I love comfort (#typeninevibes) and I know that a lot of my comfort-seeking is more the AVOIDANCE of discomfort. I don’t want to be uncomfortable.
What things make you uncomfortable?
For me they have been things like:
- Taking my small kids out in public
- Working on the conflicts in my marriage
- Getting up in the mornings
- Doing dishes
- Decluttering and organizing my home
- Seeing my kid struggle or be upset
- Go to a social event I was nervous about
- Sitting with all the stress and anxiety I felt about motherhood and life
- Paying attention to how my body was feeling
No matter how simple these may seem, they were things I was avoiding because they were uncomfortable.
But staying in what felt COMFORTABLE was coming at a cost.
What does ‘staying where we are’ cost us? It has a cost to our relationships, to our health, to the state of our home. This complacency costs us something.
When we realize what we have traded for comfort, it can make us feel shame.
When my eyes were opened to what my comfort was costing me I felt like something was wrong with me. I needed to ‘do better’ and ‘be better’. The first step was letting go of the shame I felt about this. Then I had to make a plan what I wanted to do about it.
I decided I needed to TAKE ACTION.
Then I realized there were myths I believed about being Someone Who Takes Action. Myths like: it is easy, it comes naturally, it feels good, it feels motivating.
I realized that taking action felt very UNcomfortable
Listen in to this episode to hear:
- Why do we seek comfort
- The cost of seeking comfort
- A mindset shift to help you take action
- The purpose of discomfort
- Building your tolerance for discomfort
- Ways I made myself uncomfortable, on purpose
- A CHALLENGE to join in this month
Links mentioned in this episode:
The Simple on Purpose Facebook group (make sure to answer the entry questions)
Tag me on Instagram Use the hashtag #uncomfortableonpurpose
SIMPLE PLEASURE OF THE WEEK
Is FIKA – the Swedish tradition of taking a coffee break, emphasis on the break part. At the heart of it is a slowing down and truly breaking. FIKA often includes coffee, a sweet treat, and a good conversation. But it can also be done solo as well.
I love to FIKA at my home with coffee, a treat, and staring out the window at trees.
We live in a culture of BUSY and it can be a badge of honour to never stop and rest. But we know that we do BETTER WORK when we are rested.
Even as a mom you can FIKA. Over the years I have told my kids ‘mom is on a coffee break’ and I sit down to pause and slow down for a minute.
Full episode transript
Hey friends, it’s Shawna, your nerdy girlfriend and life coach from sublime purpose.ca. place for you if you feel like clutter, motherhood, relationships, life, like it seems so overwhelming. And if you are finding that you go about your day to day with some kind of resentment or frustration, this is a sign you’ve been living on autopilot, just letting life happen at you, instead of living it on purpose with your own purpose.
So thank you for being here. I am a certified coach practitioner, transformational life coach, and I use the enneagram faith if you want that included, and the cognitive behavioral therapy model as tools that I bring into my life coaching approach. I teach moms all around the world, the tools they need to set out the life they want their life on purpose. And that means knowing your vision, where do you want to go? What you want to be building, and knowing your values, what matters a long way. And whether you’re doing this with me through coaching through the life on purpose workbook listening to these podcasts. I’m so happy you’re here. Because I want to help you know what is the right next step for you towards living your life on purpose.
So that’s my long intro today. I feel like I hadn’t done an intro into the podcast in a while and I wanted to give you a little rundown of what I’m all about in what I share here.
Let’s dig into today’s topic, which is comfort. I want to give you a pep talk I want to talk about getting uncomfortable, uncomfortable. Because comfort is something that we seek. I know I seek it right now. I’ve got a nice hot coffee with me, I’m sitting in a comfy chair, I’ve got mice, my socks on my socks on.
Because I want more feet, I want the food I like I want the music I like but not too loud. I want to know where the bathroom is like, I want comfort.
And we’re designed to seek out comfort. Because after all, this has kept us alive. But comfort in the modern world, it looks so much more different, doesn’t it. And now comfort as we define it. Now it can kind of come at a cost sometimes.
When I was decluttering, my home about six or seven years ago, that was a really emotional experience for me. Because as I was standing in my basement full of boxes, I realized that I was living for comfort. And actually what looked like comfort on the surface was actually just complacency. Just letting things happen. And really, ultimately, the state that I was living in was an avoidance of discomfort, trying not to encounter the things that were uncomfortable.
Because there were some things that were really uncomfortable for me, especially at that point in my life, one of my harder seasons of life, going places with my kids, my small kids, Toddlers and Babies, working on the real life complex in our marriage. Exercise, like realizing I got to take care of this body is the only one I have. Getting up in the mornings with kids uncomfortable doing dishes uncomfortable decluttering and organizing my home uncomfortable. And then more emotional things like seeing my kids struggle or be upset, going to an event that I was really nervous about. Or just sitting all day with that stress and anxiety that I had about motherhood in life.
