Can you admit you are uncomfortable?

It’ a pretty interesting time we are living in. It feels like someone picked up our snow globe and shook it something fierce. Some of our globes are settling. Some are still a complete blizzard. It’s been confusing and frustrating in some areas and it’s created opportunities and awareness in others. Overall, it’s been uncomfortable.
One of the things I am most grateful for during this social experiment called COVID-19 is my new perspective on PRESSURE. I’ve realized the importance of acknowledging the connection between pressure and uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.

When asked many people are saying, “I haven’t found it uncomfortable. It’s been great.” If that’s your experience, I’m asking that you consider looking at your feelings with an “AND” and not an “OR”. Would you be willing to entertain the possibility that it’s both? It’s been great AND it has been uncomfortable at times?
As humans, we come naturally wired to support this pattern of behaviour. We are designed to move towards comfort and away from discomfort. It’s survival, and denial is one tactic we use to move us away from things that make us uncomfortable.

On top of the wiring we were born with to seek out comfort, we unconsciously add pressure from our beliefs of what society values. As a society, we love bravery and courage, and we seem to have “decided” that fear, vulnerability and admitting that we are uncomfortable are signs of weakness. The impact of that bias on me has been that when I feel uncomfortable I immediately start thinking about how to get out of it, sometimes without truly acknowledging or understanding that I am actually uncomfortable. Instead I try to jump right into putting my big girl pants on or picking myself up from my bootstraps to once again move me away from whatever it is that has me uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, those are solid options, AND if I jump too quickly into them, I might blow right past the real opportunity.

My suggestion and learning through this situation is to first acknowledge when we are uncomfortable, REALLY acknowledging it and being with it. We need to practice and get really good at recognizing and taking ownership for situations, thoughts and feelings that make us uncomfortable. Taking ownership doesn’t come from blaming external factors, it comes from an empowering self perspective, a curiosity to learn more about what makes us tick and why. One technique is to identify where we feel the discomfort in our bodies, noticing where we hold the stress and tension, and to witness the thoughts or action patterns we use to distract us from that discomfort. When we know how we distract ourselves, we can start to recognize the patterns, giving us the chance to say, “Hmmmm….. That’s a thought that I usually have when I am uncomfortable about something. Interesting. What am I uncomfortable about right now?”

I’ve learned one of the best things I can do to help me move towards better behaviors and an even more prosperous life, is to be willing to admit I am uncomfortable, even just to myself, and be with that discomfort. I already know how to jump into action to blow past the discomfort, but if I can’t identify what it is I am truly uncomfortable about, I might take action that doesn’t truly address what it is I am actually looking to get more comfortable with.
Let’s use this time to learn about what makes us uncomfortable. Look at the tactics you use to avoid the discomfort, and in places where those tactics are working for you… keep going. In places where those tactics are limiting you from achieving the life you want, try a new approach. It takes practice but it’s worth the process, especially when you witness yourself level up.

Let’s use this time to learn about what makes us uncomfortable. Look at the tactics you use to avoid the discomfort, and in places where those tactics are working for you… keep going. In places where those tactics are limiting you from achieving the life you want, try a new approach. It takes practice but it’s worth the process, especially when you witness yourself level up.

About the Author / Karen Kersey
Karen loves working with courageous leaders that dare to go where they have not gone before; leaders that want to achieve more for themselves, for their businesses, and for the people in them. Throughout her career, she developed a reputation for drive, leadership, service, and the ability to quickly deliver exceptional results led to numerous promotions in her work history. With a strong background in strategic and operational leadership, Karen helps teams assess situations, address challenges, find solutions, and execute plans, while providing executives and managers with the direction, leadership, guidance and tools to help them perform at their very best.