One hot summer day found me at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I was on a river rafting trip with Arizona River Runners and 30 other people. My buddy Brian was driving the boat on this 9 day trip down the Colorado River.
One evening after dinner while people were pitching their tents, one of the passengers came running up to tell us that there was a rattlesnake near the tents. Brian grabbed his “snake tool” and we headed off to capture the snake and relocate him to another part of the beach. A few of the passengers were quite fearful because they had never seen a rattlesnake.
Try as we might, we couldn’t get close enough to snag it. The snake preferred to stay deep in the brush. We assured the frightened passengers that snakes would rather avoid people and that this snake would try to get as far away from us as possible.
On the last day of the trip, a woman approached me and Brian and confided that she was so uncomfortable with snakes that she had decided to stop drinking water. Her plan was to get so dehydrated that she would have to be helicoptered out of the canyon. Temperatures at the bottom of the canyon can get as high as 120 degrees in the summer, so if you don’t drink water you can get dehydrated bad enough that you’ll have to be flown out to the nearest hospital. Cost: $1500 for the ride.
She had a choice: possibly risk her life by dehydration and pay for evacuation from a trip which she had already spent a good deal of money, or face her discomfort in order to experience a once in a lifetime adventure.
She chose to stick it out. She realized that to experience the beauty and majesty of the Grand Canyon from a boat on the river, she would have to endure some discomfort. Like any wilderness expedition, a river trip down the Canyon involves blazing heat, sleeping on the ground, no shower or public facilities, and an array of wildlife including poisonous snakes. At the end of the trip, she shared that it was one of the most incredible experiences of her life. She decided that she could endure some discomfort.
How many opportunities for growth have you passed up because you wanted to avoid some discomfort? How many exciting adventures have you missed out on? How much of the juice of life have you left behind because it might involve discomfort?
T. Harv Eker says in his book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”: “The only time you are actually growing is when you are uncomfortable.” Where you are now in your life, financially, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, is within your comfort zone. To grow, to learn and to change, you need to step out of that comfort zone and get uncomfortable.”
It’s not easy to do something you’ve never done before. It won’t feel right, you won’t be doing it perfectly, you will feel out of place, it’s not what you thought. However, with a little consistency and by doing it regularly, something interesting happens: It starts to get easier. If you persist, something amazing happens. It becomes very comfortable to do it and possibly uncomfortable not to.
This is how habits are formed. You give your(subconscious) mind time to get comfortable with something new by walking through the initial discomfort. Think about the things you want to do but haven’t, like starting an exercise program, taking a class, going on a trip, introducing yourself to someone or joining a club or organization. Is it the discomfort of the unknown that’s stopping you? If you want to move you in the direction of embracing discomfort for growth or learning, here are some things to thing about.
- Life is not always comfortable. Discomfort will come along for no other reason than the fact that you are alive. Even if you could stay in your jammies watching tv all day, you’d still get hungry, bored, etc. What kind of life is that anyway?
- There are areas of your life where you already accept discomfort because there is a great payoff in doing so. Example: getting up to go to work, going to the dentist.
- Discomfort by itself won’t kill you. It might make you grumpy, angry, scared, or nervous, but rarely does anyone die from discomfort.
- You need discomfort. That’s how life gets your attention. You are forced to take action even if you don’t want to. For example: ” I don’t have time to eat but I’m so hungry I can’t think straight.”
- Discomfort makes like worth living. There is discomfort in uncertainty. But if all you ever had in your life was certainty, you might do something to screw it up just to make it more interesting. (People do it all the time, for example, creating drama.)
- You can feel uncomfortable and not let it stop you. When you are uncomfortable in a new situation, simply acknowledge that to yourself. “I’m uncomfortable but I don’t need to let it stop me.”
The reason hypnotherapy is effective in creating change is that it helps your mind become comfortable with the new and unfamiliar. Try this on: every time you feel uncomfortable see it as an opportunity for growth. Embrace discomfort! Welcome it! If you are uncomfortable, it simply means you are alive and growing. If you just can’t stand the discomfort but have decided that you need it, I can help you. Contact me by clicking here.
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