Unbearable –> Uncomfortable –> Unstoppable

I’m always surprised by how much the first mile of a hike can suck.

My muscles feel weak. Breathing is forced and haggard. My mind grabs a megaphone and starts protesting. 

“This is hard. Is this really how you want to spend the next 4 hours?”

“Seriously. This is NOT comfortable. I don’t like it!”


But then… fast-forward 20 minutes later and everything’s changed.

Legs are moving and grooving. Blood is pumping through the system. The breath is alive and flowing freely. And my mind has opened to the moment, finding great peace and joy in the movement amidst a natural environment.

Fast-forward again to the end of the hike, and I’m feeling like a million bucks.

It’s a pretty big change from where I started off. But that’s kinda the point of the story.

Imagine if I listened to my inner-protestor during that first mile. Just packed it up and phoned it in!

I would’ve missed out on an amazing time. And from doing something that’s great for my physical, mental, and emotional health.

Reminds me of Hal Elrod’s wisdom about habit change. He reminds us that there are three common phases when we’re starting new habits.

  1. It feels unbearable
  2. It feels uncomfortable
  3. Soon enough, you feel unstoppable!

(Which, by the way, is just another expression of Newton’s First Law of Motion: “In an inertial frame of reference, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force.”)

If we couldn’t see the bigger picture, we might just give up.

But if we KNEW that this is a part of the process—that there’s nearly always a dip where it feels difficult to pursue the things we want to do—then everything changes.

Instead of the discomfort being a sign that we should stop, it’s a sign to keep going! Like an established waypoint on the map from A to B.

“Feeling unbearable? Yep! That’s step 1. You’re on the right track!”

“Feeling uncomfortable? Yep! That’s step 2. Keep going, you’re almost there!”

And then the momentum hits. You’re in motion. And you feel unstoppable. 💥 


What’s one thing you’ve been wanting to add/remove from your life that’s been feeling unbearable?

Let’s recognize that the discomfort is all a part of the process. And when our inner-protestor speaks up, know that it’s a sign you’re on the right path.

Here’s to you, becoming Unstoppable 💪 


More from Mindful Ambition

  1. How to Set Sustainable Goals (So You Can Finally Enjoy the Ride)
  2. WOOP: The Scientifically Validated Goal Realization Framework
  3. Suffering = Pain * Resistance