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Don't Avoid Discomfort

No one enjoys being uncomfortable, right!?! But pain is inevitable. This is so true within our personal lives but also with those around us. You will do yourself & those you care about a disservice to avoid the bad stuff, because bad things are going to happen weather, we want them to or not.

Has anyone else tried to be the hero & shield others from discomfort? For years that was the roll I played, I thought I had to protect everyone I cared about and make everything as perfect as possible. When I realized if I’m always doing it for them, or fixing it & making it better how will they ever learn to be able to do it themselves & have the self confidence it takes to do so.

So if there is anything this year has made clear to me, it is just how important resilience is. It is our ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. So many have experienced misfortune or uncomfortable change this year that was beyond their control, so I thought it was relevant to talk about this today in hopes it might help someone realize the power we each have and what we all have the ability to control. Life is always going to through unexpected things at us, so it’s critical to develop the skill to be resilient. So STOP trying to limit your challenges & start challenging your limits. Think of resilience like a muscle… the more you use it the stronger your ability gets.

There are so many times in my life that I questioned “why is this happening to me” when I should have been focused on “ what is this teaching me.” Sometimes letting go of what is no longer serving you and making room for more of what matters most, can be the most freeing feeling but while you are in the midst of doing that, it can feel incredibly uncomfortable. So many of us feel that, no matter how hard we try, it's never enough. This is a painful overwhelming feeling. So often you see this in women, that despite their best effort, they struggle with self image - they never feel pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough, successful enough, popular enough, etc.

Recently I retired from the personally producing events, after being in the events industry for over 2 decades. That was uncomfortable, that made me question, I’m I doing the right thing, am I giving up part of my identity, how will I be able to replace that income, and so on and so on!?!? But after having many health scares and realizing the ware and tare my body had endured through self-neglect, I knew something had to change. Was it uncomfortable adjusting, it sure was, but it was so worth it.

Once I realized it was all the hard things I’ve been through that have given me the ability to be resilient, I stopped avoiding the uncomfortable. So I challenge all the parents, spouses, coaches, leaders, teachers and frankly everyone out there, don’t be afraid of the uncomfortable and more importantly don’t try to shelter others from the discomfort, rather use the negative as a teaching moment to develop those resilient muscles to be empowered to preserve. I hear the words a lot “Why didn’t you tell me that” & my response is always “because it’s important for you to learn it yourself”. I’ve learned with my giving heart “ you can give a man a fish & feed him for a day or you can teach a man to fish and feed him for a life time.” So I find it much more meaningful to teach the skill then to preach the lesson, right!

So with 2021 right around the corner, we want to be prepared for whatever the year might bring. We don’t want to be disillusioned that life is perfect or that you won’t experience discomfort. Yes everyday brings new opportunities, but if you are too afraid to do anything that might be uncomfortable, it’s not likely you will achieve success by avoiding taking advantage of those opportunities. We have to set our expectations correctly. The new year is not going to magically make things better for you, but if you can re-frame it & utilize today to prepare you for whatever life throws at you tomorrow, think how much better off you will be. If you can use these next two months to develop that resilience & strengthen those skills, think of how much more prepared you will be next year.

Emotional Mismanagement is one of the largest we face. Emotional intelligence is all about having a greater awareness of your emotions so that you can manage them more effectively. Gaining self- awareness is the first step in being able to manage your emotions properly. Too often we try to pretend we aren’t feeling discomfort until it’s too late to manage and we are feeling terrible. We live in a world where effortless perfection seems to be the standard, instead of normalizing the fact that we all experience stress, sadness and anger, and that there’s nothing “wrong” with those feelings. Thus, the majority of people try to avoid and hide their discomfort. Complacency is something to fear, more than COVID. Playing it small and settling for a life less than what you are capable of, in order to avoid the fear of discomfort is a serious problem. Thus, we started the Resilience Project!

So I’m going to share my top tips to embrace the uncomfortable with resilience & being able to successfully get out the other side & enjoy what matters most instead of settling or getting caught up in the drama.

TIP #1: Re-frame: you have to stop fearing the uncomfortable & embrace that being uncomfortable is just one of the phases to a brighter tomorrow. (Right it’s a part of life- so stop trying to avoid it). Learn that discomfort is a positive thing— when you’re uncomfortable, you are trying something new, you’re learning, you’re expanding, you’re becoming more than you were before. Discomfort is a sign that you’re growing.This means you have to be prepared to handle the discomfort as smoothly as possible. So it’s vital to practice keeping your composure, taking time to grab a glass of water, take a deep breath and calm your system… if you have ever interacted with kids for any extended period of time or have been a leader or a boss, you likely know what I’m talking about, you can’t let what’s going on around you, get in your head and affect how you respond. By remaining composed and calm you think clearer and find solution easier and others are more likely to follow your lead and respond positively.

TIP #2: Perception is everything: so stop & ask yourself “ is this a fact or a story: Don’t let your interpretation of something cloud the facts. Instead be open and curious, likely the solution is right in front of you, but we can’t solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them. Let go of what happened in the past. So focus on the recovery (what you will do now) rather than focus on the mistake (what happened), because you can’t change the past but you can shift the future. Our ability to learn from our mistakes provided us the opportunity to change and improve. Questioning your actions during and after the situations without judgement builds emotional intelligence. Remember how powerful that self-talk is so stop listening to other opinions. Don't let others rent valuable space in your head. Stop comparing yourself to others. Again self-awareness is key; self-compassion as an alternative to self-criticism. The only person you should compare yourself to is who you were yesterday. This helps you take personal responsibility for the outcome of your life and the actions that shape your future. Don't give the key to your happiness to someone else. If life is not what you desire, it doesn't matter who's fault it is but it's your responsibility to overcome and build the life you desire. Don't fall victim to staying stuck in suffering. Choosing not to change is also a choice. In order to have self-awareness you have to be conscious without judgement of your own character, feelings, motives, and desires, as well as how others see you. It's time we had unconditional love for ourselves.

TIP #3: good health!! Good Health may not be your ultimate goal itself, but when we feel our best is when we are best suited to handle what life throws at us. Your health affects your brain health and mental performance. So please hear my heart on this…don’t forget to take care of your own body too… give your body the proper fuel, hydration, activity, and sleep needed to run at your best, so you can up your odds to overcome the challenges of life.

Hopefully you have found these tips helpful & can check out so many more on the blog, as areas to be mindful of & how these areas can effect your overall outcome. SO REMEMBER YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING, BUT YOU CAN CONTROL HOW YOU RESPOND & HOW PREPARED YOU ARE TO HANDLE WHATEVER HAPPENS.

Check out other great tips on the Resilience Project post!

Often these difficulties go hand and hand with other aspects of your life. Take a FREE Well-Being Assessment to determine what areas to focus on first. None of us are perfect, we start where you currently are, let's setup a meeting to customize a plan to suit your needs, and create an action plan that takes you from where you are right NOW to where you WANT to be!!!

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