Big Ideas

The curse of being comfortable

By 01/19/2014August 12th, 202218 Comments

lazy day, idleness, woman sleeping in the deck chair near the swimming pool

Over the past few years, I’ve heard the phrase “get comfortable being uncomfortable” a lot.

It’s often quoted by personal trainers like Jillian Michaels who mean that you have to push yourself to get results with your workouts. Motivational speakers use it in a similar way. The idea is that successful people do things unsuccessful people don’t like to do.

I’m coining a new phrase and quote today: “Get uncomfortable being comfortable.”

Have you had it pretty good in life? Never been bankrupt? Never been homeless? Me neither (which means I also don’t have the requisite rags-to-riches story that so many success coaches and Internet marketing sensations seem to have).

I grew up solidly middle class, maybe leaning toward upper-middle class. We lived in a nice house, went on vacations every year, and didn’t lack for anything. My parents worked hard, and so did I.

I continued working hard through college, and enjoyed some success in direct sales. Today I have a growing business, time to travel about nine weeks a year, and everything I could want to make me comfortable.

And that’s the curse.

The curse of being comfortable has kept me from being truly excellent. It’s kept me smack-dab in the middle of mediocrity.

No more.

I’m more than ready for a serious breakthrough year. I plan to at least double my income in 2014, and then double it again in 2015.


Sure, but there’s no fun in being comfortable. No excitement, no passion.

Are you with me?

Ready for a big, bold, breakthrough year? It starts with getting uncomfortable being comfortable.

I’d love to hear your opinion on the subject. Leave me a few words in the comments.


Steve Roller

Author Steve Roller

I'm a business coach, author, copywriter, world traveler (33 countries on five continents so far), and professional speaker. In addition to helping companies get more customers and make more money, I help other writers create profitable businesses. I offer one-on-one coaching, professional copy critiques, and live, in-person business-building workshops. When I'm not writing, coaching, or speaking, I enjoy nothing more than hanging out with my wife and four kids and planning my next adventure.

More posts by Steve Roller

Join the discussion 18 Comments

  • Kellie Craft says:

    I think being comfortable puts you in a rut. One you either don’t realize or you don’t want to get out of. Great article, Steve!

    • Steve Roller says:

      The fact is, big success is hard work and painful, and it’s hard to muster up the energy to put yourself through that when you’re comfortable. Thanks, Kellie.

  • Alicia says:

    When we’re hungry for change, we need to dive in, but we sometimes want to wade in, test the waters. I love new challenges, but they sometimes surprise me- where they come from. We gotta keep an open mind and go with the flow, while setting our goals- they may change along the way. Oops! U-turn!! 😉

  • shellymoreau says:

    Great article, Steve. I thing being comfortable can also give you a false sense of security, and complacency sets in. Then… Boom! Something serious happens and you’re not ready to deal with the challenge. I think you should not feel comfortable, but rather stay on your toes. Be aware, be intuitive and always work towards the next step – to get one echelon higher. Perhaps the sense of comfort can be replaced with satisfaction of a successful career, with the goal of growing constantly. But that’s just my opinion. Thanks for the opportunity to share it.

    • Terr says:

      I agree with Shelly. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a financial crisis and then realizing all too clearly that you’re not equipped to deal with it. I know I thrive best when my back is up against the wall. But the key for me is to develop my business and my income to the point in which I’m insulated against emergencies. I want to thrive, even when my back ISN’T against the wall.

      • Steve Roller says:

        I do best when my back is against the wall, too, Terr. My goal is to build a big cushion the next few years while still operating from a “hungry” mode.

    • Steve Roller says:

      You’re absolutely right about creating a false sense of security, Shelly. There seem to be no guarantees with anything anymore, so you need to create a financial fortress of sorts. If you can do that and have a goal to grow constantly, like you said, that’s a good way to go.

  • Darren says:

    Just the plan to stave off boredom and keep the brain firing on all cylinders. I know I’ve got an uncomfortable year planned … and looking forward to it!

  • Joel says:

    Steve, I love your bold goals for this year. I hope to reach some goals of my own this year. Such as gain my first copywriter client. To actually start doing this as a business instead of dreaming about it.

  • Corrie Ann says:

    I’ve been “comfortable for 20 years. I’ve been bankrupts and down in the dumps, and pulled myself out and progress even more. I’m comfortable in a “day job” that, until recently, kept me from really flexing my writing/entrepreneurial muscle. I’m stepping out, trespassing into the uncomfortable zone and excited about where this will take me. Loved this post Steve.

    • Steve Roller says:

      Corrie Ann, thanks for being open here. I’m excited that you’ve taken the leap into the unknown, too. Let me know if there’s anything I can help you with.

  • Dale L. Sims says:

    What a coincidence. Even though I don’t generally make New Year resolutions, I decided recently my mantra for 2015 (but effective immediately) is: Take some risks!

  • Alan Steacy says:

    It usually takes a deadline to knock me out of my comfort zone.

    Note to self: Move up your deadlines!

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