One of the reasons why so many of us feel ‘stuck’ in life is that we are also stuck in our ‘comfort zones’ and we have elected not to experience discomfort.
But the more we allow ourselves to feel uncomfortable, the more we choose to put ourselves out there, to try new things and be willing to fail at them over and over, the more successful we will be.
You must be prepared to experience discomfort.
Change is hard. I get that. It can be difficult to try new things. And it is hugely uncomfortable to risk failure or rejection. But the only way you can evolve and grow is by overcoming the reaction that your brain has when you even think about stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Here’s the thing: putting yourself out there, applying for that new role, going above and beyond in terms of what you’re currently capable of and risking rejection is scary, right?
I can’t sit here and promise you that if you apply for that new job that you won’t be rejected. Maybe you will. Maybe you won’t. Maybe the role is right for you and maybe it’s not. Either way, I know you will be ok. The key thing is – we just have to learn how to manage the rejection better. Seriously – what is the alternative? That you hide yourself away behind your computer screen for years on end? Doing what you have always done and never daring to ask for more?
Hiding isn’t the safe option.
If you believe that because you (didn’t apply) and therefore didn’t get rejected by others that you are avoiding rejection, think again. Because if you don’t allow yourself grow, to apply for the job and RISK being rejected by other people, you’re just doing the rejection of yourself ahead of time, and you’re disguising it as ‘playing safe’.
It’s the opposite of safety.
It’s called self-rejection, and it’s just as uncomfortable.
So here’s what I want to talk about. I want to talk about two different types of discomfort.
1. The discomfort of staying the same
So first there is the discomfort of not evolving, not pursuing your dreams. Not growing, not allowing yourself to be who you are meant to be – the best possible version of you.
We can stay just where we are and feel that nudge of growth from the universe, notice the discomfort and then choose NOT to act to change our life in any way. Instead, we self-medicate our way through the discomfort with bad foods, chocolate, alcohol, mindless surfing of the internet – we all have our own ‘go to solutions’.
But as soon as you take away that false pleasure, as soon as you stop overeating, or drinking, mindlessly surfing the internet or watching reality TV shows – whatever your medication of choice, then you are left with the reality of your life and a constant feeling of discontent or lack of fulfilment – because the universe has been nudging you forward and you are not listening.
2. The discomfort of changing
Then there is the alternative. The discomfort of change.
Discomfort is the currency of dreams. You must experience it in order to evolve and grow, to change. You will find yourself in unfamiliar situations, you will experience a shift in your identity and will be inspired to learn new things.
So one of the things that encourage my clients to do is to look for the discomfort that is paving the way – in the direction of your dreams.
And instead of trying to avoid it, trying to bypass it or detour around it, move right into it. For the better you get at being uncomfortable, the better you get at everything.
But how do any of us get good at discomfort?
By being uncomfortable.
Think about it – if the worst that can happen as we pursue our life goals is an uncomfortable emotional reaction, then what’s the big deal?
If the worst that can happen is we miss the mark, we don’t quite achieve that big goal in the timeframe we thought we would, but we’ve given it our all, we may feel slightly disappointed but we can be happy and excited that we put ourselves out there, that we took the risk and we gave it all we had. And we can feel proud of the person that we became in the process.
The reason why so many people choose not to pursue their dreams is that they are afraid. They are constantly trying to avoid negative emotion.
What’s the alternative? Never trying? Staying locked inside the cage in your own head?
I encourage you to look at your own life and make that choice.
Are you willing to settle into the discomfort of stagnation or are you willing to experience the discomfort of growth?
The discomfort of stagnation never changes. It’s like groundhog day. You never get any better at it, you never get any growth from it. However, the discomfort of growth is always new, is always exciting, is always different.
You are growing. You are evolving.
Which path will you take?
x Until next time, sending you love x
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