We all have to learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. But we rarely do because it’s so much easier to seek what’s familiar and safe. We sniff a hint of uneasiness and we run as fast as we can - it’s the major reason why we find it so hard to change our habits. Feeling inconvenience makes our hearts pound, our palms get sweaty and our stomach does somersaults.
Whenever we find ourselves in this position we disguise our discomfort by picking up negative habits which rarely succeed at getting rid of it. They can range from binge eating, drugs, alcohol, and other kinds of addictions and abusive behavior.
But when you befriend your unease, you empower yourself with one of the most essential survival skills you can have. It doesn’t come naturally, and it can be a bit overwhelming, you have to work at it to achieve it.
It’s not easy and definitely scary, but very worth it. It’s in that area of discomfort where you find out what you’re made of. You become tougher and more experienced. You hold on, weather the storm, knowing that it’s temporary but it’ll shape you into the person who you’ve always wanted to become but never knew how. You also have to realize that it’s a long-term plan for you to grow and gain clarity.
Pushing boundaries, breaking limits - that’s when you grow as an individual and begin finding new possibilities to help you reach your true potential. It’s when you’re uncomfortable that you actually test your character and resilience. But when you’re on a journey of self-discovery, it’s normal to face some bumpy times emotionally. That’s why it’s important to work on boosting your self-confidence because you’re the only one who can get rid of your fear and stand strong in the face of turbulence.
You can’t always have a clear picture of your master plan, sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith and trust yourself to deal with the outcome no matter what.
And it’s when you push past your comfort zone that your creative juices start flowing and can create new ideas. Putting yourself out there and feeling self-conscious can be frightening, yet also dynamic and intoxicating.
There are many things you can do to allow yourself to embrace discomfort and use it to your advantage.
· Write about it. Putting your ideas down on paper eases their hold on you so that you control your fears, not the other way around. It’s a great way to organize your thoughts and feelings. And you gain fresh perspective when it comes time to make that decision you’ve been paralyzed with fear over.
· Find support. You can go to a support group or seek therapy, talk to a trusted friend or family member. Knowing that you’re not alone, that there are others who feel the same fears and doubts, makes it easier to face. You are never really truly alone.
· Meditate. Take deep breaths, close your eyes and try to clear your mind. The act of steady breathing alone has proven to decrease stress hormone levels and bring a calm inner strength. If you prefer movement to sitting down, go for a walk. Research shows that fresh air coupled with a healthy dose of sunshine clears the cobwebs and bolsters your resolve.
· Get a massage. Human touch plus the detoxifying effect of the actual massage will definitely put things into perspective. It releases ‘happy hormones’ which fight against the harmful effects of stress, thus helping you realize that any hard times will pass and that you can come out on the other end that much stronger for it.
· Find inspiration. Pick some quotes that inspire you, write them down and put them somewhere where you can easily see them. Knowing other people have gone through similar experiences and have lived to tell about it will give you that push you need to keep going.
· Track your progress. Revel in how far you’ve come. You’re a changed person and you should be proud of all you’ve accomplished. It can help you build up your confidence even more by seeing how strong you are. Then, ultimately, reward yourself for all your hard work - you’ve earned it!
Once you master how to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, you can pretty much master anything in life.
Being in your comfort zone isn’t a bad thing, provided that you are able to move out of it when advantageous. Moving outside of your comfort zone isn’t always necessary, but sometimes it can allow you to see or take advantage of new opportunities. Sometimes it can be hard to tell when you are just resting in your comfort zone and when you are stuck there.
1. You Pass Up Opportunities
If opportunities for career advancement keep passing you by, it could mean that you are stuck in your comfort zone.
Being comfortable in your career can be a nice feeling, but it’s also natural to want to move up in your career path. Unless you’re working at your dream job, chances are your current position was meant to be a stepping stone to something bigger. If that’s the case and you have lost sight of that goal, it could be because you’ve become complacent and have stopped testing the limits of your comfort zone.
2. You Have A Fixed Routine
It’s normal to have a routine, but if yours is identical from week to week or day to day and deviating from that routine unsettles you, it could be that you have created your routines in order to avoid leaving your comfort zone. The good news is that gradually deviating from a routine can be a good way to work on expanding your comfort zone.
