I recently had my annual eye appointment. Just the usual, “What’s better – 1 or 2?” And they also checked my eyes after a bout of uncomfortable itching and dryness while wearing my contacts. Not a big deal. But my eye doctor had some profound wisdom for me: get unused to being uncomfortable.
This was a big eye opener (pardon the pun) for me. At some point, you need to realize when something isn’t working and have more than just intention to make a change. You have to actually make the change. Certain levels of discomfort means something can’t stay the way it is.
How often have you heard “get out of your comfort zone” and “accept that change will be uncomfortable at the start”? I know we encourage our clients to feel a little uncomfortable as we coach them in various life or workplace situations they are facing, encouraging them to reach to the best parts of themselves. And because they sometimes have never had a conversation about or reflected on their abilities and potential, the entire conversation feels a bit uncomfortable. But there is great learning in this exact moment, and it’s what you do to move past that feeling of discomfort that matters.
My eye appointment made me realize there’s a lot in life we put up with, for whatever reason. Some things you just have to deal with, but most things, you don’t. Consider these scenarios:
- Your job pays the bills and there’s opportunity for growth, but your boss is very hard to work for.
- Your kids are in the middle of some tough years (read: toddler, tweens, teens…) and you want to run away from time-to-time.
- Your sibling shows up unannounced at your house and stays for days.
- Your spouse goes out with their friends from work every night and doesn’t get home until long after the kids are in bed.
- Your best friend teases you about the way you look on a regular basis.
Which scenarios speak to you as the times when you just need to power through? When are the scenarios uncomfortable enough or worthy of pushing for change?
When you find yourself in a situation when you feel uncomfortable, ask yourself: is this discomfort encouraging growth or a productive change for me/my life? Or, is this discomfort something that shouldn’t be happening? Become self-aware to know the difference and be intentional in making a change when it’s needed.
Consider reading Managing Your Self-Talk