So what was comfortable the easy way out. But that’s also where I was finding myself stuck in taking the easy way out. It was a really hard road in the long run. Because comfort is doing what’s familiar, but not necessarily effective. It’s doing what’s easy for me more than what is right for me. It’s trading in temporary gratification for the real true gratifications that I wanted to build my life around. And comfort was what I had built my life around.
But comfort was costing me something. It was costing me my health. My marriage was suffering. My home felt cluttered and poorly run, which made me feel like a crappy homemaker, a crappy mom. I made parenting so much more harder than I needed it to be. You can find an episode on that I’ll link that in the show notes. With all the control I was trying to put on things to keep things comfortable. Overall, I was just really forming a poor relationship towards myself. I wasn’t proud of myself.
And when I kind of had eyes for this, the ways that I was just living for comfort, avoiding discomfort in this place of complacency. I judged myself, I thought, I’m doing it wrong. I need more willpower. I need more motivation. I should just figure this out. I shouldn’t be one of those morning people up in the mornings with their houses run immaculately. There’s just something wrong with me all of these things I need to change.
But when I decided that that shame wasn’t going to serve me, I’m going to let go of that shame. I’m not going to make changes from shame. But I want to do something about this. I gave myself a word for the year. This is like seven years ago right? That word was action. It felt like the answer out to the theme of my life, which was complacency.
So I started doing things like learning to exercise because I didn’t know learning it, Dubai running shoes decluttering my home, go into marriage counseling, like owning my part in things, parenting on purpose rather than parenting on default and from reaction, learning better ways to deal with stress and anxiety. It was uncomfortable.
Because some myths that I believed about taking action. If you become someone who takes action, and you get up and you do the things, it’s going to be easy, you’re going to feel motivated, it’s all going to happen, you’re going to feel great, I’d like while you’re doing it, you’ll just be like this buzzy shiny person, it’s going to come naturally, and you can change your whole life in three weeks. Really, it’s not like that taking action is hard. And you won’t always feel like doing it. And it won’t come naturally. And it’s going to take small steps over time over years. I feel like I have changed my whole life over the years, doing small things consistently.
But it’s also wildly uncomfortable.
So the question comes down to this. Am I willing to be uncomfortable?
Are you willing, are you willing to be uncomfortable, because if you are, you can do the things that you want to do. You can seek out the vision that you want for your marriage, for your friendships, for your work, and I’ve experienced this, I was willing to be uncomfortable, and it’s made me healthier. It has helped me to show up to be more connected in my marriage. It has empowered me in my motherhood, it has helped me to get better at stress, it doesn’t go away, but I can manage it better.
Whatever I’ve wanted to work on over the years, whether it’s growing a coaching business coaching other moms getting housework done, not turning to distractions, but actually engaging with my messy life.
Was I willing to be uncomfortable? And sometimes the answer was like, Yes, I am so sick of where I’m at. I want this new way. And sometimes the answer was like maybe tomorrow, because the reality is overhauling your whole life. That’s a big ask when you’ve spent decades, building up your identity and your daily life around it. So maybe tomorrow.
And that’s fine to say maybe tomorrow, but give yourself a plan on what starting looks like. And this is why I made the life on purpose workbook years ago to help women see a layout of what they wanted, and then pace themselves to get there. Because this can be a big hurdle for us when we are facing our own tolerance for discomfort.
That’s part of the journey is to learn to tolerate discomfort, we need to plan on what we’re going to do. While we’re doing the work of being uncomfortable. When you lay out how you want to act as a mum, a friend or wife how you want to show up at work. When you say I want to be more patient, I want to eat more vegetables, I want to move more, I want closer relationships, what will that cost you? It comes at a cost.
That’s why we don’t do it. It costs our comfort, our routines or habits our need to be right, our safety, it costs us our favorite excuses. And those pop up for us in our brain just automatically because doubts and excuses are our brain’s natural reaction to doing something uncomfortable. It doesn’t want to do the work.
But on the other hand, consider this, what is your life costing you right now. Because if you really think about it, there’s discomfort here. Maybe in your relationships in your body, in your work in your parenting. I was under the illusion that I could avoid discomfort in my life. But I realized I was just choosing which discomfort I was willing to feel the familiar discomfort of the status quo of staying where we are of the complacency I was in, or the unfamiliar discomfort of making change and taking action to the path we want.
