Anda di halaman 1dari 15


Discomfort Zone: How to Master the Universe
The only thing I cant stand is discomfort.~Gloria Steinem
By Leo Baa!ta
"f all the s#ills Ive learned in the $ast % years of changing my life& one s#ill
stands o!t:
Learning to e comfortale with discomfort.
If yo! learn this s#ill& yo! can master $retty m!ch anything. 'o! can eat
$rocrastination& start e(ercising& ma#e yo!r diet healthier& learn a new
lang!age& ma#e it thro!gh challenges and $hysically gr!eling events& e($lore
new things& s$ea# on a stage& let go of all that yo! #now& and ecome a
minimalist. )nd thats *!st the start.
Unfort!nately& most $eo$le avoid discomfort. I mean& they really avoid it + at
the ,rst sign of discomfort& theyll r!n as fast as $ossile in the other direction.
This is $erha$s the iggest limiting factor for most $eo$le& and its why yo!
cant change yo!r haits.
Thin# ao!t this: many $eo$le dont eat vegetales eca!se they dont li#e the
taste. -ere not tal#ing ao!t so!l.wrenching $ain here& not /!antanamo
tort!re& !t a taste thats *!st not something yo!re !sed to. )nd so they eat
what they already li#e& which is sweets and fried st!0 and meats and cheeses
and salty things and lots of $rocessed 1o!r.
The sim$le act of learning to get !sed to something that tastes di0erent + not
really that hard in the grand scheme of life + ma#es $eo$le !nhealthy& often
I #now& eca!se this was me for so many years. I ecame fat and sedentary
and a smo#er and dee$ly in det with lots of cl!tter and $rocrastination&
eca!se I didnt li#e things that were !ncomfortale. )nd so I created a life that
was dee$ly !ncomfortale as a res!lt.
The ea!tif!l thing is: I learned that a little discomfort isnt a ad thing. In fact&
it can e something yo! en*oy& with a little training. -hen I learned this& I was
ale to change everything& and am still $retty good at changing eca!se of this
one s#ill.
Master yo!r fear of discomfort& and yo! can master the !niverse.
)voidance of Discomfort
-hen $eo$le are stressed& they often t!rn to cigarettes& food& sho$$ing&
alcohol& dr!gs 2 anything to get rid of the disomfort of the thing thats
stressing them o!t. )nd yet& if yo! ta#e a dee$er loo# at the stress& its really
an !nfo!nded fear thats ca!sing it 3!s!ally the fear that were not good
eno!gh4& and if we e(amined it and gave it some light of day& it wo!ld start to
go away.
-hen $eo$le start to e(ercise after eing sedentary& they are !ncomfortale.
Its hard5 It can ma#e yo! sore. Its not as easy as not e(ercising. Its not
something yo!re !sed to doing& and yo! fear doing it wrong or loo#ing st!$id.
)nd so yo! sto$ after awhile& eca!se its !ncomfortale& when really its not
horrile to e !ncomfortale for a little while. -ere not tal#ing ao!t incredile
$ain& !t *!st discomfort.
-hen $eo$le try a healthier diet& they often dont li#e it + eating veggies and
raw n!ts and 1a(seeds and fr!its and tof! or tem$eh or lac# eans isnt as
thrilling as eating fried& fatty& salty or sweet foods. Its a form of discomfort to
change yo!r taste !ds& !t the tr!th is& it can easily ha$$en if yo! *!st get
thro!gh a little discomfort.
Discomfort isnt ad. Its *!st not what were !sed to. )nd so we avoid it& !t at
the cost of not eing ale to change things& not eing healthy& not eing o$en
to advent!re and the chaos of raw life.
Mastering Discomfort
The way to master discomfort is to do it comfortaly. That might so!nd
contradictory& !t its not. If yo! are afraid of discomfort& and yo! try to eat
discomfort with a really gr!elling activity& yo! will $roaly give !$ and fail&
and go ac# to comfort.
6o do it in small doses.
1. Pick something thats not hard. Ta#e meditation as an e(am$le. Its not
really that hard + yo! *!st sit down and $ay attention to yo!r ody and reath&
in the $resent moment. 'o! dont have to em$ty yo!r mind 3*!st notice yo!r
tho!ghts4& yo! dont have to chant anything weird& yo! *!st sit and $ay
attention. If yo! dont li#e meditation& try a new healthy food& li#e #ale or raw
almonds or 7!inoa. "r a fairly easy e(ercise if yo!re sedentary& li#e wal#ing or
2. Just do a little. 'o! dont have to start y doing 89 min!tes of something
yo!re not !sed to doing. :!st do a few min!tes. :!st start.
3. Push out of your comfort zone, a little. My friend and Zen $riest6!san
";onnell has a favorite meditation instr!ction that yo! can !se for any activity
act!ally: when yo!re meditating and yo! feel li#e getting !$& dont< then when
yo! feel the !rge to get !$ a second time& dont< and when yo! feel the !rge to
get !$ a third time& then get !$. 6o yo! sit thro!gh the !rge& the discomfort&
twice efore ,nally giving in the third time. This is a nice alance& so that
yo!re $!shing yo!r comfort =one a little. 'o! can do this in e(ercise and many
other activities + $!sh a little.
4. Watch the discomfort. -atch yo!rself as yo! get a it !ncomfortale + are
yo! starting to com$lain 3internally4> )re yo! loo#ing for ways to avoid it>
-here do yo! t!rn to> -hat ha$$ens if yo! stay with it& and dont do anything>
5. Smile. This is not trivial advice. If yo! can smile while eing !ncomfortale&
yo! can learn to e ha$$y with discomfort& with $ractice. -hen I did
the /or!c# ;hallenge in ?9@@& it was @8 ho!rs of discomfort + raw and loody
#nees& sand in my shoes as a hi#ed and ran with A9B $o!nds on my ac#&
carrying teammates and logs& doing $!sh!$s and crawal#s and other
e(ercises& needing the athroom and eing tired and h!ngry and cold. )nd yet&
I $racticed something sim$le: I tried to mantain a smile thro!gh all this
discomfort. Its an im$ortant $ractice.
