Do you ever feel uncomfortable in certain situations? Maybe you spend too much time worrying about your debt and making ends meet? Or perhaps you are feeling at unease in your current job and looking for a way out?
These feelings can be uncomfortable, but I also believe that they are perfectly normal. When we feel discomfort, our bodies (or the universe, if you will) are trying to tell us something: they are giving us a sign that something is not right, and that we have a problem.
Every problem is also an opportunity for change, and an opportunity to make things better.
Like anyone else, I sometimes get hung up on the past. I think to myself, “Why couldn’t I have done things differently? Why can’t I just be happy like everyone else? What is wrong with me?”
We can then take one of several actions:
- We can do nothing. If the cause of our discomfort is transitory, then this may work, but most of the time, the cause of our discomfort is still there. Though we may forget about it for the moment, it will eventually rear its ugly head, again.
- We can beat ourselves up over it. This is a normal human reaction, especially if the discomfort is strong and is due to something like failing your final exam for a course. This is somewhat rational, because it increases the pain. As humans we tend to avoid pain, so magnifying the pain of an event tends to make us avoid repeating similar events in the future.
- We can take action. At some point, beating ourselves up over the mistakes that we’ve made is self-defeating and self-destructive. The past is the past, and in the end, we need to find solutions to our problems.
Here are some simple steps to identifying the source of your discomfort:
1. Where, and when do you feel uncomfortable?
We tend to feel recurring discomfort on given cues. It might be a credit card statement, our final grades, or the feeling of going out the door and going to work. This discomfort is our body’s way of telling us that something needs to be fixed.
2. What is making you feel uncomfortable?
Once we’ve identified the location of the discomfort in our lives, we can look at what is causing us to feel uncomfortable. It could be the large balance on our credit cards, it could be the fact that we know we didn’t study hard enough, or it might be that we feel like our careers aren’t advancing down the right path, and we are simply “showing up”.
3. What will fix the discomfort?
Once we’ve evaluated the source of the discomfort, it becomes easy to identify what would make it go away. We would all be happy to see a clean credit card statement, get great grades or get a nice salary to do a job that we love.
Now that we know where the destination is, we can take action to get there. The path might not always be known to us, we know what we need to change, and where we want to be. The uncertainty of getting from here to there can cause immobility and fear, but understanding is the first step to action. You will feel much better once you move from dwelling over your problem to planning the solution.
Dear reader, is anything in your like making you uncomfortable? If not, I’m very happy to hear it! If so, what would improve the situation? What action steps are you taking to get there?