I’m very, very uncomfortable right now. Although I want it to stop, I won’t let it stop because this feeling is exactly what will help me accomplish my goals. Let me explain with a little backstory.
I’ve wanted to be caffeine-free for years. For over a decade, actually. I’ve always wanted the ‘freedom’ of not having to rely on caffeine to be myself. And now, here I am. I’m totally caffeine-free… And I can’t stand it. I want to run and hide and peel my skin off because I’m so uncomfortable. All these nitty gritty feelings are grinding on me and I just. can’t. stand it. All I want to do is soften them with something — preferably with caffeine, food, or alcohol.
As I recognized this pattern in me, I reminded myself of one of my favorite quotes: “The way we do one thing is the way we do everything.” – Geneen Roth
I recognized that my desire to run from discomfort isn’t just something that I do with caffeine. It’s something that I do with all challenging goals.
Let’s take weight loss as another example (and I promise that I’ll get to that whole ‘how to achieve your goals’ thing right after). Right now, trying to lose weight is my other goal, and it’s also driving me crazy. Because recently, I got serious about it. Let me explain in a way that parallels what I just said about caffeine:
It pains me to publicly admit this, but I’ve wanted to be thin for my entire life. For over two decades, actually.
I’ve always wanted the ‘freedom’ of being in a thin body. And yet, here I am. I’m doing the work and losing weight… and I can’t stand it. I want to peel my skin off because I’m so uncomfortable. All these edgy, nitty gritty feelings are grinding on me and I just want to soften them with something — preferably with food, alcohol, or caffeine. (Sound familiar yet?) Since weight loss and remaining caffeine-free are my goals, I can’t soften these uncomfortable emotions with anything.
My current goals are preventing me from numbing my feelings in any way, shape, or form. And then it hit me today: What if this is the best thing ever?
Although I REALLY don’t want to be uncomfortable, I know for a fact that feeling uncomfortable is exactly what will help you achieve your goals.
So, what do I do? On paper, the answer is obvious: Stick to your guns, girl! Stick to your goals and get good at being uncomfortable.
In reality, this is sooo hard to do. But this is why I journal. This is why I practice self-awareness. This is why I practice feeling my feelings instead of numbing them with excess.
I do all these things so that I can have moments where I want to peel my skin off and sabotage my goals and still manage to find a way to keep myself on track toward my highest self: the version of me that can accomplish any goal because she’s willing to feel ANY feeling. No matter what.
The way we do one thing is the way we do everything. My old pattern is that, as soon as the going gets tough, I want to sabotage myself and run towards comfort. I call it an old pattern because I’d like to think that things are different this time.
This time, I’m going to try my best to allow myself to feel uncomfortable and see the whole thing through. We’ll see if it ends up killing me like I think it will. Chances are, it won’t.
And at the end of it all, accomplishing my goals will be inevitable. Because it becomes infinitely easier when I move moment to moment and ALLOW discomfort instead of running from it.