Pooja Poddar Marwah

How discomfort leads to growth

If you are “allowed” to embrace discomfort from a young age, you are being readied for a life of personal and professional growth!

Sounds rather absurd doesn’t it? I am certain your questioning mind is negating this statement. ‘Why should I feel discomfort when I have all the comfort around me. Why should I try something that makes me uncomfortable?’

We all love Disney, so I’m going to take inferences from my favourite characters to show you why embracing discomfort shapes us to be strong confident individuals. And I love a good story, so here goes –

In a small, vibrant town lived a group of children who spent their days playing and dreaming, much like the characters in their favourite Disney movies. Amongst them was Amavi, a spirited girl whose life mirrored the adventures of Disney heroes. Just like Moana, who braved the vast ocean, or Simba, who faced the shadows of his past, Amavi encountered discomfort that shaped her into a resilient and adaptable individual, ready to tackle the challenges of adulthood.

Her journey began when she was just five years old, riding her bike for the first time without training wheels. Much like Anna from Frozen, who persisted through blizzards to find her sister, Amavi faced her own storm of falls and scrapes. Her knees were often bruised and her confidence shaken, but her father, echoing the wisdom of Disney parents like Mufasa, encouraged her to persevere. He reminded her that every fall was a step closer to mastering her bike. Eventually, Amavi’s persistence paid off, and she rode with the same joy and freedom, Moana felt when she finally sailed across the ocean.

As Amavi grew older, her adventures continued. In middle school, she joined the debate team, a daunting endeavour that filled her with the same trepidation Belle felt facing the Beast. Her first debates were filled with nervous stammers, but she remembered the courage of her Disney heroes. With each debate, she channelled the determination of Mulan facing the Huns, practicing relentlessly and improving steadily. Over time, Amavi became a confident speaker, presenting her arguments with the grace and conviction of a seasoned debater. This experience taught her that embracing discomfort was key to personal growth and success.

Psychologists affirm that facing challenges during childhood, much like the trials Disney heroes face, builds resilience and problem-solving skills. When children like Amavi tackle difficult tasks, they learn to cope with failure and setbacks, developing a mindset that views obstacles as opportunities for growth. This resilience, nurtured by early discomfort, becomes a valuable asset in adulthood, enabling individuals to navigate life’s complexities and uncertainties with the fortitude of characters like Elsa and Tiana.

Another significant moment in Amavi’s journey came during high school when she decided to take advanced mathematics, a subject she found as intimidating as Rapunzel’s tower. The first few months were tough, with late nights spent deciphering complex equations. She felt the same frustration and self-doubt that Hercules felt during his training. Yet, her early experiences with discomfort had equipped her with the perseverance of a Disney hero. With the support of her teacher and relentless effort, she began to excel, eventually achieving top marks in her class. This accomplishment reaffirmed that stepping out of her comfort zone could lead to extraordinary rewards, much like Hercules discovering his strength.

Amavi’s story, reminiscent of Disney’s timeless tales, highlights a fundamental truth: those who learn to embrace discomfort early in life are better prepared for future challenges. By confronting difficulties head-on, children develop critical life skills that pave the way for success. They become adaptable, like Ariel navigating the human world, and emotionally strong, like Elsa embracing her powers. Most importantly, they cultivate a growth mindset, viewing obstacles as opportunities for learning and self-improvement, just as Simba learns to embrace his destiny.

In adulthood, these individuals are equipped to face life’s adversities with the resilience of Disney heroes. Whether it’s navigating a challenging career, dealing with personal setbacks, or adapting to significant life changes, those who have learned to embrace discomfort understand that it is not to be feared but embraced as part of the journey toward growth and success. By encouraging people to step out of their comfort zones and confront their fears, we are not only preparing them for immediate challenges but also equipping them with the tools necessary for lifelong success and well-being.



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