Ce$eat this $ractice daily. It will e strange& $erha$s diDc!lt& at ,rst& !t soon
yo!r comfort =one will e($and. If yo! $ractice it eno!gh& with di0erent
activities& yo!r comfort =one will e($and to incl!de discomfort. )nd then yo!
can master the !niverse.
-hat 'o! ;an Eow Master
If yo! master discomfort& what can yo! now master as a res!lt> :!st ao!t
1. Procrastination. -e $rocrastinate to avoid something thats not comfortale&
!t if yo! can learn to stay with that tas#& even if its not comfortale. The
discomfort isnt ad. Those of yo! going thro!gh theFrocrastination mod!le in
my 6ea ;hange Frogram are learning ao!t dealing with the discomfort of
staying with yo!r im$ortant tas#.
2. Exercise. -e avoid e(ercise eca!se its not comfortale& !t if we e($and the
comfort =one a little at a time& we can ma#e e(ercise something were
comfortale with& after a little re$etition.
3. Writing. If yo! want to write !t always seem to $!t it o0& thats eca!se
writing is often diDc!lt& or less comfortale than chec#ing email or social
networ#s 3for e(am$le4. 6tay with the discomfort& and yo!ll write more than
4. Eating healthy. Its ama=ing how m!ch o!r taste !ds can change over time&
if we grad!ally get !sed to healthier foods. That means going thro!gh small
$eriods of discomfort& !t its not that ad in little doses.
5. Meditation. -e avoid the disomfort of sitting and doing nothing& of foc!sing
on the $resent. B!t its not that hard + *!st a little !ncomfortale.
6. Waking early. -a#ing early means eing a little tired for a little while& !t
thats not a horrile thing. Cead more ao!t rising early.
7. earning a language!instrument. -ant to learn something new> That
means doing something yo!re not !sed to& y de,nition& and so we often 7!it
efore we master this new s#ill& sim$ly eca!se 3yo! g!essed it4 it ma#es !s
!ncomfortale. 6tay with the discomfort& and efore long yo!ll en*oy learning
this new s#ill.
8. "lutter. ;l!tter is *!st another form of $rocrastination. 'o! dont $!t things
away& or yo! let a $ile of things yo! dont need !ild !$& eca!se its not
comfortale dealing with it right now 3as com$ared to& say& rowsing the
Internet or watching TG4. B!t dealing with something right now isnt that hard
once yo! get $ast the discomfort.
9. #eading no$els. -e tend to avoid sim$ly sitting with a oo#& eca!se we are
$!lled towards something more comfortale 3again& Internet rowsing as an
e(am$le4. If we can *!st sit with the oo# and a little discomfort& we can read
10.Em%ty email in&ox. )nother form of $rocrastination + yo! get some emails&
maye loo# at them& !t $!t o0 dealing with them right now eca!se its easier
not to.
11.'e&t. This is a series of things we have to deal with that are !ncomfortale +
listing o!t o!r dets and ills& ma#ing a sim$le !dget& doing things that are
free instead of sho$$ing& etc. B!t I got o!t of det y ,nally facing all of these
things& and it was wonderf!l.
12.(e) ad$entures. Many $eo$le stay with $laces theyre comfortale with&
which means missing o!t on new e($eriences that might e a little
!ncomfortale. Hven when they travel& many $eo$le stic# with the to!rist
sights and food that theyre !sed to& rather than ,nding strange !t more
a!thentic e($eriences in a new land. -e avoid meeting new $eo$le& s$ea#ing
on stage& letting go of what we #now& eing o$en to new things 2 to avoid
)nd thats *!st the start. -ithin each of these areas theres many things yo!
can wor# on over the coming years now that yo!re not afraid of discomfort&
and there are many other areas of e($loration now o$en to yo!.
Discomfort can e the *oyf!l #ey that o$ens !$ everything for yo!.
Discomfort is very m!ch $art of my master $lan.~Jonathan
P*S+E', -./01/0-.2
P#E34*5S P*S+, +6E M*S+ S5""ESS75 +E"6(485ES 7*# #4S4(G
(E;+ P*S+, +6E P*WE# *7 69<4+ 4(3ES+ME(+S
J*4( 9 M44*(= <#E9+6>+9?4(G #E9'E#S, #SS @ EM94 @+W4++E# @ =
ao!t :: archives :: start :: oo#sIco!rses :: !nco$yright :: sea change
$rogram ::for!m!in/
-hy Jear of Discomfort Might Be C!ining 'o!r Life
By Leo Baa!ta
Thin# ao!t the ma*or $rolems in yo!r life + from an(iety to lac# of reg!lar
e(ercise to a ad diet to $rocrastination and more.
Fretty m!ch every one of these $rolems is ca!sed y a fear of discomfort.
Discomfort isnt intense $ain& !t *!st the feeling yo! get when yo!re o!t of
yo!r comfort =one. Hating vegetales for many $eo$le& for e(am$le& rings
discomfort. 6o does sitting in meditation& or sitting with a hard tas# in front of
yo!& or saying Eo to $eo$le& or e(ercising. 3"f co!rse& di0erent $eo$le are
!ncomfortale with di0erent things& !t yo! get the idea.4
)nd most $eo$le dont li#e discomfort. They r!n from it. Its not f!n& so why do
The $rolem is that when yo! r!n from discomfort all the time& yo! are
restricted to a small =one of comfort& and so yo! miss o!t on most of life. "n
most of the est things in life& in fact. )nd yo! ecome !nhealthy& eca!se if
eating healthy food and e(ercising is !ncomfortale& then yo! go to comfort
foods and not moving m!ch. Being !nhealthy& !nfort!nately& is also
!ncomfortale& so then yo! see# distractions from this 3and the fact that yo!
have det and too m!ch cl!tter& etc.4 in food and entertainment and sho$$ing
3as if s$ending will solve o!r $rolems54 and this in t!rn ma#es things worse.
