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Have you ever had to do something you really didn’t want to do because it made you feel uncomfortable?
Something you were trying to avoid at all costs because it made you anxious and riddled with fear.
Thinking that by avoiding these situations, it will free you from pain and suffering.
Or have you ever found yourself brewing with unpleasant emotions but trying hard to just shove them aside?
Going about your day taking care of business as usual, distracting yourself, and doing everything possible to ignore these “messy” feelings.
All in hopes that if you ignore them long enough, you won’t have to feel them?
I know I have been there.
When I was younger I did everything in my power to avoid situations that made me feel uncomfortable.
Whether it was avoiding seeing someone I didn’t get along with, backing out of events in which I didn’t know anyone, or passing on career/business opportunities because of the fear of failing.
As humans, we are feeling beings…
We interpret everything that comes into our life based on how it makes us feel.
And we seek to only want to experience ‘good’ emotions such as joy, pleasure, comfort, excitement, success, etc.
While fear, anger, anxiety, and pain are emotions we must bypass, avoid at all costs, and numb ourselves to.
But what if every single emotion you felt was important to your experience as a human being?
What if we embraced fear and anxiety as being just as beautiful a part of our journey as joy and love?
Because doing things that makes you uncomfortable or fearful are stepping stones for your growth.
Recently I was inspired by witnessing someone being anxious for weeks about having to attend an event in which there were “bad feelings” between her and many of the event’s attendees and even one of the guests of honor.
And to top it all off, she had to give a speech to this room full of people she didn’t get along with.
Did she want to go through with it?
Of course not.
Did she feel immense anxiety?
But she felt the fear and did it anyway!
Because for her, it was the right thing to do for her values, her growth, and who she wanted to be as a person.
And she gave a killer speech to boot!
When you embrace uncertainty, fear, and uncomfortable situations you send a direct message to the Universe that you are open to possibility!
And most of all that you want to grow!
And this applies to all areas of our lives:
With our relationships, our career or business, our social life, etc.
When you step out of your comfort zone and lean into your fear, it tells the Universe that you are ready to have more, do more, and become more.
This is where change, growth, and transformation take place—which is in the unknown, the unfamiliar, and yes the uncomfortable.
And if you are familiar with Dr. Joe Dispenza’s amazing book Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself, you know that you can’t create anything new and extraordinary in what is known and familiar to you.
Creating the future life you desire and are worthy of happens in the unknown.
This is summed up beautifully in one of my favorite quotes by Terence McKenna:
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.”
Conversely, when you avoid situations that cause you great discomfort you are telling the Universe that you want no part of what it has to offer you.
And you are not interested in stepping into possibility.
Avoiding unpleasantness may spare you in the short-term but it limits your potential in the long-term.
So the next time you find yourself pressing up against fear, uncertainty, or discomfort, instead of retreating, lean into it!
Instead of plotting how you will get out of something you don’t want to do because it makes you uncomfortable, embrace it!
Consider the possibility that this situation with all its discomfort and unpleasantness is here for a reason.
And that reason is for your growth!
Remember, on the other side of your fears is quite possibly the greatest gift of all which is freedom.
But that freedom requires a willingness to embrace the fear, give it your attention, and then use the growth that comes from it to move into a state of possibility to create your most aligned future.
Here are some resources that can help inspire you to embrace fear and other unpleasant emotions:
Learn to Eliminate Stress And Anxiety By Letting Go of Control
Much of fear and anxiety shows up in situations when we feel we don’t have control, and this lack of control can trigger these unpleasant emotions. In this awesome 8-minute video, Skrikumar Rao talks about how our entire life is an attempt to control our environment.
Enroll in the Free Masterclass To Develop Extreme Resilience
I highly recommend this free masterclass with Srikumar Rao in which he shares 5 mental models that can fundamentally shift the way you see yourself and strengthen your ability to bounce back to life’s challenges.
Take the Fear Assessment
This is a quick assessment developed by Ruth Soukup, that will help you determine which one of the 7 Fear Archetypes you are.
Try These Simple Exercises For Handling Unpleasant Emotions
This is a list of a few simple exercises that I have come across that have helped me process and handle unpleasant emotions and situations.
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