THE DIRECTION OF DISCOMFORT

Words by Mia Jerritt
Photo by Kyle Hansen

How moving outside of your regular patterns can help you manage fear and map your own future.

 


 

If you dare to live a life of infinite possibility and opportunity, it is essential to understand how comfort can be a trap. Limiting yourself to your comfort zone is akin to learning to drive without ever leaving the driveway. Managing discomfort takes practice and allows for growth. When we learn to practice discomfort in the face of our fears, it encourages us to change and adapt. Fear creates closets in our mind and threatens to keep us firmly rooted within our comfort zones. These same comfort zones keep us playing small because they are predictable, typical, normal, and comfortable.

Fear creates patterns of thought, which over time, become real. As adults, our boogeyman is our certainty that we can’t do something, we are not good enough, we might fail, or things won’t work out. In these stories, our fears are what are scratching at the cellar door and the light that needs turning on is the courage to move through those fears.

When we are young, we develop ways of being to keep things safe and predictable. These survival strategies are unconscious techniques. Though we don’t create these strategies knowingly, they create us. For example, if one of your fears is failure, strategies to ensure that failure doesn’t happen may include procrastination, excuses, and a lack of commitment.

As humans, the strategies we employ can either be our formula for success or the source of our limitations. They define our reality, our way of thinking, and the way we show up in life. Our actions and outcomes are affected as a result. These strategies determine what is possible. Survival strategies are not what we do, but the source of why we do the things we do. Even if we want to push our limits, our habitual strategies may not to be useful, and may even impede our success.

Recognizing and distinguishing between these strategies is the first step to moving outside of a cyclical way of being. It begins by realizing we cannot conquer anything that we do not acknowledge exists. We cannot conquer fear of failure, rejection, loss, or abandonment without acknowledging that these fears are controlling us. A coach, such as me, can facilitate awareness and choice around a person’s fears, comfort zones, and goals, and accelerates a focused action plan for the future. A coach works with clients to take them from the present to where they want to be in the future, where all possibility lives.

Start by asking yourself these three questions: In what areas of my life am I too comfortable? In what areas of my life do I avoid discomfort? And finally, what is this discomfort costing me? Change occurs when awareness is followed with practice, choice, and action. With this formula, anything is possible.




Category: Volume 15