)ma=ingly& the sim$le act of eing "K with discomfort can solve all these
This is a discovery I made a few years ac#& when I was trying to change my
I started y trying to 7!it smo#ing& !t I hated the feeling of having an !rge to
smo#e and not act!ally smo#ing. It was !ncomfortale to resist that strong
!rge. My mind resisted& tried to ma#e !$ all #inds of rationali=ations for
smo#ing. My mind tried to r!n from this discomfort& tried to see# distractions.
I learned to sit and watch the discomfort. )nd when I did& incredily& it wasnt
too ad. My world didnt end& nor did my mind im$lode. I was *!st
!ncomfortale for a it& and then life moved on.
Then I watched this same $rocess ha$$en with r!nning. I didnt want to r!n
eca!se it was too hard. My mind made !$ rationali=ations& etc. I fo!nd ways to
avoid the r!nning. Then I gave in to the discomfort& and it wasnt hard. I ran&
and learned to love it.
I re$eated this $rocess for changing my diet 3many times& act!ally& eca!se my
diet grad!ally got healthier over time4& for getting o!t of det and not s$ending
so m!ch& for eating $rocrastination& for meditation& and so on.
Becoming "K with discomfort was one of the single iggest discoveries of my
newly changed life.
How to Become /ood at Discomfort
If yo! can learn to ecome good at discomfort& yo!r life will have almost no
limits. Theres no etter s#ill to learn.
Here are some ti$s Ive learned:
1. +ry it in small doses. 6it for 89 seconds in discomfort. If yo!re averse to
vegetales& try one green veggie. F!t it in yo!r mo!th& leave it there for 89
seconds. 'o! $roaly wont li#e it m!ch& !t thats "K. 'o! dont have to have
a mo!thgasm with every ite. Ive learned to love veggies.
2. 4mmerse yourself in discomfort. )re yo! sad& or angry& or stressed& or
fr!strated> Instead of avoiding those emotions& immerse yo!rself in them. Dive
into them& acce$t them& e in them. 6ame with $rocrastination + sit with the
tas# yo!re r!nning from& and dont switch to something else. :!st e there with
that !ncomfortale feeling. How does it feel> )re yo! in dee$ $ain> )re yo!
3. Seek discomfort. ;hallenge yo!rself daily. Jind !ncomfortale things and do
them. Introd!ce yo!rself to strangers. H!g a friend. ;onfess yo!r feelings.
;onfront someone 3with a smile4. 6ay Eo to $eo$le. /o for a r!n. Try a new
healthy dish.
4. Watch yourself run from things. -hat have yo! een avoiding eca!se of
discomfort> -hat feelings have yo! een re*ecting> -hat $rolems do yo!
have that stem from discomfort> -hat have yo! allowed yo!r mind to
rationali=e> Become aware of this $rocess& and see if yo! can sto$ avoiding
things& one y one.
5. earn that discomfort is your friend. Its not an enemy to fear. Its act!ally
a good thing + when yo!re !ncomfortale& yo! are trying something new&
yo!re learning& yo!re e($anding& yo!re ecoming more than yo! were
efore. Discomfort is a sign that yo!re growing.
Discomfort is the reason I decided to !ndergo my 'ear of Living -itho!t+ Im
facing the things that ma#e me !ncomfortale 3and so far& ,nding that its not
hard at all4.
-hile others stay in their comfort =one& I e($lore the !n#nown. )nd I treas!re
the e($erience.
P*S+E', -A/.0/0-.2
P#E34*5S P*S+, +6E 69<4+S *7 69PP4(ESS
(E;+ P*S+, +6E 9#+ *7 +9S+4(G "6*"*9+E M4('75:
J*4( 9 M44*(= <#E9+6>+9?4(G #E9'E#S, #SS @ EM94 @+W4++E# @ =
ao!t :: archives :: start :: oo#sIco!rses :: !nco$yright :: sea change
$rogram ::for!m
http://chan"efrea#.b$o""fearofdiscomfort.htm$ THE
Overcoming Fear of Discomfort
Ever been in "the zone?" !m to"# that for ath"etes it is an a"most transcen#enta" state in $hich ath"etic
%erformance e&cee#s an' %rior e&%erience( )' *+ 'ear o"# son $as in the zone a co,%"e of $ee-s ago at the
.niversit' of Tennessee bas-etba"" cam%/ $here he san- 0* of 01 2,m% shots in a #ri"" an# even gaine# the
notice an# a%%reciation of Tennessee coach 3r,ce 4ear"( 5Da#!s ho%ing for a scho"arshi%67
The "zone" most of ,s are more fami"iar $ith is the "comfort zone(" This is the state in $hich $e are most
comfortab"e/ most at %eace an# free of fear of the ,n-no$n( This #oesn!t have to be a state of b"iss( Even miser'
can have a sense of comfort if it is a"" a %erson has -no$n( n fact/ !ve -no$n man' %eo%"e over the 'ears that
$o,"#n!t -no$ $hat to #o $ith themse"ves if the' #i#n!t have %rob"ems to com%"ain abo,t6
.nfort,nate"' o,r comfort zones are a ma2or barrier to transformationa" change( 8,st $hat is it that ma-es
"iving insi#e o,r comfort zones so #estr,ctive to %ositive change? 9e""/ the "arger o,r comfort zones/ the "ess
%ersona" an# organizationa" "earning ta-es %"ace( :o, can %ict,re it this $a';
To the "eft $e see a "arge comfort zone/ a sma""
"earning zone/ an# a ver' "arge fear zone( This mo#e"
is of a %erson that is ver' comfortab"e in their c,rrent
circ,mstances/ an# an' chance to those circ,mstances
#rives them a"most imme#iate"' into fear of the
,n-no$n( The' <,ic-"' retreat bac- into the she"" of
%rotection that comfort offers(
3' contrast the mo#e" to the right is of a %erson that
embraces change/ an# as a res,"t never a""o$s a
comfort zone to ca"cif' an# har#en( Their comfort
zone is more of a 'o-e than a she""/ an# the' have
eno,gh confi#ence in themse"ves an# the f,t,re to
have a sma"" fear zone( The' are gro,n#e# eno,gh to -no$ that even the tria"s an# #iffic,"ties of "ife offer "ife
"essons 5the' in fact offer the most %rofo,n# "ife "essons7( The' "ive their "ives in the zone bet$een comfort an#
fear/ $hat $e $i"" ca"" the ""earning zone("
=o ho$ #o $e overcome o,r fear of #iscomfort an# e&%an# the zone bet$een comfort an# fear>the "earning
zone? #on!t have a"" the ans$ers here/ an# be"ieve the a%%roach ma' var' b' in#ivi#,a"/ b,t am certain that
this #oesn!t ha%%en $itho,t foc,se# effort( Here are a fe$ s,ggestions;
> Tr' something ne$ an# #ifferent( =ometimes str,gg"e even tr'ing a ne$ resta,rant $hen -no$ an# "i-e the
> T,rn off the T? an# %ic- ,% a goo# boo-( n "ight of the statistics this $i"" ma-e 'o, a ,ni<,e in#ivi#,a" an#
great"' e&%an# 'o,r "earning zone( A fe$ ,nbe"ievab"e statistics;
1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not bu or read a book last ear.
