When we embrace discomfort, it changes how we handle the tough stuff. A study that came out after the book was finished largely validates this sentiment. Researchers had individuals do some of the hardest things in modern society: consider political viewpoints from the opposite side of the aisle on the most controversial topics. When researchers primed subjects to go towards the discomfort, to see the feelings of anxiety as a sign they were in the right place for growth, they reported being more open and motivated to reading about opposing views. They found the same results when doing other challenging things (improv comedy or journaling about a difficult moment, for example).
But embracing discomfort is just step one. That gets us beyond our common tactics of avoiding or compartmentalizing the tough stuff, and pushes us to sit with the emotions, feelings, and inner dialogue that comes with challenging situations. A large part of Do Hard Things is centered on teaching people how to do this better in sport, business, and life.
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