Finding Comfort in Being Uncomfortable: Part 2

What is it you want out of life? Most of us would answer something like: money, health, and happiness. The usual suspects. Funnily enough, many of the things we want are those things that are best attained outside of our comfort zones. We believe, however, that comfort is relative to having the aforementioned, yet that is a simple thinking error. Let’s take a look.

Money

Regardless of how much money you make, to have money on hand takes a serious commitment to creating and sustaining a budget that is reasonable, which is uncomfortable. Yet budgeting your money in a reasonable way, even aggressive way, though uncomfortable, will give you that which you desire, more money on hand.

Taking on a promotion, or starting a new job, creates an unknown context, which can be very uncomfortable. However, that unknown context, if approached from an open mind, will create new growth opportunities, such as learning and developing new skill sets. And, having new skill sets will make you more adept in every context you work in.

Health

Attaining a level of health you desire takes a commitment to developing healthy habits in relation to your physical, mental, and spiritual self. Regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and time to focus on your inner self take time, and allocating that time every day can feel uncomfortable. Yet, doing these things regularly will create the context for your health to improve, and sustaining these activities over time will create more future health.

Happiness

In my estimation, the concept of happiness being attached to comfort is one of the largest thinking errors. Achieving happiness begins with a commitment to do those things in life that we often avoid, put off, deny, and disregard. Why?

Because taking the time to do those things is scary. What if I fail? Or what if it doesn’t work? Feelings of being uncomfortable in not knowing how our time investment will go is scary. Both of the aforementioned questions are common mantras for putting off those things that will stretch us most, which when committed to on a regular basis will increase our overall level of happiness.

Thinking Error

The thinking error I’ve referred to in this post is that by not doing the things in life that will make us most uncomfortable we will find those attributes we want most, like money, health, and happiness.

Yet here is the reality. The exact opposite is true. Doing those things in life that make us the most unformattable are the exact actions that will create the attributes, like money, health, and happiness, we want most. An apparent paradox.

Yet not really. It actually makes total sense. Do things that stretch you, which include doing things that scare you, make you nervous, and for surely make you uncomfortable, and you will achieve those things you most desire.

Being comfortable never produced anything. Being uncomfortable, however, has produced many, many things. Think about any historical figure, pick any one you like, and I guarantee you their life was full of uncomfortable situations. Situations they actively created, and welcomed with open arms.

Now it’s your turn. The next time someone asks you to do something you’ve always wanted to do, yet were too scared or uncomfortable to do, do it. Give it a try, and see what you get back. You may be quite surprised.

#comfort-zone, #creativity, #happiness, #health, #money, #motivation, #psychology, #thinking-error, #wellness

Creating Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence: noun

  1. the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is not something that we are born with, though we are all born with a set of emotions. Emotion, like thought, taste, touch, sight, hearing, and smell are one of our major senses.

It’s only been in the past couple of years that I’ve been working on getting in touch with, or, rather, understanding my own emotions. Many people believe they are in touch with their emotions, yet they are, in fact, simply covering them up with other things.

For instance, I used to cover up my emotions by overeating and drinking too much. Of course, at the time, I was not aware that I was engaging in those destructive habits as a way of denying, or refusing to accept, my emotions.

And, like many of you, I was not aware of nor was educated about my emotional self. For instance, I was not aware that when anger arises, today at least, it typically means that I am suppressing another emotion, which is usually sadness. Sadness, and the desperate need to cry.

I have read, and have taught, about masculinity in regard to emotions, and have commonly said, little boys are not taught how to deal with their emotions. In fact, they are taught to suppress their emotions. I thought at that time, I was in touch with my emotions, because I was able to theorize the accuracy of the information about masculinity and emotional intelligence.

However, theorizing about a subject, and actually knowing and understanding that subject on a visceral level are not the same thing. At the time I was teaching on masculinity and emotions, I was severely overweight and drinking heavily. Not in touch with my emotions at all.

Fast forward two years, and I am now just beginning to get in touch with my emotional self, which is both a painful and liberating process. Doing so has taken seeing someone once a week, and doing the internal investigation necessary to understand my emotions, and the events in my past that I am still holding onto.

