Trading Discomforts

"I thought Right Action would feel good. Why is this so uncomfortable??"

Natural heart shape in a barbed wire fence on cloudscape background. Flock of birds flying through heart. Love, freedom, peace, hope and compassion concepts.

Hello, Grace here. I think most of us have the belief, or maybe the hope, that if we do the right thing everything will feel good. It comes up time and time again with my clients and students and to be honest, I feel it myself sometimes. We think that if we do our work and make the changes we need to make to live authentically that Right Action will feel good.


The reality is that while it tends to feel better in the long run, Right Action, at least at first, often means trading one discomfort for another. For example, it means trading the discomfort of keeping quiet and all that comes along with that for the discomfort of speaking your truth. If speaking your truth is Right Action it will still feel worth the discomfort but it does not mean it will be easy.


Right Action can feel scary and intimidating. It can threaten all the pieces of ourselves that have been protecting us by having us do things the old way. Also, any time we show up in a new way to an established environment there is an adjustment period while the people and interpersonal patterns adjust to our new way of being.


Sometimes the people around us cannot change with us as we change and relationships end or shift in nature and that can be incredibly uncomfortable. We have all heard stories of alcoholics getting sober only to have their spouses leave. This is an example of the relationship not being able to acclimate to the new paradigm. Does it mean the person should keep drinking? Probably not. But it does mean that the Right Action is going to be uncomfortable.


When we make changes in our lives the people and systems that are used to us being and behaving the old way sometimes put pressure on us to go back to the familiar old ways. This can be incredibly painful when we have finally mustered up the courage to change, only to be met with a less than supportive response.

When you change, you change the rules of engagement in your relationships.

I often work with people who are in the habit of giving more than they have to give. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard stories from a client of them finally setting a healthy limit, only to experience rejection, anger, or guilt trips. And sometimes the discomfort comes from the client’s own internal reaction to the new behavior.


Trying something new can feel scary! Just because we have worked through things enough to be clear about Right Action does not mean that we won’t bump back into all the things that kept us in the old patterns as we start to build new ones. There are reasons why we did things the old way, even if it wasn’t working for us.


So if it is going to be uncomfortable either way, why bother with making the changes? Well, it has been my personal and professional experience that when we choose the discomfort associated with the choice that is aligned with our higher good, the discomfort is temporary and often more tolerable than the discomfort of the old status quo.


We have the saying that people do not change until the pain of not changing is greater than the pain of changing. Even if it is hard it still may be the right choice. So forge ahead with courage, vulnerability, fortitude, and patience. You are worth it!

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