy. But to preserve yourself, you sometimes need to say no. You need to draw the line. You need to teach people how to treat you. All this makes us uncomfortable, and often we stop because it does. Beautiful relationships are a reality for those who embrace this discomfort and keep going. People who truly value strength and creative love will go through the process with you. Because they know that what will come forth will be worth all the discomfort.

Discomfort feels uncomfortable. At a very body level. Your chest constricts. The eyes well up. There is a knot in the stomach. And yet, to go past these by simply being aware and focussing on the breath will help ease the feeling. To just know “Yes, I am uncomfortable, but it is good for me and is going to help me grow” is enough. Just keep focussing on the next breath, and the next, with awareness: “This is good for me. This will help me grow. The discomfort is just a sign that I am growing.” And before you know it, the transition will be made, and you will move from discomfort to ease.

Does a mother reject the discomfort of pregnancy and birthing process for the bliss of parenting a child? Does a leader reject the discomfort that growth brings, to live his true potential? Does a beautiful relationship not merit a few moments of discomfort in growing to its true potential?

I am recognising that the one thing that stands between me and all the higher realities that I wish for in life, is discomfort. And I am willing to embrace it. You?

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