Creating EI then is an intentional process of inquiry and investigation into parts of ourselves that we may want to leave well enough alone. Yet, what I am beginning to understand is that inquiring into, and investigating, our inner selves is part of being human, and our shared humanity.

#emotional-intelligence, #emotional-self, #emotions, #intention, #psychology, #theory-and-practice

Finding Comfort in Being Uncomfortable: Part 1

There are countless quotes, books, and movies about “living outside of your comfort zone.” What this actually means, however, is open to great interpretation, and, I think, changes for people over time. How you view the idea of living outside of your comfort zone is a product of how you were raised, how you think, the context you live and work in, and those that you surround yourselves with.

Further, the idea and actually experience of a comfort zone, and the corresponding uncomfortableness that comes with being outside of it is different for everyone. As there are over 7.5 billion people on the planet, we can actually say that there are over 7.5 billion different comfort zones.

Growth is the byproduct or result of living outside of your comfort zone. In fact, the only real growth there is is found outside of your comfort zone. There is never any growth inside of a comfort zone. This may seem like common sense, and it is, however, most people have a hard time realizing this truth. Why? Simple. If feels really good inside of our comfort zones.

Who would want to intentionally create situations or contexts that challenged this comfortability? Really, not many. Most people are perfectly content inside their comfort zones. Yet, if these people were to examine themselves on the inside, they would find that this contentment is covering up other issues.

Sometimes being outside of your comfort zone happens unintentionally, which can happen when we are faced with a very stressful situation or life event that we didn’t see coming. If we are open to it, there is also growth in these experiences.

Learning how to find comfort in being uncomfortable is manifested by doing things that we find uncomfortable often. When we are open to getting outside of our comfort zones often, there is a comfort that comes as a byproduct of the continual practice of being uncomfortable.

As with most everything else, it takes practice to realize this kind of comfort in the uncomfortable. By practice, I simply mean creating intentional contexts that we find uncomfortable, and engaging in these contexts until they no longer feel as uncomfortable. Ultimately, until they feel comfortable.

If you are reading this and thinking, nope, not me, I like my comfort zone and have no need to create intentional contexts of uncomfortability. Very well, that is your choice.

If, however, you are thinking, maybe, or yes, sign me up. Then go out and do one thing today that you’ve been avoiding or putting off because it makes you feel uncomfortable, and see what happens.

If it’s anything like the many experiences I’ve had, yes, you can count on being uncomfortable. Yet, you can also count on that experience providing you a whole lot more, which is only possible by doing things that you find uncomfortable.

Until next time….

+

#being-uncomfortable, #comfort-zone, #covid-19, #growth, #human-development, #intention, #life-events, #psychology

COVID-19 and the Art of Possibility

Possibility: Noun – a thing that may happen or be the case.

I’ve been thinking more about possibility this week. What’s possible in our new landscape? Are the same things possible today, as were possible 6 months ago? Not sure? Me either, so let’s take a look.

The Art of Possibility is about creating a context. A context specific to new ways to think about old and or new problems or issues. It is about letting go of preconceived notions of what is possible in a given situation.

The psychology of possibility is rather simple. Let go of the past, be in the present, and create the future from where you stand today, seeing reality as it is. Not how we think it is, rather how it really is.

Seeing reality as it really is means being aware of our thinking patterns, and knowing when we are limiting ourselves by presuming or assuming we know all there is to know about a problem, issue, or situation we are faced with. Facutlay, humans know very little – if you don’t believe this blogger, read a little Socrates.

The sociology of possibility involves creating traction with those around us in the art of possibility. As I’ve written elsewhere, humans are social animals, and rely upon connections with other humans. It is only natural then that groups will function in accordance with the language they use to describe their shared reality. If that language is about limitation then limitation is what they will see and create. If, however, that language is about possibility, then possibility is what they will see and create.

The possibility of possibility is about remaining open to new ideas, new understanding, and letting go of the notion that we know. Seems simple, yet can be difficult, as human beings are in some ways programmed to think they know more than they do, which is where vulnerability comes in. Being open means being vulnerable.

Be vulnerable today in some way. Create and share a possibility with someone in your context, and, or create and share a possibility here. Either way, create and share. What else is there, really?

Until next time…

#covid-19, #creation, #creativity, #human-development, #possibility, #psychology, #sociology, #vulnerability