Learn How to Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Updated: Jun 7, 2021
Moving Beyond the Discomfort of Your Growing Edge
You ever wonder why one person rises while others don’t? I do! You take two people doing the exact same thing and one is killing it, living their best life, while the other remains stuck in a place that lacks fulfillment. The person that rises to the top might not even be that good at what they do, yet people seem to flock to them. So frustrating! Is it the fact that they have better marketing? Maybe. A better team? Probably. But really underneath it all, it's who they think they are and what they believe about themselves and their capabilities. We see examples of this all the time: the 20-nothing that claims to be the world's leading expert on habit creation, the person who just took a basic course on Feng Shui online and now charges as if they've been a master for decades. It's maddening when you're there every day working your a$$ off!
How you view your success in life is either keeping you trapped in the past or propelling you towards your future.
You have a set system of thoughts and beliefs that have been formed throughout your life based on very early experiences you’ve had and how you were able to handle them. When you start to grow outside of those baked-in belief systems it can feel prickly to say the least. Internal alarm bells go off and our natural reaction is to retreat back to our comfort zone.
You have a vision of your future, you know exactly what you want it to look and feel like. You are even taking steps to grow in the needed areas to make that vision a reality. However, your comfort zone is a warm bed and these new ways of thinking are leaving you feeling exposed, so your thoughts start to pull you away from growth and back into bed.
You start to replay your old stories and start to see situations as personal. And why wouldn’t you? They’re your thoughts and they are trying to protect you by bringing you back to the status quo. Gay Hendricks calls this "Upper Limiting" yourself.(Check out his book: The Big Leap) I'm not immune to this either. I've had meetings with people I respect and admire and afterwards I've focused on one thing that I could have said or done better. I feel vulnerable.
This trick of the ego is huge, and your comfort zone is designed to keep you safe. . .and small.
Sometimes being on your growing edge can feel like a knife. It’s an offshoot and it’s uncomfortable. On some level you can see the offshoot as a deep root that is preparing to ground you so that you might blossom and bloom, but it can be uncomfortable like a knife as you grow through it.
Our brains and bodies like what's familiar. But that doesn’t mean good. If you grew up in a situation where you are belittled then that will seem familiar, but that is not good. It might be uncomfortable to receive praise because it’s unfamiliar, but this is a healthy habit to grow into.
It’s one of the reasons why your growing edge can feel like a knife. There is a part of the brain that is always telling you that you need to be safe and so it protects you. Growth feels unsafe and to be on your growing edge can feel a bit dangerous. But what if you could develop a tool that helps your brain and body know that’s safe even when things got uncomfortable?
I’m talking about hacking your nervous system to expand your capacity to handle change.
This is what my friend and colleague Mary does. She’s a Breath coach who guides people to use their breath to find their strength. It's simple and powerful.
When you feel the vulnerability in your body and you learn to breathe through that discomfort, you start to form new neural pathways that bypass the thinking and connect you to the experience. Bonus, your brain codes any experience you can breathe through as safe! Cuz, guess what? If you are still breathing afterwards, your brain knows you’re alive!
Mary teaches the fundamentals of breath that help ground you in the body. Those simple and effective techniques that help pull you from a sympathetic, fight or flight state, into a more parasympathetic, rest and digest state. By practicing these techniques you can learn to remain calm when things start to swirl out of your control and handle them from a focused and centered viewpoint.
Mary and I were having this discussion last week about having the courage to put yourself out there and start and how this had made all the difference in our success. The truth is there is always more to learn and know, but at some point you just need to start. Start even before you feel fully ready. If you think you aren't good enough then your nervous system will continue to send that message to you.
The only way to outgrow your comfort zone and rise is to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Literally, breathing through these growth spurts changes your DNA. Discomfort will always be a part of growth. Being sensitive to rejection or thoughts of worthiness are part of a cycle even the most successful go through. The more you put yourself out there the more you will be exposed to hurt, but on the other hand, your comfort zone will widen and you will be the one on the rise.
The time to get comfortable being uncomfortable is now. Quit watching others succeed when it’s clear you are more qualified. Quit questioning your own value system and put your knowledge into action one breath at a time.
If you are interested in learning more about how breathwork helps steady the nervous system and drive you towards success, check out Mary’s website at www.heart-lightstudios.com. She lives in the Seattle area and hosts local classes based on Breathwork, Mindset, and Cold Exposure. A true way to get you out of your head and a way to focus fully on the moment by pushing your body into uncomfortable states and using your breath and mind power to get comfortable. Showing you your inner strength and power. Mary also does one on one breath coaching as well as corporate events. I highly recommend you check out her work!