While immediate gratification at work, school or the gym can motivate self-growth, Aylet Fishback writes for Behavioural Scientist that the path to self-growth often involves short-term discomfit for long-term gains. She says that cautiously adopting a ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality when you know something will make you feel awkward, sad, scared, or uncomfortable in the short-term can boost your motivation to persist until it feels right.

Discomfort often serves as a signal to stop whatever you’re doing. When you experience physical pain, you stop exercising. When you feel emotional pain, you withdraw from the experience. Because we have this intuitive response, discomfort is often a bad sign for self-growth. However, discomfort is expected when taking on new challenges. Our research suggests that seeing discomfort as a sign of progress and actually seeking it out can boost your motivation in these situations. While a sharp physical pain is often a good reason to quit what you’re doing, a moderate muscle ache is a signal you’re getting in shape. Likewise, moderate emotional discomfort is a signal that you’re developing as a person, and it often happens before you can detect the benefits of self-growth.

via Behavioural Scientist, 7 February 2022. Read the full article here.

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