3. You Avoid Meeting New PeopleBecause everyone is different, pretty much everyone that you spend time with can push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Avoiding new people can be a way of preserving your comfort zone. If the threat to your comfort zone is so great that you avoid meeting new people to save it, you are likely to become increasingly entrenched in your comfort zone and more likely to continue to pass up opportunities to meet new people and try new things.
Meeting new people isn't important just because it can be fun and enlightening, it is also important because most jobs require you to meet new people, whether it's customers, representatives of other companies, or even just people from other departments. Even if you don't have a job, you likely need to interact with healthcare providers, service providers, and other people from time to time.
4. You Avoid Trying New Things
For most people, there are activities that they know that they would never try because they are dangerous activities that are unnecessary, like skydiving or bungie jumping.
If you feel the same about such things as going on a plane or going to a big city, which are things that you are much more likely to do in order to take advantage of practical, real world opportunities, then the boundaries of your comfort zone could be holding you back.
5. You Don’t Like Going Outside
For some people, staying within their comfort zone becomes so important that they are reluctant to leave their homes.
There's nothing wrong with enjoying being in your home and spending time there, but if it's difficult for you to leave your because you are easily shaken by new or awkward experiences, you should consider expanding your comfort zone.
There are a lot of resources online and in most communities that can help people with this kind of problem. Consider calling a local crisis or support hotline for sensitive and expert advice specific to your situation. People from these kinds of organizations are also more likely to make house-calls than your primary care provider or a therapist.
We all have to learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. But we rarely do because it’s so much easier to seek what’s familiar and safe.
When you befriend your unease, you empower yourself with one of the most essential survival skills you can have. It doesn’t come naturally, and it can be a bit overwhelming, but it’s so worth it.
If you're sick and tired of feeling stuck and you're looking for a safe space to learn more about integrating mind, body and spirit to improve your health and happiness, then click here to join my facebook group.
If you are at a campsite and you want your barbecue pit to heat up very quickly, the last thing you'd probably think of doing is to pump a huge amount of flammable liquid on it. If you're a responsible camper and know your way around your barbecue pit, you would layer on twigs, sticks, and branches and put logs on top. That's how you manage the fire.
Unfortunately, such long-term thinking is not rewarded by the modern world. We want the best the world has to offer right here, right now. That's how much of a rush we're in, not surprisingly, we believe that the more we have, the more valuable our lives become.
We have completely erased the wall between value and price. We size each other up based on how much stuff or rights to stuff we have. We create this mental hierarchy and people with the most things are at the top. In the west, a significant amount of people kill themselves every single year because they can’t seem to acquire more stuff.
This is quite shocking because they are all provided for, they are not starving in the streets, and they have more than enough to eat. People are eating and living better now than ever in history, yet people are still killing themselves. I am not only talking about official suicides. There are other ways to measure suicide.
Other ways people kill themselves are through drunk driving, drug abuse, and accidental overdose. The more stuff you have, doesn't necessarily mean the more you've become. These are two totally different things and two totally different tracts. Sadly, modern society teaches us that they are one and the same.
You are worth more than the sum of the stuff that you consume. You are worth more than the status people accord you. It is no surprise that people live broken and empty lives because they are trapped in this endless spiral of more, more and more.
The more they eat, the hungrier they become. The more they drink, the thirstier they become. The more money they have, the poorer they feel. This applies across the board. Thankfully, there is a way out.
What is the solution?
What is the way out?
Well, instead of more, more, more; why not focus on less, less, less. Learn to let go. Focus on what you already have and learn to love what you already possess instead of beating yourself up over the stuff you don't have. A Zen Buddhist saying is "less is more", which is more relevant now more than ever.
If you believe that your life is missing something or you're living an empty life, you might want to rediscover the concept of wholeness. You are more than just a consumption machine. You are more than just a demographic statistic that is supposed to be marketed to. You are more than your ability to make money. You are more than the status people accord you.
By looking at yourself as a self-enclosed whole organism with its own sense, own desire for purpose and meaning, your life and your perception of life starts to change.
Thank you for listening and/or reading my blog. Please feel free to write in the comments any thoughts you may have about this week’s blog. I would love to hear what you liked or disliked as well as requests or suggestions for future blog posts.
In the meantime, come over and join my brand new facebook group, Being Whole.
A safe space for those who are ready to start taking steps to integrate their mind, body and spirit for total wellness – Being Whole. It’s where we will discuss food, self-talk, essential oils, relationships - everything that affects that state of our health.
Until next week, be healthy and happy. Take care.