What is Positive Discomfort and How Can We Use It?
June 14, 2022
I feel like I’ve heard the saying, “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” over and over. In some instances, yes, I feel like it’s true, but I think it is way more nuanced than that.
Discomfort can be telling us so many things. It can show us that maybe we need to be taking better care of ourselves, that we are afraid of the unknown, or that there is a possibility to be stretching ourselves where we haven’t gone before.
I think a lot about the discomfort I was feeling when I was working in real estate. I was having panic attacks–very uncomfortable if you hadn’t guessed that–and for years I was more comfortable living in that discomfort than I was able to move into the unknown even though the unknown held so much more comfort for me. That discomfort, disguised as negative discomfort in the form of panic attacks, was telling me something and it just took me a while to listen.
There’s also a positive kind of discomfort that will tell you something as well. I think about the discomfort I’m feeling currently in my career around self-promotion. It is capital U uncomfortable. It feels weird and is something I’ve had to get used to, but it’s a kind of discomfort that has pushed me to become better at my job, make my world bigger, and has given me new skills that I am able to work with.
That positive discomfort can also come up a lot this month surrounding Pride Month. Uncomfortable conversations are things we need to get a lot more comfortable with. As we work to become allies to our LGBTQIA family and friends (not only for Pride Month but every month of the year) there will be discomfort that we have when it comes to having tough conversations with those that may not understand or be supportive. But that kind of discomfort is a positive thing because it will do more than help you grow, it could also help someone else gain a larger view of the world and will also bring many people comfort to know they have you supporting them.
So, this Pride Month, I am paying special attention to discomfort, both in the positive and negative sense…I have so many more thoughts about this as well, check out the video below for even more thoughts on what discomfort means to me and how you can check in with yourself and your discomfort.
I love you and I hope you have a wonderful Pride Month!!