The Discomfort Curve – A Principle For Facing Challenges and Creating Habits

Consistency is Key.
Creating a change in our habits and routines can be very uncomfortable, but the key is to break through discomfort with consistent action.
Through repetition, we can adapt to new routines or healthy new habits.

It’s like working a muscle.
At first, it can be very tough to get up in the morning and FORCE yourself to do a round of push-ups and crunches.
And when you do find the will power to punish yourself, you wake up the following morning so stiff that can hardly brush your teeth.
But as you get into a routine and exercise more frequently, the daily push-ups and crunches become second nature and you no longer FORCE yourself to do it.
Also, you no longer feel crippled the following day.

I call this the Discomfort Curve.
Imagine a hill with a steep rocky climb, but that on the top of the hill is a flat and green plateau.
As you start the climb, you keep asking yourself: “What the F#@& am I doing!?”
It’s strenuous and tiring, and you have to push yourself to take each step, that doesn’t seem to get you any closer to the top.
As the angle of incline decreases, your strides become larger and far easier… And you feel like you’re getting somewhere.
When you get to the top, you’re walking with ease on the soft grass.
And sure, now and then you may need to climb over a rock or wade through some bushes…
But it feels like nothing compared to the initial hike.

Every morning without fail, I jump into a cold shower.
To start with, stepping into the freezing cold jet of water was very daunting and I had to sum up all of my will power to hop in.
After doing that for 30 days, I stopped thinking about it and started getting in quite comfortably.
Now, it is a part of my wiring and I am pulled towards the shower every morning, rather than forcing the perceived punishment on myself.

I think the Discomfort Curve is a powerful principle that applies to the difficulty of forming almost any new habit or routine.
Whether it is a new daily exercise, practicing a musical instrument, writing a blog, or learning a completely new skillset.

Just do it, and whatever it is, it will get easier after time with repetition and commitment.

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