Can I tell you a secret? This last week on my Coach Training Course was a tough one. Really tough. But also REALLY rewarding. I learned SO much. And I know I also grew a lot (though not in height unfortunately, as I am still a short, dark, handsome 165cm). Just joking! And being the cheeky so-and-so that I am. 😉
For the last 3 years, I have had this condition where before a major presentation, or course, or retreat that I am running, I would have this bizarre skin reaction on my left hand pointing finger. It would be primarily be in the front middle of the finger between the joints and look like I had leprosy (not a good look). I imagine it was some sort of stress eczema. I tried so many different techniques, strategies, tools, and therapies on it over the last 2 years to no avail. However, after and during a really challenging week last week, although I got a faint itch on the finger it did not break out in a freak show. I AM CURED!!!!
Want to know what I did differently?
Setting the Scene
You know I read a lot on health, the body, mindfulness, the brain, stress, success and the likes. Well the other week I finished reading a book called ‘The Upside of Stress‘ by Kelly McGonigal. The title intrigued me a few months ago, so I pre-ordered it and when it arrived a couple of weeks ago, I dove into it to see what she was on about.
What came out of it was a new distinction and insight for me and tied in nicely with the work by Dr Joe Dispenza and his amazing research, which is captured in his must-read book called ‘The Placebo Effect‘.
The hypothesis by McGonigal, which she supported with quite extensive research, was that how we define stress (our beliefs about stress) can determine if we have a THREAT Response, or a CHALLENGE Response. One creates more of a downward spiral for the body and psyche, and one is more likely to see the body and psyche grow.
So this is what I did
Last week I decided to work on my mindset and explore the idea (and possibility) that stress, and the discomfort that goes with it (like a big knot in my stomach), is ok.
I didn’t have to say it was good for me, but I also didn’t have to buy into the idea that it was all bad and going to take me backwards.
I started playing with the idea that DISCOMFORT could actually cause me to grow. That it was ok to feel uncomfortable. To lean into the discomfort. To even make discomfort my friend. And maybe even my BFF. 😉
By the end of the week I had formed a new mindset distinction which said:
DISCOMFORT = GROWTH
It makes sense
Working with one of my clients on the course, who is also a personal fitness trainer, helped remind me again why this was the case.
When we go to the gym we KNOW that in order for our muscles to grow we need to experience DISCOMFORT. We know if we walk away from a fitness session thinking it was too easy we feel discontent and unsatisfied. We just know it had less impact on us. We also know that if we finish a session and we felt discomfort during it (and at times want our heartless trainer to stop punishing us), we can sense that something positive is happening. We are growing.
This is the reality. It is difficult and maybe impossible to grow mentally, emotionally, physically and even spiritually without some DISCOMFORT. So time to make discomfort your new BFF and lean into discomfort.
My Final Words
The other thing I was reminded of in the book by McGonigal was that if we are feeling discomfort (my new work for ‘stress’) then it means that we are doing something deeply meaningful with our lives. It is a sign that our life has meaning. So KNOW you might just be living a meaningful life, and that is why you are feeling what you are feeling.
As with everything that happens in our lives, in each and every moment we have the ability to CHOOSE what MEANING we give to something. And that meaning has a huge impact on our health, our nervous system, our vitality, our growth, our peace, our success and our happiness.
Can you redefine the meaning you give to discomfort? Could you see it as part of the growth process? Part of you getting to your next level.
I hope so. 😉
Plus have an awesome day and see you next week! 😉
Please ask any questions you have. Plus I love hearing feedback from you on what resonated for you. Also do me and others a huge favour and pass them on. Knowledge used in the right way is definitely a way to access our incredible power. All the very best and take care.