Uncomfortable is ok. But you should make sure it's the right kind of discomfort.
I have steadfastly refused to do burpees my whole life. You know the exercise I mean, where it feels like your insides are being jostled in a washing machine? They are distinctly uncomfortable, but finally doing some burpees is just the right kind of uncomfortable to give me a new kind of core and cardio strength.
Remember that feeling when you do something again, you promised yourself you wouldn't repeat? The habit you wanted to break or the situation you didn't want to be in. The feeling where your gut aches, your head swims and your hearts sinks. But it's also a familiar feeling. So in a strange way, it's kind of safe because, well—better the devil you know, right? It's the feeling of comfortable discomfort that feels bearable and manageable in comparison to the great unknown of Different.
Different doesn't always feel better straight away.
It's easy to imagine that if you change the negative self-talk in your head or drop that habit you'll immediately feel better. But more often than not, doing things differently feels just as uncomfortable as before, with a little bit of fear thrown in.
So how do you forge ahead? How to do trade one sense of discomfort for another? You have to lift your eyes to the bigger picture for a second and realise that through the discomfort of doing things differently, things can become better. And that can be better than before.
Better, healthier, stronger is never a destination—it's a journey through the discomfort of doing things differently. Of making the unknown familiar and letting the familiar become the best of who we are in every capacity.
The first time you try a different approach—having an argument with someone you love or ditching a bad habit—your gut might still ache and your heart might still feel heavy. But don't focus on the feeling, focus on why you feel that way.
Beating yourself up for repeating the same old thing can be exchanged for cheering yourself on for launching into brave new ways of being. And discomfort will pass, instead of being the feeling you're most familiar with.
Tash McGill wants to change the world by helping people to think differently. Sometimes described as courageous by her friends, she frequently says aloud what no-one else is brave or stupid enough to say. She also finds writing third-person biographies uncomfortable.
Tash McGill's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/tash-mcgill.html