We all tend to live in our comfort zones most of the time – it’s a human survival instinct. While it may give us a sense of being safe how much fun is life if we keep doing the same old, same old? Yes it is survival but wouldn’t you rather live life to the fullest rather than just survive it?
If so then dealing with discomfort is one of the most important skills you can learn. It will allow you to get out of that ‘familiar’ zone and go for that wonderful relationship, job, hobby or holiday you want but just haven’t quite gone for.
Help free yourself from the limits discomfort sets you by using the following tools:
1. Take Baby Steps. Choose something you are uncomfortable with and want to change. For example, say you want a relationship but feel awkward talking to people you find attractive. Start with a smile – when you walk past the object of your affections simply smile. There’s no need to have an award-winning conversation ready, simply smile. Once that feels okay then perhaps you can smile and say hi.
2. Be Present With Your Discomfort. Make friends with it – get to know it. How does it feel? How does it present itself? Where in your body do you feel the sensations of discomfort? How do you behave when you are uncomfortable? By taking a step back and becoming the observer and getting to know how you operate under discomfort you invoke the curiosity clause and you will likely notice that your discomfort is lessened when you take this role.
3. Push Through. Perhaps you are working on building up a new exercise routine and shortly into it you will feel like quitting. Push through, even tell yourself it’s just for a couple of minutes more. Once you keep going you may find the urge to stop goes away for a while. It will return but don’t let yourself quit the first time it does – push through until the third time the urge arises. It’s good training not to quit anything first time you get the urge do run from discomfort. Doing this will expand your capacity to deal with discomfort quite quickly.
4. Smile/Laugh. It tricks the mind and body into a chemical response that everything is okay. Also, it’s hard to be miserable when you’re laughing!
5. Be Motivated. Think of all the amazing things you could do or have in your life if you were no longer prepared to let a little discomfort hold you back!