Sometimes life asks us to do things we're not comfortable with. Scratch that. Life always asks us to do things we're not comfortable with. In these situations, what are we to do? How should we approach them? What's the best course of action?
In my life, I'm always being challenged. Difficult people, difficult conversations, occasional health scares, and generally a boat load of anxiety that likes to take up a lot of my headspace day and night. If I had to guess, you've got some challenges too. Life probably isn't handing you roses and chocolates all the time. (If it is, please share your tips with everyone here).
And that's okay. Because while life can be downright difficult, and it oftentimes is, that isn't the problem. The real problem is that we're not sure how to deal with our inner world when this happens. We're not skilled at dealing with discomfort when it arises.
In fact, as readers of this blog may already know, your inner world is all you really care about anyway. When we say that life asks us to do uncomfortable things, what we're really saying is that some situation in the outside world made you feel uncomfortable in your inner world, and so it's your inner world you're trying to deal with, not the outside world.
This is always the first starting place when trying to fix something about yourself. You must always start by recognizing that it's not the outside world that needs fixing.
Sure, there are situations that need to be dealt with, like a leaking pipe, or a broken bone. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about the inner storm that arises when someone asks you to do something that you don't want to do. The turmoil that ensues after a driver cuts you off and speeds off into the distance, too far away to see, or hear, your anger. That's what we're talking about here.
The myriad of uncomfortable, or downright miserable situations that life puts us in, day after day. If you haven't noticed, they never stop, that is, until you learn to deal with your inner world.
You must recognize that you're not actually scared of, or mad at the outside world. You think you are, but really, you're having trouble handling your inner world. And that's okay. Just recognize this.
The moment you approach an uncomfortable situation with this perspective, a sense of ease will come over you. You'll remember that you can't control most things in your life, so there's no need to even try. That letting go of the need to control is a sense of relaxation in and of itself.
When you bring your focus back onto what is in your control - your inner environment - you realize that there's not a whole lot to do. You're in there, and you just need to relax around the discomfort. That's it. The rest will take care of itself.
You'll find that after you're able to relax and accept that things aren't too comfortable inside, you're able to focus on whatever task it is you're trying to do. If it's preparing for a presentation, you'll find that your nerves take the back seat, and your intellect drives you forward. If it's road rage, you'll take a deep breath and laugh at the fact that you just cursed a stranger out in the middle of a highway.
Whatever it is that you used to have trouble with, when you approach it as an inner problem and not something you have to fix out there, life gets that much lighter.
Try it. I'd love to know what you think.
Live with substance!