The Power in being Uncomfortable

By | 2016-04-27

As people grow into their “adult” selves we (generally) become more mature and our perspective on life goes through drastic changes.

Maybe you wanted “all the things” while you were younger and now realize simplicity is the key to happiness.

You may drift away from old friends, make new friends that you would not have expected or realized some of the people you previously hung out with are complete A**holes and were toxic to your progress

Your career might shift down a path that you never expected, and you may find yourself in unfamiliar situations where you don’t have all the answers.

Another example comes from Distilled Dollars post on Warren Buffet “the more you learn, the more you earn”, no one comes into the world an expert investor, leader or engineer – all of these skills are learned, and in every biography I have read, there has been a struggle (uncomfort) to break through.

I am in different stages of all the above examples and am starting to see the “Power in being Uncomfortable” – I will break it down further, but if you take one thing from this post – you should push your self to constantly be in a “state of uncomfort” it is the only way to grow

Being Uncomfortable in you Career

For the last few years I had been working as a Business Analyst for a few of our software products – I knew the ins and outs and was not challenged very often.

I Recently switched career paths into Project/Product Management on our technology team, I have never written a line of code (unless you count copy/pasting code to change the color of my title bar) and I was immediately pushed into unfamiliar (or uncomfortable) territory trying to lead meetings with a bunch of software engineers.

I felt like I was not contributing, or even able to help these guys out – what do a bunch of software engineers need from a (new) project manager? I can’t speak their language, or even help with establishing time-lines since I have no clue what is “hard” and what is “easy”.

After awhile, I realized my ego needed to be checked at the door and I was not an expert in this area – for me that means “start asking a million questions” because I am very curious and enjoy to learn. About 6 months in, it started to click and I was able to start adding value (it turns out most software engineers are dreamers and if it were up to them nothing would ever be “done”).

I couldn’t be happier with the switch and new skill set that came along with this move (the raise also helps) – and if you are content in your current position, push yourself into a new area, learn, and ask for more money.

Being Uncomfortable with Money

Break this out into 2 parts – having a high savings rate and “separation anxiety” with your money

Savings Rate

This ties back to “all the things” but when I see someone my age or a co-worker with a sweet new (insert any item) I used to get curious – Why don’t I have one of those? Should I have one? Is my salary lagging my peers? How can they afford that?

Of course the most likely answer is they are not saving nearly enough money – which was confirmed in The Millennial Budget’s recent Post. Compared to my peers, I would be an “outsider” – which can be uncomfortable, but again, it is uncomfortable to go down your own path and in this case, it is the right thing to do.

Separation Anxiety

With a pumped up savings rate – most of it is invested into the stock market (for me) and at first it is nerve racking to think that a dollar today, might only be 80 cents in a month, or worse, 50 cents. While it is definitely possible, and will more than likely happen, history suggests that it will not only return, but go higher over time.

Trying Something New

At the beginning – this blog was extremely uncomfortable for me. I didn’t want to be judged by a bunch of internet strangers.

Now – writing on this site and reading/interacting with so many other bloggers on their site is the highlight of my week – the personal finance community is very welcoming and supportive (I even have some new internet friends). Trying this has also taken the fear out of trying something new, and if I can’t hack it as a blogger and this site starts on fire – I will take the lessons learned straight to my next venture.

I need to finish this post – tired of wordpress telling me “uncomfort” isn’t a word – Jokes on them it says wordpress isn’t a word either.

Action Items: Push yourself into a state of uncomfort and enjoy it! Are there any other areas where you see the “Power in being Uncomfortable”?


Some products that can help you:

Acorns: Acorns is an automation app that collects and invests your spare change when you make a purchase. I connected Acorns to my checking account and my credit card. If you are interested in trying it, you can use my referral code here (both of us will get $5 in our account)

Personal Capital: Personal Capital has a ton of great Free features, you can track your spending, net worth and even analyze your portfolio. It has top notch security and I am able to connect all of my accounts. Saves a ton of time! (I may be compensated if you use this link)

18 thoughts on “The Power in being Uncomfortable

  1. Latoya @ Life and a Budget

    Being in a state of uncomfort has given me the opportunity to learn who I really am and strip the facade of “reality” so I can figure out what I truly need. We all need that little push every now and then.

  2. Courtney

    I couldn’t agree more! When we get too comfortable, we get complacent and time flies quickly by without us consciously realizing the life we have chosen. It is only in being uncomfortable that we slow that forward progress and are able to step back and evaluate where we are and where we want to be. It is only in being uncomfortable that we can grow and learn.

