When you feel uncomfortable, what do you do?
If you are uncomfortable at a social event, what do you do?
If you are uncomfortable because your child is sitting alone at lunch, what do you do?
If you are uncomfortable in your body and a friend invites you to the pool, what do you do?
Usually, we jump right in and try to find a way to make the discomfort go away. To fix it. To make an external change. When my child tells me he’s sitting alone at lunch, do I encourage him to look around for people who might be in his class? What if, instead of trying to fix his discomfort, I allowed him to feel it. If I said: “Gee, it sounds like you’re uncomfortable. I’m sorry.” Or, if instead of reaching for a glass of wine when I’m uncomfortable at a social event I pause and ask myself: “Why am I uncomfortable? Is it the people? Is it a story I’m telling myself? Why did I choose to come?”
Feeling uncomfortable doesn’t mean something has gone wrong. What if you began to think of discomfort as one of your super powers? If instead of looking to escape the feeling, you allow yourself to feel it? Think of it as arriving in your life to point something out to you?
The next time you feel uncomfortable choose to become a detective in your life and try this:
-> Look at what you do to avoid feeling uncomfortable? Do you shop? Pour a glass of wine? Fill a bowl with ice cream? Pick up your phone?
-> Listen to what you tell yourself about feeling uncomfortable:
Are you critical? “You shouldn’t be uncomfortable in this situation”, or “Why are you angry?”
Are you dismissive? “You shouldn’t be stressed. Other people have it a lot worse than you.”
Are you shaming? “You deserve this. You chose your job. You chose your husband. You’re happy enough.”
We’ve been taught to think something is wrong with us if we feel a negative emotion. If I was angry when I was a child, I was sent to my room. If I was sad, I was told I was too emotional and to ‘get a hold of myself’. Here’s the truth: We can’t not feel what we’re feeling. Feelings are energy and when we suppress them in one area of our life, they will explode out into another. Depression is defined as the suppression of emotion. Your suppressed emotion will show up as a migraine, extra weight, an alcohol problem, debt, etc…
Choose to become the detective in your life. Look and Listen to what you do when you feel uncomfortable.
If something is happening that has you reaching for the wine instead of dealing with your reality, it’s in your best interest to put down the wine and deal with it. Did you had a tough day? Put down the spoon of ice cream or glass of wine and question why? Why was your day tough? Take responsibility for what’s going on. Drinking or eating allows you to hide in that moment but won’t change the situation. What is your super power helping you to see?