!0 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five ears. "#ie$ Source%
> Organize an# #e>c",tter 'o,r "ife( ),ch of o,r fear an# #esire for comfort comes from "iving a "ife s,rro,n#e#
b' c",tter an# chaos( n some $a's "ess rea""' is more6
> Ta-e time occasiona""' to $rite or 2o,rna"( )an' times sit to $rite abo,t a"" the things that are $rong in the
$or"# an# fin# m'se"f 2,st being than-f," for the goo# in m' "ife 5or rea"izing that m,ch of the "ba#" is se"f>
> Ta-e some ca"c,"ate# ris-s an# reso"ve to "ive a "ife that is "not safe b,t goo#("
f 'o, $ere to as- those $ho -no$ 'o, best to $rite 'o,r e%ita%h/ $hat $o,"# it sa'? Tr,"' the greatest fai",re
$o,"# to have an e%ita%h that rea#s "No hits/ no r,ns/ no errors((("
&o$ to debug fear and discomfort $ith uncertaint
September 24' 2012 ( )uthor Tom Stone
*esolving +ear and ,iscomfort $ith Uncertaint
-here are t$o different issues regarding uncertaint. .ne is the fear of uncertainl. -he other is a
different kind of discomfort $ith uncertaint. / $ill e0plain to ou ho$ to debug each of them separatel.
-his came up because a fe$ das ago / debugged a small group of people for being
uncomfortable $ith uncertaint. )s / did this debugging session / e0plained to them ver clearl e0actl
$hat $as causing the discomfort and / have to sa that it $as the clearest /1ve ever e0pressed it
-hen again 2ust last night this came up for someone and it $as the same. She had an important
decision to make and as is so tpical' she $as tring to 3figure it out $ith the mind.4 -his rarel
produces clarit. / took her through the process of debugging as e0plained here and after$ards she
2ust sat in 5ure )$areness for a fe$ moments and then kne$ e0actl $hat she needed to do. /t $as
beautiful to $atch the transformation. So / thought / $ould e0plain ho$ to do this debugging but also
e0plain the nature of the conditioning and other factors in order to share it $ith ou and $ith the &S6
communit. -his $a ou can also debug people for this discomfort too.
-he people / $orked $ith had alread resolved the +6)* of uncertaint in previous debugging
sessions. So it $as not fear that $as the problem for them. /t $as more of a discomfort $ith
uncertaint. )s / felt into it and did a little muscle testing / got a ver clear sense of $hat it $as. "+or
ho$ to debug the +6)* of Uncertaint see this brief e0planation 7 ,ebugging the +ear of Uncertaint%
-he ke component for debugging the discomfort $ith uncertaint is resolving our deepl ingrained
habit of needing to kno$ things $ith our intellect. Uncertaint feels uncomfortable because $e are
highl conditioned to think that $e get certaint through intellectuall understanding things. /n fact for
most people the $ould repl $ith8 3but of course ou have to kno$ $ith our intellect. &o$ else are
ou going to feel certain94
:ut it turns out that $e don1t actuall 3kno$4 things $ith our intellect. ;e can gain intellectual
understanding butunderstanding is different than kno$ing.
<no$ing actuall doesn1t occur $ith the intellect. <no$ing occurs through direct e0perience.
;hat $e traditionall call 3kno$ing4 has t$o parts to it but the distinction bet$een these t$o parts
is not commonl understood. -he t$o parts are usuall so enmeshed or collapsed that the distinction
bet$een them is rarel made.
-hese t$o parts could be called e0periential kno$ing and intellectual understanding. 60periential
kno$ing is the first part and $e have to have it first in order to trul kno$ anthing. ,irect e0perience is
the foundation of reall kno$ing anthing. =ou can talk about ho$ a stra$berr tastes all da but if ou
haven1t ever tasted one' no amount of description is going give ou the actual taste. =ou have to take a
bite. -hen ou have the e0perience and ou 3kno$4 $hat it is. /t is onl then that the intellectual
understanding that a stra$berr is s$eet and sometimes a little bit tart and its 2uic8 )ll these things
make sense onl once ou have tasted a stra$berr. )ttempts at intellectual understanding $ithout the
benefit of direct e0perience can onl lead to speculations about $hat the e0perience reall is.
