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People Are Baffled To Agree With This Boomer Take On Doing Uncomfortable And Difficult Things
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People Are Baffled To Agree With This Boomer Take On Doing Uncomfortable And Difficult Things

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Typically, young people think of the boomer generation’s (people born around 1946-1964) opinions as outdated. Yet, sometimes, they secretly find themselves agreeing with some. Or, maybe not so secretly, as they post about it on social media.

Today, we are talking about one of these cases, which caused quite a discussion on X, even though, technically, it’s just another debate about the comfort zone.

More info: X

Even though sometimes the boomer generation’s opinions tend to be outdated, from time to time, we can find some that are valid

Image credits: Brett Sayles (not the actual photo)

One such opinion was shared by an X user, who stated that people should push themselves to do uncomfortable things, as it trains them to not view these things this way

Image credits: katefeetie

Image credits: katefeetie

Image credits: katefeetie

On March 19th, 2024, writer @katefeetie tweeted her “boomer-est” opinion: that people must force themselves to do things that are uncomfortable while they’re young and their brain is flexible, even if they’re mentally ill, as pushing themselves to do them might make them less uncomfortable after several tries. Basically, it’s about an old tale of “stepping out of the comfort zone.” The tweet quickly went pretty viral, as X users found it quite polarizing. 

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Some people completely agreed with the sentiment. In fact, some of them said that this kind of thought, or, to be more precise, the act of pushing themselves to do something uncomfortable, forced them to heal their social anxiety or forced their brain to function with their ADHD. 

In fact, the act of leaving your comfort zone has quite a few benefits – it helps people achieve their goals, boosts self-confidence, and expands their worldview, to name a few. 

But there’s another side of things, which was pointed out by people who disagreed with the idea expressed in the tweet. Some noted that leaving the comfort zone must be done only when the person feels safe or healthy enough to do so. As one person put it: “Pushing yourself to wash dishes is healthy, while staying in a toxic relationship isn’t.” 

Others were a little bit more extreme. They said that such a take is ableistdiscriminatory against people with disabilities. After all, sometimes, people have such debilitating mental conditions that they restrict people from doing certain things, including pushing their boundaries, even if they want to. If they try to push themselves to do something very difficult for them, it can lead to a panic attack or any other bad physical reaction, like vertigo.

Image credits: Gül Işık (not the actual photo)

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So, you might wonder, which side is right? To help you make up your mind, Bored Panda reached out to transformational life coach Amy Lee (if you’re a newsletter fan, she has one that focuses on her personal stories and healing journey).

To understand whether pushing yourself to do something very uncomfortable and difficult is worth it, Amy advises you to think about what this push will bring you long-term. She also gave a perfect example: “I am terrified of public speaking, but I know my calling is to speak, so will taking occasional opportunities lead to sustainable growth and longevity? Yes! While there will most likely be a shock to my nervous system, eventually, with time, practicing public speaking will help to minimize that.”

Amy says that there are a few steps to understand what goals people have so they can start pushing themselves. The first step would be identifying limiting beliefs around the goals. For instance, a person wants to be an actor but believes they aren’t worthy of being successful. Then, it would be followed by finding the origins and reasoning: “Validation is integral to healing these beliefs.”

When the reasoning is understood, the reprogramming of the subconscious mind follows. This step involves affirmations, trauma work (talk therapy), scripting, visualizing, and somatic work (a therapy where the body is the main point for healing). Amy provides an example of the latter: “Perhaps you were booed on stage as a little kid — that trauma may reside in your stomach (constant nausea around the fear of being seen).”

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Amy also highlighted that there are things that terrify people that they don’t have a calling for, which makes these things kind of purposeless. 

So, as with many other things in life, this is something that has two sides, and both of them are valid. Training yourself by doing uncomfortable things is a very good tactic, as long as it doesn’t overly hurt the person (both physically and emotionally) and it serves some kind of purpose. Therefore, we can agree that, in a way, both sides of the debate were kind of right and wrong at the same time, can’t we? 

The tweet sparked a debate, where some folks agreed with it, while others disagreed and even called it ableist

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rdougherty666 avatar
Ryan-James O'Driscoll
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Some people clearly taking the original statement to extremes. There is a distinction between discomfort and distress. There are ways to push yourself to challenge discomfort that are healthy and obviously the uncomfortable thing needs to be healthy in the first place. Staying in the comfort zone only causes that zone to shrink. Pushing the boundaries helps expand it. But you don't have to throw yourself in at the deep end.

marikaolivier avatar
Marika ScOli4
Community Member
3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What I say to my kids in these situations are that you need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, otherwise there will be no growth. Growth doesn't push you over the edge, only the comfort zone has that ability. I come from a place that is full of comfort creatures, I've seen first hand how it destroys lives. I'm lucky that I got out!

