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Discomfort- Price of Admission for Growth?

We've all been there - that cringeworthy moment when you wish the ground could open up and swallow you whole. Maybe it was an awkward pause in conversation, a botched public speaking moment or a difficult conversation you knew needed to happen.

Instinctively, we want to avoid anything that feels uncomfortable or awkward. But what if leaning into those difficult moments is the price of admission for meaningful growth?


It's understandable that we're hardwired to avoid discomfort - our brains may perceive it as a threat and activate a fight-or-flight response. However, when we let fear rule us, we rob ourselves of valuable opportunities. Things like setting healthy boundaries, speaking up for ourselves and working through interpersonal conflicts all require tolerating a degree of awkwardness. If we always take the easy way out, we might miss out on this emotional development.


The good news is that we can build resilience and expand our capacity for discomfort. It starts with reframing awkward moments as opportunities for growth rather than sources of anxiety or embarrassment. The next time you feel that panicky urge to escape an uncomfortable situation, remind yourself - this is a chance to practice courage, vulnerability and, importantly, self-compassion.


With repeated exposure to manageable discomfort, we develop valuable skills like emotional regulation, assertiveness and the ability to sit with difficult feelings. We realise the world doesn't end when we feel awkward (what a relief!😅). We make it to the other side, likely gaining insight about ourselves or our relationships along the way.


Embracing discomfort has another profound benefit - it allows us to be more present with others. When we aren't preoccupied with managing our own angst, we can give our full attention to the person in front of us. This creates space for deeper connections and understanding.


Of course, there are limits to how much discomfort we should tolerate, especially in abusive or severely toxic situations. But for most of life's inevitable awkward moments, the rewards of leaning in far outweigh the risks of avoidance. We can embrace the discomfort, recognising it as a catalyst for growth. With practice, our capacity for poise amidst awkwardness will expand. And we'll discover a new level of confidence, resilience and compassion for the shared human struggle.


I’d love to hear from you! - How do you handle awkward situations?

Have you gotten more accepting of uncomfortable situations over time?


And if struggling with this right now, I'd love to help you navigate this. Reach out to me here.


Wishing you the perfect amount of discomfort that your growth requires today 🤗,


P.S. Remember to check out the online store for downloadable resources 🤩🌱 You can find them here.

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