;e get a sense of certaint $hen there is congruence bet$een $hat $e e0perience and $hat $e
intellectuall understand. -he intellectual understanding feels grounded in the 3realit4 of the direct
e0periences. -his actuall encourages us to feel that $e need to 3kno$4 things $ith our intellect. -he
intellectual understanding is so closel linked to the direct e0perience that it feels as if $e 3kno$4 things
$ith the intellect.
:ut this is not accurate. /t does ho$ever create a ver deep conditioning that $e 3need to kno$4
things $ith our intellect in order to feel a sense of certaint and be able to make decisions $ith a
feeling of confidence.
>et1s go a little deeper into the causes of discomfort $ith uncertaint.
-hinking is not a phsical sensor phenomenon. /t is something that happens mainl using $hat
$e call the subtle senses. /n the case of thinking $e mainl use the subtle senses of hearing' sight and
touch. 60periences $ith the subtle senses don1t produce the same sense of certaint and securit that
phsical sensor input provides. -here are some details about this that are useful in understanding
$hat to do to debug this discomfort.
-he $ord uncertaint has a kind of negative connotation to it simpl because people have so much
e0perience of discomfort $ith uncertaint. :ut the uncertaint itself isn1t positive or negative' those are
reactions to the e0perience of being uncertain. -he main problem here is having the e0pectation that
ou should understand everthing $ith our mind or intellect. -here is a kind of comfort that comes
$ith putting e0periences into order in our mind. ;hen $e finall 3get it4 then there is a ?uieting of the
mind that feels better than $hen $e are still not et getting it. &o$ever' this is not the same as the
deep peace that comes $ith certainl that is beond intellectual understanding. )nd $ithout it' even
$hen the intellect 3gets it4 ou can still have feelings of doubts or vague discomfort.
-he foundation of the discomfort $ith uncertaint comes in part from having t$o different kinds of
.ne categor of thoughts might be appropriated called 7 3thinking.4 -hinking means that the
thoughts are things that $e are making up in our mind. -hese kinds of thoughts are produced out of a
desire to create certaint and securit. -he are an attempted antidote for the fear or discomfort of
uncertainl. Unfortunatel the can onl produce a kind of illusor notion of certainl. ;e are tring to
coerce the universe into bringing things about in the $a that $e $ant so that $e can feel a sense of
comfort about that particular circumstance. -picall the universe is non@coerceable and it doesn1t
capitulate. =ou ride along under the merr illusion that things $ill happen 2ust the $a that ou $ant
them to but the can1t because the stor that ou have made up e0ists onl in our mind' not in the
3real4 $orld. So things don1t happen the $a that ou thought the should and ou get upset b that.
-he other categor of thoughts that $e have can be called perceptual thoughts or $hat / like to call
7remembering the future. /t also could be called 3kno$ing4 because it is the direct e0perience of
something even if that thing isn1t et pro0imate to ou in time and space. /t means that ou are
e0periencing it $ith the subtle senses rather than the phsical senses.
-his means that ou have some thoughts that are the result of having an intuitive sense about
something that is coming. =ou aren1t pro0imate to it et in time and space. /t hasn1t happened et but
ou do have a sense that it $ill happen. -his kind of thought is a result of 3seeing4 or sensing
something that indeed is coming to ou but is 2ust not here et. -hese kinds of thoughts include $hat
$e call intuitions' premonitions' desires' intentions' etc. -hese are the 3kno$ing4 thoughts.
So there are t$o kinds of thoughts 7 thinking and kno$ing. Aost people have a difficult time
distinguishing bet$een their 3thinking4 and their 3kno$ing.4
-his lack is the conse?uence of something ver interesting. /t has to do $ith the nature of the
-he gross phsical senses produce e0periences that seem ver real. -his 3realness4 is caused b
pro0imit $ith the ob2ects of sensing. /t is necessar to be close enough to something that $e can
e0perience it $ith the phsical senses. )ccording to phsics $e never actuall 3touch4 anthing. /n
other $ords $e get ver close to it but the atoms' subatomic particles' etc. never actuall collide.
)pparentl it $ouldn1t be a prett site if the did. /t seems that $hen $e become close enough to
something to actuall e0perience it $ith the phsical senses that $e become close enough to the
electro@magnetic field of that thing that $e have the sensation of 3touching4 or sensing it.
=ou might ob2ect to this idea b saing that $e can see the light of stars that are thousands of light
ears a$a. )nd that1s true but the light that $e are seeing from the star is the light that is 2ust no$
arriving pro0imate to our ees' not the light that is 2ust leaving that star so far a$a. -hat probabl
happened ears if not thousands of ears ago.
;hat seems to happen is that $hen $e have sensor e0periences of things to $hich $e have
pro0imit the apparent 3realness4 of the e0perience has a ?ualit of certaint about it. -he sense of
certaint is produced b the congruence bet$een the direct e0perience and the intellect being able to
put a description or order to the e0perience right a$a. -hen it seems real. -hen it seems reliable.
-here is a kind of certaint about that. -here1s an apparent reliabilit of the phsical senses to bring us
the real e0perience of the moment. )nd there1s a kind of comfort in this reliabilit. -he actual feeling of
3kno$ing4 is reall coming from the direct e0perience not from the intellectual understanding. -he
comfort that / am talking about is not in the ?ualit of the specific e0periences themselves' but rather in
the simple fact of the seeming realness of the e0perience' positive or negative as it ma be.
.n the other hand' e0periences that $e have using the subtle senses have a different ?ualit.
Subtle sense e0periences are more abstract. -houghts for e0ample are e0periences that occur via the
subtle senses. ;e don1t hear thoughts $ith our ears. ;e hear them directl in our consciousness. -his
is using the subtle sense of hearing.
:ecause both categories of thoughts are all e0perienced as thoughts the clear distinction
bet$een thinkingand kno$ing is often lacking.
