How to Deal With Discomfort – A Lesson about Mind Games

How to Deal With Discomfort - blog cover
This mini blog is part 2 of a 5-part series called “Lessons From the Himalayas”, where you’ll learn important mindset lessons for being successful on your personal health and fitness Odyssey.
In case you missed part one, feel free to read part 1, “A Lesson About Guidance” here.
These blogs are purposely kept short in order to really drive home each lesson and  to allow time for you to apply what we’re going to talk about.
On your journey, there will be multiple times where your character gets put to the test. This is where most people give up, at the slightest sight of discomfort. Yet, what they don’t know, is that the ability to deal with discomfort is 1. essential for long-term success, and 2. trainable like a muscle.
Today I’ll share a brief story about a moment where I felt like I couldn’t keep going anymore but did, one step at a time.
You’re both physically and mentally more capable than you think. You just need to prove it to yourself.
And that’s what I need you to take action on after reading this short article. Because reading/learning is one thing… But what will you DO with it?
Any time you’ll run into discomfort, friction, a challenge… first of all, don’t be surprised! It’s a matter of when, not if. And second, know that you’re about to play a little mind game… where the game is a test of your ability to keep going, and where the reward is you being able to reach your destination.
Now let’s get into part 2 – a lesson about mind games.

Lessons From The Himalayas - Part 2

EBC Trek, Lobuche Village, elevation: 4940 meters (16,210 ft) – My introduction to altitude sickness.
The very last bit of that day’s part of the trek, I began to notice symptoms of what I now know was the onset of Altitude Sickness; feeling sick, dehydrated, dizzy, weak, and exhausted beyond imagination.
There I was, walking alongside a long glacier we had cut across earlier, with my eyes shut, only opening them every now and then to see if I was still walking straight.
I felt like one of those old school ‘tube man’ inflatables in front of a car dealership, only without any air going through; EMPTY.
While this was by no means one of my strongest moments, I knew the only way to make it was to just keep going. And the only way to keep going, was to control my mind and take it one step at a time.
Two things that had taught me this were:
    1. Swimming in the Norwegian fjords back home.
    2. The gruelling CrossFit workouts I used to do.
Fact is, you are more capable of dealing with discomfort than you think. You can push your body much further than you think.
But you have to PROVE it to yourself first before you truly believe it.
How to Deal With Discomfort - EBC Trek
Eventually, we got to Lobuche. And although my head felt like it was going to blow off because of the stinging headache, I was stoked; we had made it. Now it was time to rest.
My ‘room’ for the night was basically a 2-square meter wooden box, I don’t remember there actually being a mattress, but it didn’t matter. I could finally lay down and recharge.
It’s fascinating how far you can push yourself when you just accept a situation for what it is, and deal with it.
(I mean… What else was I going to do? We were ‘almost’ there – I believe we had 2 more days to reach Everest Base Camp.)
Whether it’s physical discomfort, anxiety, stress, self-doubt…
… all it takes, is one step step, and then the next, and the next and then eventually you’ll make it through.
How to Deal With Discomfort - Lobuche Yak
I know, stuff you’ve heard before.
But do you actually apply it in real life? Reading a blog is one thing, but what will you DO when a difficult situation comes up?
Will you give up the second things don’t feel like the proverbial ‘walk in the park’? Or will you accept and deal with the situation, and take it one step at a time?
The Stoic philosopher Seneca said “We treat the body rigorously so it will not be disobedient to the mind”.
THAT, is the lesson here.
You being able to handle uncomfortable situations and push through is something you need to prove yourself. Only then will you see your true capabilities with your own eyes.
Your mind is stronger than you think. Train it, by doing physically challenging things. Especially when you don’t feel like it.
Go for the run, lift the weights, crank the cold shower, do an ice bath…
Show yourself you CAN do hard things without giving up. It’s a muscle you can train, that becomes stronger overtime. That doesn’t mean the discomfort will become less though, you’ll just be better at dealing with it.
So my question to you today is…
Are you willing to get uncomfortable?

Want to keep learning?