EMBRACE THE disCOMFORT By: Erin Suarez
I’ve heard it said that avoiding discomfort is like avoiding growing older; it’s going to happen anyway, so you might as well embrace it!
Are you someone who, admittedly, dislikes change, or are you just an average human, who experiences anxiety, fear or discomfort in the face of change and challenge? Right, that encompasses all of us and 99.9% of us are uncomfortable being uncomfortable.
Feelings of fear or uneasiness with change are normal human emotions. Even the most successful and influential people in the world, dead or alive, experience discomfort in challenging times. The only difference is that they make a practice of embracing or “leaning in” to their discomfort.
If that sounds self-sabotaging, let’s talk about the benefits of “embracing the suck!”
Uncomfortable feelings lead to success... for real, it’s scientific! This isn’t just a cliché that makes us feel better about ourselves as we want to turn away and hide from our fears. Although familiar routines make us feel at ease and in control, it really can dull our sensitivities. For example, your ability to almost drive home from the store on auto-pilot is probably very real, and also very scary. Without stepping out of your comfort zone, or your normal paths in life, you run the risk of tuning out your days.
It has been shown that as you learn something new, take a new route or make new experiences, that your brain creates new neural pathways. The challenge is getting past the initial feelings of discomfort, and wanting to return to your comfort zone, in order to expand your mind and creativity.
A coping mechanism that is often used to embrace discomfort is to have a heightened awareness of those uncomfortable feelings while recognizing that they are natural feelings that everyone experiences, and recognizing that those feelings are a signal that big growth is on the way. That growth is dependent on your attitude.
Additionally, watching someone step out of their comfort zone and strive to do something different is inspiring. Wouldn’t you agree? It doesn’t have to be a dramatic action, like starting a business or becoming someone of a celebrity status. People can encourage others in a variety of ways indirectly. Who is it that you aspire to inspire?
The next time you are faced with discomfort, breathe deeply and repeat “I choose to grow.” You will be embracing the disCOMFORT!
Photos: @seventeensixtyeight; @queencitysweat