I had a powerful Coaching session with a client on Monday night and it made it even clearer to me about the relationship between DISCOMFORT and SUCCESS. It also plays a huge part in this thing called EVOLUTION.
It turns out the path to abundant success, deeper relationships, stronger bodies and minds, resilience, more wealth, higher levels of consciousness, and any other juicy stuff you desire requires your path to GO THROUGH (I did not say around ;-)) this thing called discomfort.
Now before I go further I want to clear up a key distinction. There is a difference between pain and discomfort. To explain, let’s step into the yoga studio. When we are sitting down with our legs in front of us and stretching forward to touch our toes (or in their vicinity ;-)); the more me stretch, the greater the discomfort. BUT if we go too far, the discomfort may turn into a sharp or stabbing pain, or grating, or a tearing sensation. That is pain. And when we feel pain, we need to ease back a bit. We don’t stop. We just come back from pain. We want to push our boundaries and get edgy, but we don’t want to tumble over the edge into injury or damage or the abyss.
So yes to discomfort. But no to pain. Got it? 😉
The challenge for us all is getting familiar between the two of them and stretching our discomfort to the outer boundaries of pain, without tumbling over the ledge.
So let’s look at the 3 reasons why you need to get comfortable with discomfort, if you want more success in your life. 😉
Reason 1: It’s called evolution baby!
I also call it growth.
And I talk about this a lot, so this is a reminder for you that discomfort is the doorway to growth. At a very physical level, our muscles only grow if they experience discomfort.
The same with our emotional growth. We get better at handling emotional challenges, the better we get at leaning into (and not running away from) emotional discomfort. That is, we evolve into a more emotionally stable and capable version of ourselves.
Instead of leaving a conversation when it gets hard, and your gut tightens, and you feel the energy sucked out of the room, and you just want to teleport yourself to the other side of the planet – lean into the conversation a little bit more. Challenge yourself to stay with it. To stay present. To tap into your heart a little more deeply. To breathe a little deeper. To feel the discomfort and stick with.
When you come out the other end, your emotional muscles (aka: resilience) will have become stronger.
You are also likely to have created something greater than what existed before. You have co-created evolution. In this case an evolution of yourself. And even possibly, an evolution of the relationship.
You need to get better at being in discomfort, in order to evolve into your fullest expression.
Reason 2: It’s the price for the good stuff
It’s a sad thing, but most people go through life trying to avoid discomfort, when they don’t realise that discomfort is the doorway to the land of infinite possibilities. The downside (sorry ;-)) is that the doorway is usually not only a few centimeters (or inches) thick, but more like a tunnel, which extends further than most people are willing to go.
But the people who are willing to go all the way through the tunnel, get to live extraordinary lives.
Want to be a master of any art or science?
Want to have a deeply fulfilling intimate relationship?
Want to be a highly successful entrepreneur?
Want to live a life of meaning and purpose?
Want to get that pay rise?
Want to see what you are truly capable of?
Want to leave a legacy for your family or the planet?
Yep. You guessed it.
Time to get better at leaning into discomfort.
(Plus remembering the difference between pain and discomfort).
A side note 😉
Very rarely we experience true physical pain.
Most of the pain we experience in our modern lives is emotional. And there may be some limitations to what we can physically achieve – due to our physicality, age, size, height, body type, etc. – but what limitations are there on the expansiveness of our emotional minds?
What is your mind truly capable of?
What are you holding back from because you have put a limitation on your mind, which a neuroscientist will tell us is almost limitless? I think I read somewhere that there are more synaptic connections between the neurons in our brains, then there are stars in the known universe. Regardless of the number of zero’s; the point is that our minds potential for growth and evolution is ENORMOUS! So let’s use it. 🙂
Reason 3: You are rewiring your brain
What is the feeling of discomfort?
Discomfort is felt in our bodies, and Dr Dispenza (Neuroscientist & Author), suggests that the discomfort is our bodies telling us that we don’t feel the way we are used to feeling. It turns out our bodies get so used to a biochemistry and neurochemisty show happening, that when we change, or decide we want a new experience in our lives, our bodies start freaking out. Also known as discomfort.
There is a part of our brain – the old, protective, subconscious one, who is not a big fan of new or the unknown. It is not in the least bit interested in ‘The Land of Infinite Possibilities’ and rainbows and pots of gold and success. That’s fairy-tale land to that part of our brains. It likes the comfort of the known.
Unfortunately for us, the ‘known’ is the same level. It is Ground Hog Day! It is not a whole new level of awesome relationships, financial abundance, professional joy, and a deeply meaningful life of purpose.
So when we lean into something new and beyond the norm, we are using our conscious minds to rewire our brains. And often there is a bit of an inner struggle going on between ‘safety’ and ‘potentiality’. I think it would be a pretty impressive light show if you were wired up to an Functional MRI machine and watching the inner workings of the brain.
I also call this inner rock show confusion, discomfort, uncertainty, etc.
This show in the brain is also reprogramming the body to respond in a different way. This is about getting the mind to drive the body, rather than the other way around. Getting the body to join us (consciousness) in the Land of Infinite Possibilities. 😉
I know you have got it! What now?
The main point of my writing for the last hour is to remind you that it is ok to feel discomfort. In fact it is necessary for you to have the most meaningful, successful, abundant and fulfilling life. We all have to go there and all of us do to varying levels.
Don’t run away from discomfort. Lean into it. Observe it. Explore it. Understand it.
Learn and grow from it.
And also get better at seeing the difference between discomfort and pain.
One takes you forward, and the other takes you backwards.
The more you practice leaning into your edge, the better you will get. The more resilience and consciousness you create, the more you will be capable of.
And the greater you will BECOME.
Are you up for the challenge??
Pay attention to the next time you feel compelled to back away from discomfort and stay there a little longer. And then, in your life, do it more often. And stay there for longer and longer each time. You will then reap the rewards.
And on that note, I wish you an amazingly awesome day and here’s to evolving into the fullest, most authentic and unique expression of yourself!!
As always, please ask questions of me, or share your thoughts in a response email or by putting a post on Facebook.