    1. Apathy Ends Post author

      Well said

      Stay out of autopilot 🙂

  3. The Millennial Budget

    “Greatness begins beyond your comfort zone.” – Robin Sharma. People who stay comfortable in their life will stay in the same position for most of their life. I had a chat with a wealth manager at a bank two days ago and he told me the moment he got comfortable in his role he searched for his next opportunity. Being uncomfortable breeds success and helps push the boundaries in society.

    Being uncomfortable with your money is also a great point you make. Like yourself it is uncomfortable knowing that money we invest can be reduced in a second. However, we are taking a risk and like history has proven, our risk shall reward.

    Finally, thanks for including my post in your article! Means a lot to me. Like yourself starting a blog was nerve wrecking for me but the people we meet along the way have helped and make the experience rewarding. Props to you for overcoming your fears as you have a very successful blog already! Keep it going.

    1. Apathy Ends Post author

      Great quote, I tend to get bored after 2 years and look for something new.

      Your post had great timing! It was able to confirm my assumptions when I was writing this one.

      Thanks for taking time to comment!

  4. The Practical Saver

    I don’t really like speaking in front of public. I feel like people look at me and judge me every time I speak. But it is this feeling that allows me to do better. In the past couple of months, I have been taken classes and doing exercises related to communications. I have done presentations for some of our company’s bosses.

    I am also uncomfortable in letting financial advisors recommend what I need to do with my money. I feel like part of their recommendation is based on their desire to profit for me and part is their desire to really help me.

  5. Apathy Ends Post author

    I am with you on the public speaking and am taking a class right now through work, it is very uncomfortable and I get nervous in front of peers. Good luck – I am sure you will do great!

    I just read an interesting post about another bloggers experience with a financial advisor – check it out if you are interested:

  6. The Green Swan

    This could apply to so many aspects of life. And you’re right, pushing yourself into an uncomfortable state is sometimes the only way you can grow. I know some day I’ll find myself in the position of leaving a familiar world (corporate America) and the steady salary, but that’s why we work so hard to stabilize our finances. Great post!

    The Green Swan

    1. Apathy Ends Post author

      I hope to be able to join you down that particular uncomfortable path

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. amber tree

    IT is actually good to read this article now. There are some upcoming opportunities that might push me in uncomfortable territory.
    In the end I agree. By living on the edge, by stepping out of the comfort zone, you can really feel alive.

    1. Apathy Ends Post author

      Glad the timing worked out, enjoy your time on the edge!

  8. FinanceSuperhero

    So many points in this post resonate with me. Leaving a comfortable job for the uncomfortable is a major challenge. I am about to embark on a similar change soon.

    I suppose I like discomfort, or uncomfort, because it is in those difficult experiences that I feel most alive. The bigger the challenge, the more excited and fired up I become.

    1. Apathy Ends Post author

      Agreed, when there is no longer a challenge the day seems longer and I don’t feel like I accomplish anything.

  9. Dividendsdownunder

    To become more than average, we must do more than average. Working 9 to 5 will not cut it unless you are an extremely highly paid 9-5er and to be highly paid you must have already done a ton of extra achievement to get there.

    But going through hardship now, is going to make all the difference in the future (if we invest well).


    1. Apathy Ends Post author

      Agreed – if you want to build enough to be financially independent you need to find some side hustles to push you over the edge.

  10. Clearwing

    But uncomfort is so…uncomfortable. I read once (sorry, cannot attribute this) that sitting in the same place in a room every time you go in it is associated with Alzheimer’s. If you vary where you sit as a habit, your brain has to get used to the new perspective each time and becomes more resilient.

    I know this and still try to sit in the same chair in the break room for lunch at work, so I may be doomed. Workwise, I like a good mix of things I know and things I don’t.

  11. J

    Very much appreciate this post . The statement of sharing “here’s who I am and what I do and how I can help you” and the doubt that i have something valuable to share as well.

    Now I do know God has given me a story to share for the sole purpose of helping others. He certainly did give it to me just for my own good, although it’s a small piece. Bottom line is, it’s good to be reminded I’m not the only one who struggles with this.

    Thanks for being vulnerable and open about your struggle. Believe it or not, it gives me fuel to keep moving ahead.

    I agree that being comfortable is dangerous place to stay. That’s where atrophy sets in and growth ends. Here’s to National Face Your Fears Day!

    Blessings !!


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