People want to get better, but they don’t want to feel uncomfortable or awkward.
Distress and discomfort get a bad wrap.
We are taught to avoid it at all costs, yet there is no growth without discomfort.
The path to wellness requires a willingness to be uncomfortable. There is just no way around it.
We don’t have to like it, but we must accept it.
Use the Fire Alarm Analogy to change your relationship with distress.
Fire Alarm Analogy
When a fire alarm goes off, it is inviting us to be curious about what is causing the problem, and to take action so we can be safe again. If we get fixated on how much the alarm hurts our ears, don’t look for the source of the problem and act to fix it…it won’t turn out well for us.
The same principle applies to emotional distress, it is just providing us with feedback about what is going on and is inviting us to be curious and to act in whatever way will keep us healthy. When we fixate on the alarm as the problem, we are getting stuck in evaluation, focusing on experiencing the distress as finite, as the whole story. It stops us from taking any further action or from being curious about what could be done to remedy the situation.
Distress is a necessary part of growth and success.
Watch this 1 min video to see how this applies in nature.
Lobsters are signaled to shed their shell by their discomfort. The distress is meant as a trigger to start a behavior pattern that will allow them to grow. It is the same in humans.
If you assist a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon – it may be deformed and unable to fly (“The Lesson of the Butterfly” by Paulo Coelho).
Human babies must struggle to come through the birth canal to clear the fluid from their lungs, so they can breathe once they are out.
Struggle is not good or bad, it is just part of the process.
So the next time things get hard…instead of being upset- get curious and do what is necessary to be well again!
See you next time!