Our basic instincts are to avoid fear, discomfort, or pain. Wrapped up in them are so many emotions. Unexplained things we don’t do to make sure we never face what will hurt us.
Ironically, it is only when we walk into our fear, discomfort or pain do we have the best chance to change, evolve or get past what is consuming us at this moment. Of course, not knowing exactly where the outcome will take us.
Two days ago, by chance, I met someone who I knew who was having a very difficult time with a family issue. There was a lot of guilt and emotion as to why the solutions that were reasonable could not occur. This person was deeply afraid to feel the discomfort and pain by what needed to be decided.
My admonition to him was that he really was OK. But that no matter what path was decided on, they needed to understand that they must walk right into the fear, discomfort and pain they were trying so desperately to avoid. It could not be avoided.
One very unique thing about life, is that it places all of us (at times) in situations where we have fear or discomfort and see pain. Where our emotions keep us from any action. Be it in a job that you have been at for a long time and no longer like. A relationship that once was warm and is now filled with the cold of loneliness. Providing for an aging parent that we so desperately want for them to be young again. Starting a new job. Moving to a new city. Making a presentation to a group of 1,000 people for the first time. Trying to repair a relationship that has grown distant.
Building a muscle that helps you walk into your fear, pain, and discomfort can be one of your greatest skills and good friend. Please understand that the intensity of the fear, pain or discomfort does not change as you build this muscle.
What does change is your ability to understand that you will be ok when you get through these intense times of emotion. Changed for sure. But not damaged beyond repair.
We as humans are more resilient that we think. The difficult part is understanding how deep emotions are in guiding our actions in spite of the logic and rational stories we tell ourselves every day.
Realizing the value in walking with the emotions you are about to feel as you forge ahead to a different, and hopefully better, tomorrow.