The Discomfort Zone


Are you comfortable? If yes, then you’re not learning. According Farrah Storr, the speaker of this TED Talk and author who wrote “The Discomfort Zone: How to Get What You Want by Living Fearlessly,” you only find personal greatness by stepping out of your comfort zone.

What You’ll Learn

After completing the work on this page, you will be able to:

  • Know what a BMD is and how it relates to personal transformation
  • Realize that discomfort is not a struggle, but a worthy challenge
  • Identify your current level of discomfort in 3 areas of your life and the learning that is resulting from that discomfort
  • Be inspired to raise your discomfort level

Watch the Video

Dig Deeper

After watching the video, reflect on the following questions. Jot down your thoughts. Consider sharing this video with a colleague or a work group for an insightful discussion.

1. Using one word or a brief phrase, describe your emotional reaction (how you feel) when you are in the discomfort zone.

2. Think about your level of discomfort at work, home, and in your community (social). List 1 specific situation that makes you uncomfortable in each of these 3 environments. For each of these 3 situations, answer the following:

a. Rate your level of discomfort: 1 – mildly uncomfortable, 2 – moderately uncomfortable, 3 – extremely uncomfortable

b. How long does the discomfort last? 1 – short lived (a couple of days or less), 2 – moderately long (a week to a couple of months), 3 – exceptionally long (six months or more)

c. Briefly describe if/how you are growing in each of these 3 instances. What are you learning? What is your personal transformation?

3. Now consider a broader perspective that includes all instances of discomfort in all of your environments, not just the 3 specific instances you named above. To what degree are you stepping into the discomfort zone in each of these environments? Whether your level of discomfort is relatively even or different across all 3 environments, reflect on why that is. Do you challenge yourself in one area more than another and why?

4. Name one specific thing you can you do to heighten your level of discomfort to benefit your personal transformation in any of these 3 areas. Try it out and reflect on the results.

Still Hungry?

Here’s more to spark your thinking on this topic:

Write a Review

  1. “We are robbing ourselves of the opportunity to transform,” only through brief moments of discomfort can we actually grow personally. These moments help us to identify the potential of what we can become, and to learn more about ourselves as we respond to the stressors. I really enjoyed learning about the benefits of these brief moments of discomfort and how I can use them to my advantage.


  2. Great resource! The idea of the discomfort zone is uncomfortable even to acknowledge. But where there is discomfort there is room to grow and learn and get comfortable. This resource stresses the important of leaning in to the discomfort to allow yourself to grow and develop. For me, I know I’m in the discomfort zone when I immediately feel skeptical. Leaning in has been a way to explore that skepticism and not shy away from an opportunity to learn and grow.


Arrow pointing upwards. Click this icon to go back to the top of the page.