Because the truth is about discomfort is it’s not a bad thing to experience. It serves a purpose. And when your discomfort serves a purpose, when it does, you become less scared of it, you grow a tolerance for it, maybe even appreciation for it. It’s kind of like when you’re going through labor, that pain serves a purpose. Otherwise, we’re totally terrified of that pain. And I mean, something’s wrong. But you know, when we’re birthing a baby, that’s a very purposeful pain, discomfort can be very purposeful in our lives.
So here’s my challenge to you this week, this month, take it forward, is to do one little thing each day that feels a little bit uncomfortable.
A while back, I was like I’m gonna challenge myself to be more uncomfortable this week. And I started keeping a list of the things I was doing. Here’s some of the things I wrote down. I pushed myself a little harder on my workout. Normally at the point I would tap out, I pushed through it a little bit I pre made my breakfast one afternoon, I kind of thought, you know, I would rather just sit on the couch, scrolling Instagram, and worry about this in the morning, but I’m going to do it now. I traded in social media for doing schoolwork. I’m going to school right now. And I find myself getting totally distracted on Instagram. So that is set some time limits on there, and do the uncomfortable thing of going into the schoolwork. Instead of the seeking comfort on the phone. I had a hard conversation with someone I love. I felt stressed. And I did something healthy about it, which is uncomfortable if you’re usually going to the other things that make it easy and just make it go away. I said sorry. I took my kids somewhere when I really just wanted to stay home instead, I like yes, guys, I’m in for you. Let’s do this. Let’s go. I cleaned my office, it was full of clutter from our bedroom demo. And I cleaned that out.
So you get it. These things, they can seem silly, they can seem insignificant, but they are the stepping stones to getting what I want. And they’re also just like little ways to build up my tolerance of discomfort and improve my relationship to being uncomfortable. Because doing these things that’s like, Oh, no, I don’t really feel like doing them. I don’t really want to or some of them were outright hard like having a really hard conversation with someone I love that was going to serve a purpose that was going to get me to where I wanted to go.
So do you want to get uncomfortable together, I challenge you to do something uncomfortable. One thing each day is something that moves you towards who you want to be and what you want in your life. Nothing is too small, nothing is too big. All of it matters.
If you want a little bit more guidance on your vision and your values, get the live your vision and live your values worksheets. I’ll link them in the show notes. You can also have the expanded version of all that in the life on purpose workbook. I’ll link that as well.
Ultimately, I would love to keep this really interactive, I would love to see what you’re doing. I would love to use the Facebook group to hold us accountable to doing this project together. So if you are joining in, tag me on Instagram at simple on purpose.ca or come into the Facebook community group, the simple purpose community group, make sure to answer the entry questions and take a leap be a little bit uncomfortable and post about what you’re working on.
Before I jump in to the simple pleasure of the week. I want to remind you that your ratings and reviews of this podcast mattered to me and they matter to the robots on the internet. So if you have benefited from this podcast if you enjoy it, please take a quick second to scroll down in your podcast player hit leave a rating or leave a review. They are much appreciated, especially if you are in Canada. I noticed that the Canadian iTunes site is pretty lacking in ratings and reviews. So if you are a Canadian listener, I hope that you will take a second and do that.
Simple pleasure of the week is a Swedish tradition called FIKA. And FIKA is essentially a coffee break. But here’s the thing about FIFA, at the heart of it is taking an actual break, slowing down. And the approach is to have a coffee or tea, mostly coffee in something sweet. And I’ve seen a really cute definition of FIKA that it’s coffee, a sweet treat and a good conversation which really instills like the embodiment of slowing down and like being with someone. So I’m going to have a speaker right after this, I made myself a coffee. My best friend brought me some gluten free cheesecake because she’s just so sweet and thoughtful. And I’m gonna sit in my living room staring out my window at trees, staring out my window at trees is one of my hobbies. And I’m going to have myself a FIKA and I’m going to include this conversation as being the intro to a kind of like having this virtual coffee date with you.
We live in a culture where you’re just supposed to be busy, and it’s kind of like a badge of honor if you don’t take a break. Oh, they’re so hard working. But we’ve learned that we’re supposed to rest we’re supposed to take a minute we work better when we are well rested. So don’t buy into the culture of busy. Buy into the culture of FIKA give yourself 10 or 15 minutes today, even if you’re with your kids, just set a timer. I don’t know what age they’re at, but have a conversation about this is going to be mom’s coffee break. I used to tell my kids this all the time moms on coffee break and sit on my chair and then look out the window and they would come and ask me for something and I’ll be like Yep, when my coffee break is over. You got it but right now I’m on a coffee break. So have yourself a FIKA today.
Alright friends, I’m so glad you joined me I love sharing this time with you have a great day.