Comfort is a Lie

by Don Smith

All products and services featured on this site are independently selected by our authors and editors. If you buy something through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Saturday, I was in the gym, and Jeremy, my trainer, told me to do dips.

“Give me three sets of ten. And for each one I see that you don't go all the way down, you can do another ten.”


I knew what he meant, the last time I did dips, I cheated myself by not going down all the way. It's easier and more comfortable that way, and the sign says to do it within a comfortable range of motion. Unfortunately with a bad shoulder, my comfortable range of motion isn't what the picture shows. I kept my mouth shut and did the dips correctly.

Lower Yourself Within a Comfortable Range of Motion

I've learned not to talk back to Jeremy when I'm still on the equipment because that can sometimes turn into extra reps, but after I was done I decided to harass him a bit.

“The sign on the dip machine says to go down within a COMFORTABLE range of motion. That ain't comfortable.”

“Comfort is a lie,” came the quick response.

I knew what he meant. If I tried to stay comfortable in the gym, I'd never make progress. If I didn't make myself uncomfortable, that range of motion would never be comfortable.

Comfort is a lie because the more you seek it, the farther away it gets.

You can lay around all day every day, but eventually, that gets uncomfortable, especially if you get yourself to the point where you CAN'T do anything.

You will never be comfortable with public speaking unless you force yourself to get uncomfortable and practice speaking.

You can stop doing uncomfortable things at work, but you're likely to become uncomfortable when you stop getting raises or get fired.

You can try to be more comfortable by not going out to meet people, but you're likely to get uncomfortable when you realize you have no friends.

Comfort is a lie.

If I want those dips to be comfortable for the full range of motion my body is capable of, I need to get uncomfortable in the short term, and then I'll need to stay a little uncomfortable to increase my strength.

If you want something to change in your life, you'll need to get uncomfortable until it does, and then you'll need to stay a little uncomfortable to continue to improve.

Sometimes we all need a little nudge to get outside our comfort zone. That's what Jeremy does for me as a personal trainer, and what I do for others as a career coach.

Just like riding a bike, it's good to take breaks from work once in a while. Enjoy coasting along with the wind in your face after pedaling furiously to get up to speed. Just remember that the only time you can coast for an extended period in life is when you're going downhill, and trudging back up the hill later isn't likely to be too comfortable.


About the Author 

Don Smith

The Personal Growth Channel founder, Don Smith also owns a technology company, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and enjoys seeing people achieve their goals. Happily married with five children, he lives in Springfield, Illinois.

Articles You May Like

From a young age, I never followed the crowd. I was the kid who went exploring at summer camp while the rest of the people

Read More
Are You Leading? Or Just Taking a Walk?

Last night I watched The Patrick School pull off an incredible victory. This program has faced incredible obstacles since day #1 of the high school

Read More
How to Win When the Odds Seem Stacked Against You

This month's personal development book selection is “The Answer Is…:Reflections on my Life” by Alex Trebek. The host of Jeopardy! for over three decades, Alex

Read More
The Answer Is by Alex Trebek: Book of The Month

In 2016 at this time I lived in the remote jungles of Costa Rica. Amazing experience. I would not trade the 6 weeks for anything

Read More
Find the Happy Medium Behind Torturing Yourself and Aversion

I'm a pretty active guy. If you ask me how I've been, my response is likely to be “busy.” With five kids and two businesses,

Read More
Learn to Enjoy Your Downtime

My favorite strategy for allowing fear, anger, fighting and strife to pass is to zip my lips. I pucker up. Big time. Something neat happens;

Read More
How About Being Quiet?

When major events happen, change is inevitable. This month's personal development book of the month is “Who Moved My Cheese: An A-Mazing Way to Deal

Read More
Book of the Month: Who Moved My Cheese: An A-Mazing Way to Deal With Change

Wow. Think that one through for a moment. I seize opportunities immediately if said opportunities vibe with my vision. I never turn down opportunities aligned

Read More
Do You Filter Opportunities from Fear or Abundance?

Last night during our walk in the middle of nowhere I noted something odd. A few bright colors seemed to appear at the side of

Read More
Do You Know the Difference Between Openness and Recklessness?