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Published on March 8, 2021

Why Feeling Uncomfortable Is a Sign To Improve Yourself

Why Feeling Uncomfortable Is a Sign To Improve Yourself
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Feeling uncomfortable may not be a pleasant experience, but it can be an opportunity to manifest positive change and personal development. Whatever caused the uncomfortable feeling may serve as a sign that something’s wrong. When you feel uncomfortable for no discernable reason, it’s unconscious—it may even manifest physically, for example, in the heart or the gut.

Negative emotions can reveal things of which you may be in denial, and with that revelation, you can empower yourself to maximize your potential. Not engaging with negative feelings is one thing, but ignoring them is quite another. So, let your watchword be “curiosity” rather than “fear.”

“Everything of which I have been afraid was based on nothing.”— A Course in Miracles

Accepting Negative Emotions

Negative emotions naturally impact our sense of well-being at the moment, and that’s only natural. But they also have a purpose: they alert us to the fact that something isn’t right.

Often, the thing that needs correction is thinking itself. However, it’s not easy to examine your own thinking. It’s a bit like tickling yourself—it just doesn’t work. Thoughts are wedded to our experiences, perceptions, beliefs, and prejudices to the extent that they are often irrational.

“Feeling arises from thinking.” —Michael Neill

So, rather than just wanting the feeling to go away, use it as a tool. You can disrupt the auto-responses in your thinking mind and think differently—think “outside of the box” of your conditioned perceptions and limiting beliefs. Ask yourself why you are feeling uncomfortable and examine the rationale behind that feeling. You will open pathways to different perceptions including the acceptance of not being certain.

Making a Friend of Not Knowing

Emotional discomfort is borne out of uncertainty which, in turn, arises from not knowing.

The human has historically strived for a state of “knowing,” from the ancient world to the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, secularization, and the Technical Revolution. Spirituality and wisdom have been supplanted by science and knowledge. “Knowing” has become synonymous with safety, and as animals – albeit highly intelligent ones – what makes us feel safe will always seem like a good option.

So, why, with all the facts and figures at your fingertips—just one click away—do you still experience unaccountable unease from time to time?

The answer is evolution. Despite the exponential development of the human way of life in the sense of form—especially over the last few centuries—you are still an animal. Although technological inventions have rendered redundant many of the physical skills of your forebears, your visceral feelings lurk just beneath the surface, ready to bubble up at any time.[1]

As children, we were taught that not knowing is a bad thing. The word “ignorance” has become almost exclusively a pejorative term, whereas, in truth, it simply means “lack of knowledge or information.” Certainty blinds us from new ideas and perspectives. It limits potential both for ourselves and others. Most of all, it cramps our creativity.

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To a young child, every day—every moment even—is an adventure, a chance for new experiences and discoveries. Compare the child’s experience to that of an adult who has made their mind up about everything and is sure that they are right. Boring, right?

Why Judgement Is Okay

You might feel uncomfortable in a situation where you are judging someone based on their clothes, their accent, their demeanor, their words, the car they drive, or maybe the house they live in. But that’s okay. You are designed to make instant judgments all the time because it’s another natural way of keeping yourself safe—it’s common sense, and you can’t help it.

However, there may be times when you feel a judgment come up and you question it:

  • Why do I feel uncomfortable about that person?
  • Who do they remind me of?
  • What is it about them?
  • What am I assuming?

The danger then is that you judge yourself for judging, but there’s no need for that. You have already disrupted the primeval reflex action thanks to your awareness, and so you can make an intelligent choice based on this. This is how feeling uncomfortable serves as a sign of improvement—an opportunity to grow.

Some people feel uncomfortable around others who have learning difficulties or physical challenges, but where does the feeling come from? Is it fear of the unknown perhaps? Or fear of the possibility of being disabled oneself? Or maybe just the unpredictability of someone who is “different”?

Imagine that you’re in a supermarket and a mother is scolding one of her three children. First, she shouts, then she swears. Eventually, at the end of her tether, she slaps the child. How does the child feel? How does the mother feel? What could she be feeling to behave like that? Most importantly, how do you feel, and why?

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How Discernment Promotes “Response-ability,” Not Reactivity

The ability to respond rather than to react is synonymous with consciousness. Blanket acceptance of and reaction to primeval responses consigns Renaissance Man to the dark ages. The trick is to have the awareness to choose which feelings serve you and which do not.

For example, there exists within humans a tendency to trust those who live nearer to them than those from other regions or countries—not just neighbors that they know by contact or sight but also people who look like them, sound like them, and act like them.

This knee-jerk reaction is based on fact since before the security of the “rule of law”—which we take for granted these days—misdemeanors were indeed more often perpetrated by strangers rather than locals. Without discernment, a tendency to distrust can all too easily develop into xenophobia or outright racism.

