The Right Kind of Uncomfortable



By Tash McGill

Uncomfortable is ok. But you should make sure it’s the right kind of discomfort.

Remember that feeling when you do something again, you promised yourself you wouldn’t repeat? The habit you wanted to break or the situation you didn’t want to be in. Or when you’re trying to change the culture of your youth ministry by trying something new: that feeling where your gut aches, your head swims and your heart sinks.

It’s also a familiar feeling. So in a strange way, it’s kind of safe because, well – better the Devil you know, right? It’s the feeling of comfortable discomfort that feels bearable and manageable in comparison to the great unknown of Different.

The first time we try a different way of being ourselves or in our youth ministry, it doesn’t come easy.

Different doesn’t always feel better straight away. It’s easy to imagine that if you change the negative self-talk in your head or drop that habit or change that program you’ll immediately feel better and things will be better. But more often than not, doing things differently feels just as uncomfortable as before, with a little bit of fear thrown in.

So how do you forge ahead? How to do trade one sense of discomfort for another? You have to lift your eyes to the bigger picture for a second and realize that through the discomfort of doing things differently, things can become better. And that can be better than before.

Better, healthier, stronger is never a destination – it’s a journey through the discomfort of doing things differently. Of making the unknown familiar and letting the familiar become the best of who we are in every capacity.

The first time you try a different approach; to an argument with someone you love, a youth ministry gathering or ditching a bad habit – your gut might still ache and your heart might still feel heavy. But don’t focus on the feeling, focus on why you feel that way.

Beating yourself up for repeating the same old thing can turn to cheering yourself on for launching into brave new ways of being. And discomfort will pass, instead of being the feeling you’re most familiar with.