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When we experience challenging times, such as dissatisfaction with a job or a breakdown of a relationship, it often feels like there are no good options.  You may feel exasperated because you don’t know what next step to take or if everything will work out when you do take a next step.  Something that we’ve learned over time is that to move forward, you may have to do things that feel uncomfortable.  

What does uncomfortable mean? Being uncomfortable could manifest in a variety of ways, such as feeling scared, nervous, shy, dread, or more.  Many times we get uncomfortable because of fear of the unknown. For example, not knowing anything about a new experience or not knowing how a situation will play out.  We also get uncomfortable when we make assumptions about results.  It’s so easy to come up with a million things that could go wrong to make us hesitate to move forward.

If you’ve ever moved schools, you can liken that experience to what we’re saying here.  As the new kid in school, it’s very uncomfortable in the beginning, but as time goes on, people and routines become familiar and the experience gets better. Also, think about when you get a new watch. I always find it awkward putting on a new buckle or clasp, yet as time goes on, the act of putting on and taking off the watch becomes second nature.  Many of us delay going to the doctor when we are ill for fear of a receiving a scary prognosis or even to avoid getting on the scale.  In the end, we are always happy to have addressed our medical issue and regain our health.

These are just simple cases to illustrate how we often have to push ourselves through the motions, even if they don’t feel very good a first, to get to a point of being comfortable.  And how once we get comfortable, we set ourselves up to thrive.

Some may say that an uncomfortable feeling indicates that you are making a bad decision.  While this could be true, we encourage you to analyze your feelings on a case-by-case basis.  Be honest with yourself about what is causing you to feel uncomfortable.  If you have solid reasons as to why you shouldn’t take action, don’t do it.  However, if you are uncomfortable because of the unknown or because you are making assumptions as to the outcome, acknowledge that you can move forward with this unease to see if it will result in positive change.

Yes, acknowledge your fear, anxiety, or apprehension. You don’t have to brush it under the rug or psych yourself out to feel differently.  Accept your feelings and use the energy to bolt you forward to take your next steps with confidence.  Remember, nothing can be undone.  If you don’t like the destination when you get there, you have the power to move on.  However, give yourself time to be uncomfortable for a while.  Don’t make any rash decisions.  Some things will take time for you to gain understanding, build relationships, and get comfortable.

Some of the best results in life are born out of times of feeling uncomfortable.  So get comfortable with being uncomfortable to move forward.

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