Growth is tough.
Remember when you were little and you would get growing pains from physical growth? Remember outgrowing your favorite clothes or shoes? I had a pair of shoes that I loved and when I outgrew them and found out they didn’t make them anymore I was devastated.
Growth can suck.
Emotional growth is no different. We all come to the table with our own way of dealing with things. The way we were raised, our experiences throughout our life and our own perceptions will most definitely impact the way we handle situations. The problem with a situation though is that the thing - situation - is never the thing. There is always stuff below the surface that is backing up the position we take in a disagreement and accessing that stuff within yourself is what growth is made of.
I myself have a tendency to feel attacked rather quickly and I find it difficult to address other peoples' feelings when I feel my own are not addressed. I am of course aware of this but it doesn’t stop me from getting defensive and getting in my own way when trying to resolve conflict. When I try to get ahead of a conflict I try to fix the thing but as noted, the thing is not the true thing.
Adulting is hard.
Growth happens when we can get below the thing. When we can really dig up under it and figure out what is below the surface.
I’ve had a growth spurt. To be honest it’s super uncomfortable and I so wanted to call bullshit on the whole thing and just sulk but growth happens in the uncomfortable in all areas of our life; physical and emotional.
Without the growth we would all just stew in our own misery and never get up and on out in the world. I stewed in it for years. I played the victim and decided that life was not fair and that everyone was out to get me. At 280lbs I was obese, sick and had decided that life had just dealt me a rotten hand.
It took me a lot of baby steps to grow out of that mindset and to move forward and it was not all rainbows and unicorns. It sucked and it was hard and I wanted to quit so many times.
I called BULLSHIT on it all regularly. I was a VICTIM.
The thing is, growth happens in those difficult moments. In the moments where we get uncomfortable and things suck. We want so badly to revert back to our defaults and to keep on as we would normally but for me something deep down just pushed me on and whispered "that's not where change happens".
Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is how we grow in all areas. As coaches, friends, partners, parents - as people.
So how do we get better at being uncomfortable when we want to call bullshit on it?
I’ve compiled a list of ways I try to get uncomfortable so I can grow. It’s not always easy and sometimes it downright sucks but it’s darn effective.
1- Say a difficult thing - Sometimes this will be in saying how you feel and sometimes it will be in not saying how you feel, putting yourself second and saying what needs to be said in a situation. It’s not always about who is right or who said what and sometimes it's not important. Sometimes the words I’m sorry on their own are necessary and though they can be hard - for me anyways - they are always appreciated. Saying how you feel can also be hard sometimes. Expressing ourselves is tough, especially if your words feel vulnerable. We walk around with armor on and sometimes it’s time to take it off. Armor is heavy man - It weighs you down. Take it off, even if only for a moment to see how light you can feel if you say what is in your heart and let someone see into your soul. You may be surprised by their response.
The amazing Janelle Pica just wrote a whole blog post about saying a difficult thing - you can read it here.
2- Do something out of the ordinary/experiment - If you have a routine like many people do with your workouts or your foods try something different. Maybe you are not ready to spend the day in your bikini because that is WAY out of your comfort zone or you haven’t had a carb in years and the idea of eating a hamburger with the bun is seriously scary. That's ok - little steps. I’m not saying turn your world upside down but maybe one day when you're not feeling the routine of the gym you could go for a hike or to a trampoline park. Doesn't that sound fun? (If you don’t want to go without a child take one with you. It doesn’t have to be yours. If you don’t have a child - borrow one. Any parent would be happy to loan you their child for the day. Maybe ask first though and try to find a child whom you know. If you don’t know any hit me up, I loan mine out regularly to people who want to do things like trampoline parks and go see children’s movies. I’ll even pay for their entry to wherever you are going.)
Dip your toe out of your comfort zone. Have a carb if you’ve been dreaming about them but are afraid. There is no need to go hog wild and end up feeling guilty over it but you might find that you actually feel better with a piece of fruit. Hmmm, who knew? You’ll never know what works for you - or doesn't work for you - if you don’t try.
3- Do something scary - For some people this will be having a slice of bread, for others this is bungee jumping. On a recent trip with a friend who never wears a bathing suit she faced her fear and came snorkeling with me. She wore her bathing suit in public and guess what happened?! NOTHING, nothing happened. We went snorkeling, she owned it, and we had a great time. We even decided to do it again the next day.
If you feel ready, do something scary. I promise you people are not as judgmental and mean when they are not hiding behind a computer screen. Yes, we still have people in real life who are downright nasty but something about a having screen between them and others makes some people feel safe to air their nasty opinions so do something scary in real life (that means like out in the world - I think you young’uns call it IRL). I promise it will be fine. If it’s not call me and we can TP their house (jk).
4-Remember that people’s opinions of you are none of your business - What you do, and how you step in and out of your comfort zone is none of anyone’s business. If you decide you don’t eat a certain type of food that is up to you. It is your body and your concern. If you don’t want to lift weights or don’t want to do cardio then don’t - I mean try lifting, you might like it - but the decision is up to you. What someone else thinks about your body, your feelings, your eating habits, your opinions, your beliefs, or your clothes doesn't matter. You keep working on you and I’ll be over here working on me and if you want some help you can come join me and the amazing tribe of women over in my Facebook group Fit in mind, Fit in body. It’s free, private, and a confidential space where we can share our deepest darkest without judgement.
As much as we want to call bullshit on it all and just remain in the place that is comfortable an amazing thing happens when you choose growth; the pain subsides and your heart grows three full sizes. - or at least that’s what I learnt from the Grinch
Plus, I’ve got your back, call me and we can cry about it or make plans to TP someone's house...