Load More Replies...
kenbeattie avatar
Ken Beattie
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hate that some of the responses are people twisting the words. Like the one saying "don't stay in a toxic relationship". Doing something difficult is actually about *getting* out of the toxic relationship. Not staying in it. Too many people suffer because inertia keeps them somewhere "bad" and they're not willing to take the "scary" step of getting out of it. Similarly, the advice is not about doing something impossible or taking some massive leap all in one go. No one expects someone to be able to jump behind the wheel of a car and drive like a pro immediately. But you can attempt that in small steps. Try a driving sim. Try a go-cart. Go with a driving instructor in a car they can co-control. Drive in an empty field or car park not on the roads. Similarly, if you've got a bad back the advice isn't to go to the gym and immediately try to deadlift 200kg. It's to work on some small exercise (something your doctor would recommend). Maybe over time you could do a 200kg lift...

kenbeattie avatar
Ken Beattie
Community Member
1 month ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

(cont) ... but even if you can't it doesn't matter. It's about actually trying to improve. Lifting 10kg is better than lifting zero. Another way to look at it is "if you don't try you'll never know what you could actually do". As for staying in a job you hate, well yes. If you have to pay the bills so you can eat then you suck it up and do it. But that doesn't preclude you from applying for other jobs. In fact if you hate your job it should be the impetus you need to apply for other jobs. Same with staying in a bad relationship or a life you don't like. In those cases the step you need to take is to get out of them. Break up with the partner who is making you unhappy. Move city, even move country if your life isn't making you happy. Try something different. That is the point of what they're saying.

Load More Replies...
dbzi5shm avatar
Secret Squirrel
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's the black and white thinking about this that is toxic. Should you never do anything that makes you uncomfortable? If course not. Should you feel you aren't doing enough if you aren't making yourself feel bad constantly? Also no. Be practical and compassionate with yourself and others. Make yourself and other less miserable rather than more miserable. Easy as.

monicayoung avatar
Mona
Community Member
3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The black and white thinking comes from reading too much into the original words...

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
rdougherty666 avatar
Ryan-James O'Driscoll
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Some people clearly taking the original statement to extremes. There is a distinction between discomfort and distress. There are ways to push yourself to challenge discomfort that are healthy and obviously the uncomfortable thing needs to be healthy in the first place. Staying in the comfort zone only causes that zone to shrink. Pushing the boundaries helps expand it. But you don't have to throw yourself in at the deep end.

marikaolivier avatar
Marika ScOli4
Community Member
3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What I say to my kids in these situations are that you need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, otherwise there will be no growth. Growth doesn't push you over the edge, only the comfort zone has that ability. I come from a place that is full of comfort creatures, I've seen first hand how it destroys lives. I'm lucky that I got out!

Load More Replies...
kenbeattie avatar
Ken Beattie
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hate that some of the responses are people twisting the words. Like the one saying "don't stay in a toxic relationship". Doing something difficult is actually about *getting* out of the toxic relationship. Not staying in it. Too many people suffer because inertia keeps them somewhere "bad" and they're not willing to take the "scary" step of getting out of it. Similarly, the advice is not about doing something impossible or taking some massive leap all in one go. No one expects someone to be able to jump behind the wheel of a car and drive like a pro immediately. But you can attempt that in small steps. Try a driving sim. Try a go-cart. Go with a driving instructor in a car they can co-control. Drive in an empty field or car park not on the roads. Similarly, if you've got a bad back the advice isn't to go to the gym and immediately try to deadlift 200kg. It's to work on some small exercise (something your doctor would recommend). Maybe over time you could do a 200kg lift...

kenbeattie avatar
Ken Beattie
Community Member
1 month ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

(cont) ... but even if you can't it doesn't matter. It's about actually trying to improve. Lifting 10kg is better than lifting zero. Another way to look at it is "if you don't try you'll never know what you could actually do". As for staying in a job you hate, well yes. If you have to pay the bills so you can eat then you suck it up and do it. But that doesn't preclude you from applying for other jobs. In fact if you hate your job it should be the impetus you need to apply for other jobs. Same with staying in a bad relationship or a life you don't like. In those cases the step you need to take is to get out of them. Break up with the partner who is making you unhappy. Move city, even move country if your life isn't making you happy. Try something different. That is the point of what they're saying.

Load More Replies...
dbzi5shm avatar
Secret Squirrel
Community Member
4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's the black and white thinking about this that is toxic. Should you never do anything that makes you uncomfortable? If course not. Should you feel you aren't doing enough if you aren't making yourself feel bad constantly? Also no. Be practical and compassionate with yourself and others. Make yourself and other less miserable rather than more miserable. Easy as.

monicayoung avatar
Mona
Community Member
3 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The black and white thinking comes from reading too much into the original words...

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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