How To Feel Comfortable in Uncomfortable Situations
Growth is a part of Life; it is something that might be painful in the beginning (depending on your individual perspective) but provides a lot of gratification, fulfillment and satisfaction once we have surpassed our limits.
In fact, many sages say that it is necessary to grow in Life; it feels good for us to grow, expand, become more and have the ability to do more. However, it is always a little uncomfortable in the beginning because it requires that we step outside our comfort zone.
Our comfort zone is that which we are comfortable doing; and while it is safe for us to work and play within this zone, living deeply comes about when we do new things and expand our being. For example, at one time it may have been difficult for a person to cook. They may have struggled a bit, they may have overcooked the veggies a few times, or added too much salt, but after a while the necessary neural connections were made inside their brain and it became easier and easier to do. They may have even cooked so much that it has now become a subconscious thing for them; they can cook multiple things at once, while talking on the phone, checking emails and getting ready for the day. But in order to get to that point where a skill becomes second nature, we must be willing to stand the heat or dwell in what we would personally call, from our individual standpoint, uncomfortable.
So how can we be comfortable in uncomfortable situations? What can we do in order to be cool, calm and collected even when doing something new and scary?
One thing we can all do is look at our respond-ability to situations. How do we respond when someone is angry with us? How do we feel inside? What thoughts or emotions arise when our boss asks us to take on a project in which we have no experience in? How do we respond when we find out someone was talking about us behind our backs?
In the world renown Money&You™ program, there is a saying that goes “All upsets are opportunities to know yourself better.” Anytime we feel stress it is an indication that something is occurring that is beyond our comfort zone. Once we are aware of our respond-ability to these situations, we begin to see how it is that we operate. Without this awareness, we are not at choice; we are at the whim of our automatic responses and reactions. But the minute we begin realizing and making known how we are in these situations, we open ourselves to choose something different such as understanding, compassion or peace. We may still feel the fear or anger, but we are now aware and grounded enough to act from a different space. This is incredibly powerful when experiencing an uncomfortable situation; and with practice we become better and better at it.
Another way we can become more comfortable in uncomfortable situations is to put ourselves out there more. The more we do things that are uncomfortable for us the more comfortable we become in doing new things. Make it a point to do one new thing a day; contact people you have never met before via twitter or facebook, email them, call them, start giving talks to groups of people, write a book, take a dance class, do something you are afraid of everyday just so that you can become more and more immune to fear. Sure, you may still feel it but it will no longer paralyze you or overtake you. And for those who I know are asking, how do we know the difference between intuitive fear (your intuition is ringing alarm bells that this is not-a-good-thing) vs. out-of-comfort-zone-fear (fear only because it is something new but not necessarily bad)? As I wrote in earlier blog posts, intuitive fear in a contracting feeling while out-of-comfort-zone-fear is an expanding feeling. Thanks to a conversation I had with my partner, Jaclyn Bain, we can now feel whether or not something is merely scaring us or if something is really not good for us. When we develop and know how to listen to our intuition, it never steers us wrong!
Another thing we can do to feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations is to not judge it as an uncomfortable situation in the first place! In the Universe, there is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ per say. Before humans were around, it wasn’t bad if a tiger ate a gazelle, or a shark died of a disease. We look at these things from our human perspective and
judge them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and it is often this judgment that creates stress for us. If we instead saw things as they are WITHOUT judgment, we would open ourselves up to a whole new way of living Life deeply.
Imagine experiencing something new without judging it. Imagine doing something for the first time and feeling grounded, centered and peaceful instead of fearful, frantic or uneasy. Imagine approaching something for the first time with ease and eagerness instead of recoiling from it. Often times, fear holds many people back from doing and becoming more. While this isn’t necessarily good or bad, it does have an impact on our results in Life. And if we would like to shift something, we have to be willing to do something different first. Some great practices to start with so that we begin to not judge so much (or at least not SUBSCRIBE to our own judgments) is to first become aware of them. You can simply watch them without having them take you over. We want to be aware of, express and exhaust our emotions, but we do not want to be led by them.
In summary, finding a balance between feeling, thinking and acting so as to compliment the Life we want to live will really support us in comfortably moving beyond our comfort zone. We will be able to experience uncomfortable situations without reacting to them, we will be able to stand the heat, and we will be able to take on more and more if we deem fit. And with all things, the first step is always awareness.
Because Life is Effortless,