Who likes to feel uncomfortable? Yeah, I'm pretty sure if Uncomfortable was a college course, no one would voluntarily sign up! Here's the thing, though, feeling uncomfortable, being in uncomfortable situations....all part of life.
I know that society (driven by Advertisers, perhaps?) gives us the message that comfort is the key to happiness. Our Anxiety buys into that message and bombards us daily with thoughts about how to make our lives easier, more comfortable, and more certain. And yet we never seem to truly get "there" (wherever "there" is!). For every discomfort there is someone else selling our Anxiety another idea or product to keep us far away from the feared "uncomfortable".
Guess what? Feeling uncomfortable, even being uncomfortable, it's what inspires us to do great things! It is key to boosting our self-confidence. If we don't allow ourselves to be in new, unique, and uncomfortable situations, we are not able to see just exactly what we are made of! We have to challenge ourselves to find our place in the world.
Anxiety would have us make our worlds very, very small. It convinces us that safety, security, certainty, and comfort are the way to feel "happy" and yet none of us can feel truly happy in a tiny little box. As we are willing to step outside of the box, embrace the unknown, and expand our world, one step at a time...it is then that we can discover our true selves, challenge our old beliefs about ourselves, find out what we are capable of, and really experience what happy feels like.
Here are three steps to getting out of your tiny little comfort zone and expanding your world:
1) Notice situations where you feel uncomfortable. Who, what, when, and where are you avoiding? Large crowds? School? Finishing a project? Starting a project? Food? Driving? There are lots of people, places, and things that cause us to feel uncomfortable.
2) Pick one area to work on. When we are working to change old habits, taking one step at a time helps us to stay focused and be more successful in our goals.
3) Commit to dealing with your specific "Discomfort" for 5 minutes. That's it. Just 5 minutes. Allow yourself to sit with the uncomfortable feelings for just 5 minutes to start. You can do anything for 5 minutes, right?
The goal here is to remind yourself and your anxiety that you can be uncomfortable for periods of time and that "uncomfortable" is temporary. Once you master 5 minutes, see what happens when you commit to 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, then maybe 30 or 45!
The voice behind Auntie Anxiety is Lynn Dutrow, Courage Coach and Counselor