Learn to be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable Now!
I have a quick story for you. I used to always get my way. I mean ALWAYS. I don't think I experienced too many uncomfortable situations in my early years. If I wanted my food made a certain way, I would get it. If I wanted a certain type of shoe, I got it. If I wanted to go to a particular event, I went. If I wanted to compete with the big dogs, my track team and I worked hard, but we were pretty naturally athletic, so my coach thought enough of us that he took us to the track meets where we would be able to compete against the big dogs. Don't get me wrong, I got a lot of no's, but eventually, the majority of them turned around to a 'yes' (wait, that kind of sounds like today, LOL. Hey, call me spoiled.).
Basically, I didn't really want for anything, and I never really got hit with a lot of adversity. My path was pretty much laid out there for me, and I didn't have to do a ton of work to find and stay on that path. That is, until I was about to start my career in my early to mid 20s. And since then, it's been a never-ending battle of rejection, and vying for position, and trying to stake claim to what I thought was mine. It was downright UN-comfortable. Welcome to being an adult, right?
I was so comfortable where I was and with the way things were happening for me, that when adversity actually hit me, I clammed up. I wasn't comfortable with all of these new and completely uncomfortable situations happening to me all at the same time, and for a while, I didn't want to do what it took to understand and embrace the uncomfortable situations so that I could handle and conquer them better. Instead of embracing the uncomfortable and finding ways to overcome, it came out in the form of depression and anxiety (and stagnancy) versus approaching the situation and conquering it. And I suffered from it for a long time. This is during a time when I THOUGHT I had a relationship with Christ, but I was definitely an "on the fence" Christ follower. Eventually, I embraced uncomfortable, and I used my uncomfortableness as motivation to be disciplined to have faith over fear. I want you to know that in your fitness life, and your life overall, you don't have to get stuck like I did. Let me explain why you need to embrace being uncomfortable and how you can learn to embrace it today.
WHY you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
- Being uncomfortable means growth and change. It's never too late for growth and change. Do you hear people always say "I'm too old to change. I'm stuck in my ways." Are you one of those people? Well, I'm here to tell you that there's always room for change. Yes, it may be a fact that you're getting older, but it's also an excuse that you're making that you don't want to change because of your age. Be an open and out of the box person. Your health and well-being depends on it. God even puts us in uncomfortable situations so that we can realize His sovereignty. A lot of times, we turn away from the uncomfortable situations we face, and we lose out on experiencing the amazing faith we can grow simply by trusting God in those uncomfortable times.
- Being uncomfortable is actually energizing for you. God encourages those who are discouraged. Does thinking about the worst leave you feeling wiped out? When you're challenged because you're uncomfortable, it keeps your brain fresh and functioning. But if you don't see it as an invigorating challenge, you'll be left drained and frustrate. When you take on your uncomfortable circumstance ANYWAY, you're not stagnant and you're constantly moving forward because you're always in learning mode. When you learn a new exercise, it's going to be uncomfortable, it'll even hurt, but you're learning, and as you continue to learn, your body is thanking you by getting in better shape and giving you more energy because of the changes you decided to make. Stay encouraged by God, and see how much giving your stresses to Him will actually energize you.
- Being uncomfortable keeps your mind and your body confused (in a good way), and always working. If you're always leveling up and doing a new workout program every few weeks (as you should be), if you're always reading a new book once you finish one, you're keeping your mind and body confused by giving it new information to process, but they will remain active and working. What a great way to stay young, right! Never stop learning!
HOW you can get comfortable with being uncomfortable?
- Examine your everyday routine. Do you wake up and do the EXACT same thing everyday, but it doesn't produce a feeling productivity? Having routine is great, but if you're only doing that routine everyday because you "have to go to work" or because "it's what you're supposed to do", that mindset will make you feel stuck every time. Have a grateful "get to" attitude. Someone doesn't have a job to go to, or working limbs to do the type of workouts you are able to do. Is your workout the same running trail everyday, or the same leg workout every time you have leg day? Mix things up! Take one thing in your routine and change it. If you tend to have the same route that you drive to work everyday, if there's an alternate route you can drive, try driving it every once in a while. The change of scenery may make your day. Feeling like your workout routine just isn't working anymore? Try increasing your intensity level or changing out a few of your exercises. You muscles get used to exercises if you do them over and over. But change that one monotonous thing in your life or fitness routine and be uncomfortable for just a little while.
- Re-evaluate and adjust or let go of things or people that may be weighing you down. If you're in a situation or relationship with a person (this could be a friend, family member, coworker, or significant other), and you all aren't elevating each other to do better or be better, they may be dead weight. Life suckers are what I call them. You catch yourself just hanging out, but it's EVERY single time you're together. There's room for days to just hang out and chill. We need to relax our minds. But if you know you've got work to do, and you find yourself flipping channels more hours of the day or more days out of the week than you're working, or if you can't get with your friend/family member/other from time to time and brainstorm and work and be productive together, you need to re-evaluate how passionate you are about being your best self.
- Mentally prepare yourself. You know you will have uncomfortable situations, right. The Lord never told us that life was going to be easy. In fact, He said we'd have trouble (uncomfortable situations), but if we take heart in Him, we already know we will be victorious. We underestimate the power of someone being in our life and encouraging us to do better. It may be annoying to have someone calling or texting you so regularly and asking if you've done this or that. But how awesome is it to have basically a person who can be your human alarm clock, and is actually happy to be such to you? Another way to intentionally insert an uncomfortable situation into your life is to welcome the adversity! You can't put yourself in a more uncomfortable situation in this case. Difficult coworker or client? Is it too rainy to go out for your run? Welcome the adversity by going out and running in that rain! Have you ever actually run in the rain before? It's pretty awesome (but not in the cold, that's just not cool at all). Greet your coworker or client with the biggest smile you can. Ask them questions and converse with them. If they try to be a Darla Downer, be encouraging to them. Help them see the bright side of their situation. Nothing makes an uncomfortable situation better than showing love and compassion, and resting in that.
It's okay to be uncomfortable. It gives us a chance to trust God. And when you trust Him, you really do learn a lot because you're open, and giving yourself permission to grow. How can you be your best self if you're not evolving and growing?
Well, that's it for now. I hope you enjoyed your visit with me. Share this with your friends if they need a little push to embrace their uncomfortable situations.
Tell me below about your experiences with being uncomfortable, and what you did to embrace it.
Love and Hugs,