&o$ever' remembering the future can be ver reliable and clear too if it is not clouded b other
3thinking4 kinds of thoughts. )nd because making up stories about $hat ou 3think4 should happen
doesn1t lead to that thing happening' then there is a kind of conflict and confusion that sets in. Aost
people don1t distinguish bet$een their intuitive thoughts and the stories the are making up. -his
creates a sense of unreliabilit of thinking and therefore of life. -his is the primar thing responsible for
causing a feeling that uncertaint is uncomfortable.
:oth e0pectations and pro2ections are e0perienced as thoughts. :ut our perceptions of things that
are indeed real "but 2ust not here et% are also e0perienced as thoughts. -hese are the things that are
going to happen. ;e are 2ust not pro0imate to them et.
6verone has these remembering the future tpes of e0periences. ;e tpicall call them intuitions.
)nd it is also ver common that people don1t trust their intuition. =ou $ill recall if ou think about it
times $hen ou had an intuition' didn1t act on it' onl to discover later on that our intuition $as spot on
and ou could kick ourself for not follo$ing it. -his is e0actl the kind of problem that occurs from the
dilemma / have described above. =ou can1t tell the difference bet$een our thinking and our kno$ing.
Bot onl does this cause ou to not trust and act on our intuition but it also creates the feeling of
discomfort $ith uncertaint.
/t can also happen that people $ill attempt to override the feeling of discomfort $ith the uncertaint
b vehementl affirming their decision $hatever that might be. :ut most of the time $hen the are not
trusting and acting on their intuitive kno$ing no amount of affirming the decision that the have made is
going to coerce the universe into having life sho$ up the $a that these ego driven' not@useful
emotions driven thoughts are tring to make it sho$ up.
;e all have lots of both kinds of e0periences but the thoughts that are the ones of stories that $e
are making up can1t come true because the onl e0ist in our mind not in the 3real4 $orld. )nd the
3rememberings of the future4 $hile e0isting in the 3real4 $orld' don1t seem real because $e are onl
e0periencing them at a distance a$a from us in time and space. ;ithout the pro0imit and 3realness4
of the phsical senses $e are not sure $hich thoughts are real and $hich ones are 2ust stuff $e are
making up.
Aost people don1t have an eas time making this distinction. )nd $hen ou can1t tell $hat1s a
perception and $hat1s a stor ou are making up' this causes the subtle sense e0periences to seem
not so reliable as our gross phsical sensing e0periences.
So ho$ can $e distinguish better bet$een a thought that is coming from a stor and a thought that
is the formulation of a perception of something that is indeed coming to us and $ill become an
e0perience of the gross senses9
.ne $a to do this is to check to see if there1s an 3emotional energ4 associated $ith the thought.
/f there is' the energ $ill feel like a kind of cloud or aura of energ' radiating out from the bod into the
space around ou. /f there is some energ like this then it is ver likel that this thought is a stor ou
are making up. ;hen a stor has an associated energ field it means that $e are having an emotional
reaction to the stor. /f the stor is an e0pectation that life $ill sho$ up in a certain $a' there is a part
of us that kno$s that it is 2ust a stor and not a part of realit. So the energ of disappointment or anger
or frustration that it $on1t happen is alread present $ith the stor the moment $e make it up.
Similarl' if $e feel fearful or an0ious it means that the stor $e are making up is a pro2ection of a
possible negative outcome onto the future. -he emotional reaction to such a stor ma be even more
obvious than the frustration or disappointment or anger about an unmet e0pectation' especiall if $e
are still $aiting for the e0pectation to be met.
-his is a phenomenon called identification. /dentification means getting a part of the sense of $ho
ou are from something that is not reall $ho ou are8 but it feels like it is a part of ou. ;hen ou
have an emotional reaction to a stor ou are making up in our mind' the cloud of energ that radiates
out into the space around ou surrounds and engulfs ou. =ou then look at the $orld 3through4 this
cloud of energ. /t1s kind of like having dark glasses on. -he energ of the emotional cloud colors
everthing and this makes the energ and the stor seem ver 3real.4 /f ou do find that there is some
energ associated $ith the thought' ou can simpl do the S66 -echni?ue on that energ and resolve
;hen ou have e0tracted ourself from the energ of the identification and resolved the stor ou1ll
have access to 5ure )$areness and the thought and associated energ field $ill simpl be gone.
Bo$ one of t$o things $ill happen' ou1ll either have access to clarit no$ that ou didn1t have
before and ou1ll be read to take action based on that clarit' or' ou1ll be a$are that ou do not et
have clarit but that being in the uncertaint doesn1t feel uncomfortable anmore. /t1s 2ust not time to
kno$ et. -his is a form of clarit in itself actuall. /t is the clarit that ou are not clear et.
-here is a 5ure )$areness -echni?ue for this situation. /t is called ;)/-. ;)/- is an acronm
for ;aiting)ccesses /ntuitive -ruth. /n some $as this is one of the hardest 5ure )$areness
-echni?ues for people to practice. -he ego $ants to have the understanding B.;C :ut there1s some
reason $h it isn1t time for that et and the mind doesn1t have access to the universe1s reasons.
-picall this means that it is simpl not time to kno$ et. -he universe operates based on a
natural la$ calledthe la$ of least e0penditure of energ' or the la$ of least effort. -his is $hat causes
the planets to move around the sun in an ellipse. )n ellipse is the path of the least e0penditure of
energ. -he planets don1t move around the sun in a triangle or rectangle. -aking those sharp corners
$ould be much too much e0penditure of energ. -his la$ is operating throughout all of nature.
-his la$ is also operating $hen it is not time to kno$ et. /f ou $ere to get the message too soon
ou might move into some action that $ould be out of snc $ith $hat1s going to be needed from ou.
So ou $ill onl get the message $hen it is the right time for it' not before. -hus $aiting in this kind of
case is the appropriate techni?ue. /f an emotional charge comes up $hile $aiting or about the need to
$ait using D.*6 or S66 to resolve $ill be a ver good idea.
