I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve been saying that a lot in reference to my blog and in other areas in my life where I seem to be succeeding. I don’t claim to be an expert in anything, but I tend to “go with it” if I’m doing something that really resonates with me. At work I try to put my best foot forward in everything I do to not only represent myself, but to also make my supervisor, colleagues, and department look good and remain professional. I never do anything hoping that I will receive accolades in the end, but whenever I do, my response is always “I don’t know what I’m doing.” I don’t use that phrase in the literal sense. I use it to imply that I don’t have a strategy or a plan, I go with it and some how things work out (not always). What feels right? What comes natural? What message do I want to send? I ask myself those questions and then I go with it. But it can be scary as F%$K because the more you give, the more people expect from you in the future. And I never think that I can perform at any other level, this is the only level I know. Meaning, how do I beat what I’ve already done? That’s a lot of pressure, pressure that I feel often when working on my blog. I’m not a writer by trade, but blogging requires writing and sharing useful information for people. That’s hard when you’re not technically an expert, but as a blogger you’re seen as one on some level.
For the month of March I want us to focus on Discomfort. My goal is to try and encourage us to find the benefit in being uncomfortable and how we can grow and learn from it. In essence, I want us to get comfortable with being uncomfortable which I’ve mentioned several times in the past on the blog. This may seem like an odd area of focus but I think it’s necessary because discomfort shows up in so many areas of our lives (sadness, worry, anger, fear, uncertainty, melancholy, etc) and we tend to run from it because we don’t like the way it makes us feel. Even though those feelings can be very uncomfortable, they are all normal forms of human emotions that allow us to explore different parts of ourselves by identify what factors in our lives elicit those feelings. They also teach us how to handle challenges that we encounter the next time we are faced with difficulties. Sometimes we feel discomfort for a reason, it doesn’t always show up just to disrupt our peace. I find a great deal of discomfort in trying to do better than I did before. For example, if I get three hundred likes on one post, I worry about how I’m going to write the next blog to keep those same people engaged, if I chose to do an IG live on a topic that received great feedback, I struggle with how I’m going to top that the next time I go on live. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t beat myself up but I always want to put my best foot forward simply because I always want to grow and do better.
After reading and learning about how people (myself included) react to feelings that cause discomfort, I decided to share some strategies that I’ve learned to use:
- Practice Mindfulness I’m not an avid meditator but I find that when I practice meditation when I’m dealing with discomfort, it builds a container for me to harness those feelings and make sense of it.
- Sit With The Discomfort literally, sit with the feeling of unease. It’s not normal for us to always be happy and run from our feelings. We are human, not perfect. Sometimes when I feel discomfort my body literally shifts (I always assume it’s my knee jerk reaction for finding a more comfortable feeling). I’ve learn to shift my body back to the position it was in before and let the feeling ride itself out…this is not easy.
- There’s Not Always A Lesson/Reason I use to always feel that discomfort comes with a lesson, and I assumed that’s the reason why we feel it. But someone once said “sometimes feelings are just feelings and it doesn’t always come with a lesson.” Just accept.
I’ve been very intentional lately about my actions and reactions towards myself and others when dealing with discomfort, more specifically; uncertainty. My approach lately has been to just allow things to work itself out because not everything needs and explanation and doing so has helped me a lot when I’m faced with these challenges in the future. I’m learning how to use my discomfort to help me grow as a person and in my relationship with others. I’m also learning how use my discomfort as fuel for my creativity and productivity. Some examples are, I’ve started reading more consistently again, I work on my finances, and I work on content for my blog. Again, these methods aren’t easy, just like everything else in life they take practice and a great deal of patience sometimes.
If you’re new to learning how to manage your uncomfortable emotions, some suggestions would be to journal. I mentioned in one of my earlier post that journals are easily our best friends. They create space for us to share how we feel and what we think without the fear of feeling judged. Other tools you can use is; to watch tv or do something that will take your mind off things like cooking, cleaning, or watching a movie. Methods that I don’t recommend using when you feel uncomfortable are; reacting on impulse, cussing someone out (this might be necessary sometimes but it should not be your go to), abusing alcohol, or seeking revenge of any sorts. Your goal should always be, learning how to manage your feelings of discomfort in a healthy way because adverse reactions usually comes with consequences.
How do you deal with feelings of discomfort? Let’s discuss so we can learn from each other!
- Instagram: @selfcareatforty
- Twitter: @playingblogger and @naturaldo
- Pinterest: @tam33ks