Has it been a while or does something specific spring to mind from a recent event?
I’m hoping the latter. You see, discomfort is actually a good thing. I know it feels awkward, but more often than not, it is a great sign. It means that you have stepped a little (or a lot) outside your comfort zone. It often pops up when we are doing something new or even just thinking about doing something new! If we are doing something that we don’t feel totally confident in, we can feel uncomfortable. If we’re learning, if we’re exploring and if we’re putting ourselves out there in the world. All of these scenarios can bring up a feeling of discomfort.
Discomfort is a feeling. You may feel it in your stomach. You may feel it as a general buzzing kind of nervousness. You may feel it as a very distinct urge to retreat, or to completely avoid a situation altogether. What does all this sound like? Fear. Yes, good old fear. We’re feeling uncomfortable because our brain has created fearful thoughts, that we may or may not be conscious of. Those thoughts have created the discomfort. This is a normal human reaction- nothing wrong with you.
The most import thing about discomfort is how you deal with it, not whether you experience it or not. We’re not about trying to eliminate it. Basically every human being experiences discomfort and I want to suggest to you that you even actively seek it. But first, slowly, slowly, let’s start with the “how you deal with it” part first. Stay with me here.
At the first sign of discomfort, what do you do? Think back to the last experience you had when you really felt uncomfortable. Can you remember what you did? Can you remember where you were and what thoughts were running through your mind? How you treat the experience of discomfort will determine how much you can fully embrace opportunities to create your best life and best business.
Discomfort is a sensation we feel when the brain is signalling some kind of fear. The brain is doing this because we are doing something new, where it does not feel familiar. Our brains want us to do the same thing all the time because it is familiar and more efficient. So being an entrepreneur is like waving a red flag in front of the conservative functioning of the brain. It sees danger. It interprets danger, not because there is danger but simply because it is unfamiliar territory.
But hey, isn’t starting something from scratch (your business) or creating something new completely unfamiliar at first? Well, yes. So if you’re experiencing discomfort regularly you’re likely out there creating new things and learning exciting things. This is why I say discomfort is a good thing. I don’t want us to all feel uncomfortable all the time, I just know that if you are feeling it, it means that you’re challenging yourself and stepping outside your comfort zone.
So the key to working with discomfort – like any emotion- is to allow yourself to feel it. Notice it when it comes up, observe it. Use it as a sign that you’re learning, that you’re challenging yourself to grow outside your normal sphere. If you treat it like this, instead of trying to ignore it or push it away, you can actually find your peace with it. You will still get pangs of discomfort but you will understand it’s part of the bigger picture, part of the entrepreneurial journey and a good sign that you’re growing.