So the energ of discomfort $ith uncertaint is primaril caused b the inabilit to distinguish
bet$een thoughts caused b stories and thoughts that are rememberings of the future. -his then
causes ou to not be able to distinguish $hich thoughts are 3real4 and $hich ones are not.
;e are also deepl habituated to falling back on our intellect and $hen things remain uncertain'
the intellect can1t help us. -ring to figure it out 2ust doesn1t $ork.
-he resolution of this situation is to debug the feeling of the need to al$as be able to understand
things $ith the intellect. -here is a shift from needing to understand $ith the intellect to being able to
trust that ou simpl 3kno$4 $ith our subtle senses. /n order to do this $e have to access the energ
of the habit of the feeling of needing to kno$ $ith the intellect. +or those of ou $ho alread kno$ ho$
to do it' ou can use the E5S 5ure )$areness -echni?ue for that. /f ou don1t kno$ E5S ou can learn
it from the audio e0ample here 7 "E5S -echni?ue%.
.nce ou access the energ of this habit ou $ill tpicall use the S66 -echni?ue to resolve this
energ. .nce resolved the feeling of discomfort $ith uncertainl $ill be gone and ou1ll have access to
that ?uiet' inner kno$ing place $ithin ou that is our o$n 5ure )$areness. -hen the clarit can come'
in it1s o$n timing. /t might be immediate if all that $as blocking it $as this habit. .ther$ise it $ill sho$
up $hen it is time for it to sho$ up and the timing $ill be perfect.
;hat happens $hen ou properl debug this habit is that ou $ill make a ma2or shift in our life.
=ou $ill shift from the state of needing to see the certaint or perfection of things $ith the intellect to
simpl feeling the certaint and perfection of everthing 2ust as it is' even if the intellect doesn1t get it.
/ hope that ou en2oed this e0planation. =ou are $elcome to leave blog comments if ou $ish.
/f ou1d like to learn ho$ to help people resolve these kinds of issues/problems in their life'
consider taking the+ree to Succeed +acilitator/5resenter -raining. -his is e0actl the kind of issue that
$e $ill be debugging for participants during the training and learning ho$ to do that for others as $e
;ishing ou the full en2oment of the $onder and delight of uncertaintC

5osted in +ear and )n0iet
.ne *esponse to 3&o$ to debug fear and discomfort $ith
http://fierce"ent$ Do 'o! Have a Jear of
I do.
Jear of discomfort is one of o!r greatest enemies in o!r 7!est to give o!r gift
more f!lly.
It !nhinges !s& !nstrings !s& $revents !s from rising to o!r challenges. It
$revents !s from reaching o!r tr!e greatness.
Jear of discomfort is at the root of o!r mediocrity.
Jear of discomfort is also how others who are themselves afraid see# to
in1!ence yo!r They $ro*ect their own fear of discomfort onto
yo!& saying things that are well.intentioned !t also dream.#illing li#e& LBut
how will you make ends meet?M and LYou have to be practicalM and LYou
wouldnt want to give up your lifestyle, would you?M
To really give yo!r gift& yo! have to develo$ a thic# s#in for these ty$es of
)s a yo!ng man& I learned ao!t all the challenges to health and ha$$y
f!nctioning that faced the h!man race: reso!rce constraints& wars& igotry&
divisiveness& mendacity. )t ,rst& I was afraid for my own safety in the world of
the f!t!re& !t at age ?N I had a com$elling reali=ation: the greatest threat I
faced was not eing personally inconvenienced y the challenges of the f!t!re.
The greatest threat I faced was being so afraid to lose my own material
comforts that I failed to courageously do all I could to advantage those around
me. My tri$s to s!rvival cam$ and attem$ts at attaining a r!gged self.
s!Dciency all fell short of the moral res$onsiility that act!ally fell !$on me.
The ego wants to g!arantee o!r forward comfort& in a style of living greater
than or e7!al to that which we have ecome acc!stomed to living in. It !ses
o!r level of material comfort as its arometer y which to *!dge its safety&
eca!se the ego #nows it is f!ndamentally $erishale and is therefore totally
threatened y any and everything that threatens to damage or destroy or
$hysical ody.
"!r meta$hysical Mind& on the other hand& is not de$endent on the ody and is
therefore com$letely !nconcerned with $hysical threats& #nowing as it does
that it is eternally safe in a Universal home of $atterned integrity that cannot
e to!ched y anything on the $hysical $lane.
It is this meta$hysical Mind that can discover the generali=e.ale $rinci$les
that g!ide the Universe and a$$ly them to the well.eing of everyone now
living and soon to e alive on Flanet Harth. The meta$hysical Mind is endlessly
creative& eca!se !nenc!mered y the fear and an(iety that $lag!es the
ego. Discovering yo!r gift is f!ndamentally ao!t reconnecting with the
meta$hysical mind and listening closely to its g!idance.
By connecting with that which is great than yo!& within yo!& yo! sh!c# o0 the
ego.o!nd& ody.tra$$ed& self.interested fear of $ersonal discomfort. -hen this
is done& yo! may e($erience a massive r!sh of energy that ma#es s!se7!ent
actions seem almost e0ortless.
Being !ncomfortale is !n$leasant& !t not as !n$leasant as a life s$ent hiding
yo!r magni,cence from a world crying o!t for yo!r gift.
Getting Comfortable with Discomfort
In my decade-plus of working with both markets and traders, I've seen many things change and just as many things
remain the same. Markets continually change, traders never do. Or at least we should say, human behavior expressed by
traders never does.
One of the most important things we can do for ourselves (which no one else can) is fgure out why we behave
certain ways when trading. Bio-feedback for self improvement is equally important as what volume level or
candlestick pattern or moving average setting is best for trade entry setups. At times in my writings and video
conversation I may get too preachy, and probably say some unpopular things. Sometimes I say things that
challenge the status quo and make statements that are totally opposite what aspiring traders wish to hear. But I
do my very best to tell what I've experienced, what I've learned in this profession and hopefully steer some
people from the wrong paths they are on toward the right directions forward and ahead of them.