By analyzing your feelings, you can rationally choose how to respond to situations rather than simply react to them.

Discomfort Triggers

Feeling uncomfortable can often be the precursor of a breakthrough. For most humans, the preferred default position is control. Control—or rather the illusion, thereof—is the plaster we stick on fear because we don’t like this feeling.

There are several potential triggers to feeling uncomfortable.

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  • lack of authenticity
  • a conflict of values
  • lack of self-worth
  • lack of fulfillment
  • lack of purpose
  • lack of control in one’s life
  • sacrifice – playing a role
  • guilt

Lack of congruency between our values and our actions will always show up somewhere, whether it be conscious or unconscious, and one way is through a feeling of discomfort.

Self-Improvement—Where Am I Versus Where I Want to Be

Many people start their journey of self-improvement by expressing an aspiration for things to be better—a better job, a better social life, and better relationships. However, somewhere along the way, they realize that at their core is their desire to” be” better.

When you look in the mirror—literally or metaphorically—what do you see?

If you want to be the best version of yourself, then you have to be your real self—your authentic self. Your real self is not necessarily the version you have created, which may include many negative aspects. Your real self is your inner being, your higher mind, the version that came into this world innocent—and who still is.

Conclusion

So, the next time you are feeling uncomfortable, try moving towards that negative feeling rather than running away from it. Examine it, be curious about it, and in doing so, you will disempower it, thereby empowering yourself.

Next, identify the thought that created the feeling. You and you alone get to choose with which thoughts you want to engage and which to recycle. By recognizing the discomfort as a sign to improve yourself, you grasp the opportunity to be the best version of yourself—to “be” better.

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More About Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Featured photo credit: Mael BALLAND via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Gray Hughes

Life coach (using the motivational 3 c's Model) and writer.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

What Is Passion and What It Means To Have Passion

What Is Passion and What It Means To Have Passion
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I like to use the word passion interchangeably with words like determination, conviction, and love. Passion is a strong desire that can get you to do amazing things.

Passion is an emotion to be acted upon. Without action, passion yields no worthwhile results. Passion is the fuel in the fire of action. When you have passion for something, you love it even when you hate it.

So what is passion? How do you recognize your passion, and how do you put it to good use?

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What Is Passion?

A desire fueled by passion will bring about the greatest results in life.

I like to skateboard, but I don’t have the determination to push myself through broken bones and hospital visits. That’s why I’m not as good as I could be. I don’t have a passion for it.

Passion can push you through difficult times because you don’t care what it takes to become better. We all have the ability to create whatever kind of life we want. The secret to living the dream is hidden in our passions and what we do because of them.

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How to Know What You’re Passionate About?

Finding what you are passionate about is a journey in itself. Don’t be frustrated if you don’t feel like you know yet. Keep trying new things. It will come even if you have to build it. If you find your passion, or find yourself hot on its trail, don’t give it up.

What if you know what you have a passion for but you don’t do anything about it? This is the main problem with passion. You can have all the passion in the world for something but if you never do anything about it, that passion is useless.

Maybe you work a good job that pays all the bills but it doesn’t allow you to truly follow your passion. You’re afraid of what will happen if you change things up. Yes, change is scary, but it’s not until we leave our comfort zone that we find what we’ve been missing out on.

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You’re the author of your life. Don’t settle for the bare minimum just because it’s working out right now.

You will never know what you’re truly capable of unless you push yourself.

But even when you pursue your passion, you will find yourself tripped up by failures and other obstacles. You can’t let that get to you. It happens to everyone on the path of following their passion. Abe Lincoln had a strong passion for building a great country. You think he let a few failures stop him from that? Don’t let obstacles get you down.

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What About Passion for People?

The idea of passion also applies to people. Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking you love someone and not doing anything about it. Ask yourself, is giving up my pride worth it to maintain a relationship? What about being unselfish and sacrificing your time or comfort? If you can’t do that, it’s probably not real love, or you need to start making changes.

Often, I think we need to remind ourselves who we love and act accordingly. It’s easy to let family relationships weaken because of pride. Of course, you say you love your family, but when your brother is in the school play, and you hate plays, do you go?

The same applies to intimate relationships. Do you only love them when it’s easy? Real love takes sacrifice and work. You push through the difficult times because you love them and you understand that every passion pursued will have bumps in the road. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand what it means to have passion for someone. This is why divorce rates are so high and families are often torn apart by hurt feelings and unnecessary drama.

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Following any passion takes vulnerability and work. But I promise in the end, the outcome of such efforts will be the most fulfilling to your life.

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Featured photo credit: Randalyn Hill via unsplash.com

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