One of the most critical needs for human survival is a sense of being comfortable. Animals like comfort... they
actually need comfort to survive. That includes adequate shelter, water, food and companionship. Those four
basic needs come right after oxygen in order of importance for survival. We as humans translate those core
animal needs into everything we do. The act of trading is one such example. At frst we try real hard to fnd ways
that eliminate the uncomfortable parts of trading, such as fear and uncertainty. One way of doing that is by
seeking popular opinion which supports our own belief. Humans tend to shy away from or aggressively reject
thinking that counters their wishes and desires. That makes them uncomfortable, hence the total avoidance or
verbal lashing out behaviors in self-defense.
Another way we seek comfort is to seemingly avoid risk. Common logic says the least amount of risk involved
with trading would be to work with one futures contract or 100 shares of stock many times for brief interludes and
small profts. That would accomplish several things which in our mind creates comfort. The natural fear of losing
our nest egg is least felt when trading small size. How many times have you heard about, read about or
experienced yourself the natural behavior of trading well with small positions and emotionally falling apart the
very moment trade size is increased? Did the market somehow change when a trader moves from small to larger
than small position size? Or did the trader's perception of the market change instead?
To reduce uncomfortable fear of loss, we naturally want to stick with small trading size forever. We can see
ourselves getting comfortable taking small risks over and over and over again. That's not too scary. But we want
to keep increasing our proft results in exponential fashion. Linear trade size... exponential trade results over
time. In order to do that, the only choice would be continual increase of gains per trade and increase of such
trades per day. Many little proft trades = one nice paycheck by day's end. Unfortunately, that's not how this game
Any and all fnancial markets will vary day by day in how much potential proft is available to capture. There is a
fnite $$ limit to what can be booked as net proft by any single trader inside a given period, be that an open
outcry session or extended hours before and after pit sessions of trading. Some days ofer tons of proft potential
while other days are scant. That is a mathematical fact.
Aspiring traders seeking comfort inside fxed small position size and unlimited proft growth fxate on mastering
the art of reading all market action, from every single bar on a chart to pull maximum profts out of every situation
and circumstance. They try real hard to fgure out if this session here is a trend day or range day, if the bias
should be long or short, what the supposed "other guy" is doing as if said other guy represents the proverbial
"herd". All of this comes from an outlook of fxed position size which is small, centered from a need to be
comfortable while trading.
One natural extension of this would be down the path of "scalping". The longer our capital is exposed to risk of
loss in the market, the greater chance something can happen that results in loss. Simple logic. So we naturally
take actions to avoid discomfort that include trailing stops, time-based stops, cutting profts short, scaling out for
smaller gains than potential loss risked on stops and other similar acts. Human logic drives us to seek ways that
grasp quick profts "safely" with few losses if any. Music to any trader's ear is the siren song of scalping 100
trades per day, in & out of trades in mere seconds with 95% win streaks and nil loss. Who in this world would not
love to live in that fantasy land? How comfortable would that be? Tons of action to keep us entertained. Minimal
time involved where fear and uncertainty are sufered thru. Maximum positive feedback that we are on the right
track. Massive potential gains in the end, thru 95 bite-sized profts added into one giant lump of daily gains.
Well guess what? If you haven't realized this fact by now, you eventually will. The profession of trading is all
about being uncomfortable. There is nothing at all comforting about taking what's precious to us (money) and
placing it at risk repeatedly in the great unknown. That's why things like fear, greed and adrenaline are involved.
There is no way to make the act of wagering, speculating or gambling risk free aka free of discomfort. Scalping
almost always has the opposite result in real time. Several small losses to start a given day often snowballs into
huge losses as traders throw all caution to the wind, totally break down emotionally and act out their fear of loss
in the most destructive ways possible. At day's end when the smoke clears and their account balances are up in
smoke, they ask themselves what the heck just happened and how that could possibly happen. Very simple.
Said trader began with false pretenses on how this game works while seeking comfort in a profession where
comfort simply does not exist.
Any performance sport is about performance outside one's comfort zone. Playing big stakes poker at the fnal
table of WSOP with cameras rolling and millions of dollars at stake is every card player's personal dream. But
just how many aspiring players could handle the massive pressure involved there? Playing the quarterback
position on a SuperBowl winning team is every armchair jock's personal fantasy. But how many wannabe
athletes can handle the pressure to perform on that world's audience stage?
Trading from home may be diferent, but it is the same. Hole cards turn to beat your hand. Passes get dropped,
hand ofs get fumbled and defenders tackle you for sacks. Strings of small trades get wiped out by one big loss.
Small trade size results in small net profts realized over the course of time. That's how performance professions
work. WSOP is won by players who press big pots. SuperBowls are won by quarterbacks to bide their time and
hit the big plays when opportunity presents. Home-based retail traders do not make a living from scalping one-lot
futures contracts or 100 shares of stock one hundred turns per day. Not how those games are played to win.
We have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We have to continually press ourselves outside of our
comfort zones in order to win. Comfort zones for traders include fear of increasing position size, fxation on
increasing net proft results without end, obsession with being proftable every day lest fnishing at a loss equals
being a loser.
If the status quo of natural human desire actually worked out in reality, wouldn't it stand to reason that all traders
would be easily successful? Books have been written on the subject of trader psychology and many more could
be penned that cover all new ground. Sufce it to say (for now) that a big part of reaching your performance
goals as a trader hinge upon making peace with being uncomfortable. Pushing yourself outside the limits of
comfort, constantly working towards doing what you know works rather than what you wish & hope would work is
the diference between gradual success and eternal frustration.
For more daily updates from Austin, visit his blog at Coiled Markets.