Updated: Dec 6, 2021
This is an important post because as humans we often times think everybody else is happier than we are. We think that other people do not experience the uncomfortable emotions that we do on a daily basis. I assure you that is not true. Yes some people might appear to be happier be cause they are buffering with wine, shopping or social media, etc., and not fully experiencing their emotions. The truth is anybody who has a brain is going to experience ALL of the emotions, both good and bad.
Brooke Castillo calls this the 50/50. Half the time we feel great and life is good, the other half we are dealing with uncomfortable emotions and struggling in some way. When we think that we should be happy all of the time, not only are we rejecting reality, we are setting ourselves up for failure because it is not possible. In addition, do we really want to stifle our growth to feel comfortable and "happy"? What if instead of pursuing happiness and comfort all the time, we embraced the gifts that come with discomfort? What if we decided that we do not have to make uncomfortable emotions a problem and we just let them be there? Learning new things and taking on challenges is definitely going to be uncomfortable so this is a valuable skill to acquire. How does that feel when you even read it in print?
I am guessing a little scary! Think about it. We spend the majority of our lives avoiding things that make us uncomfortable because we do not like the way it feels. Because of that, we resist the uncomfortable emotions and they become even more magnified and we feel them throughout our body. If we do not resist a feeling on the other hand, it is a vibration that lasts about 90 seconds and then it dissipates. Sure, it may come back and probably will, but it is just a vibration that cannot actually hurt us or harm us. So knowing this, why do we make uncomfortable emotions such a big deal?
Because as humans we seek pleasure and safety. We do not want to step out of the cave or our comfort zones and put ourselves in any sort of danger. An important distinction is the danger of 2021 is a little different from prehistoric times. Back then we needed to be accepted by the tribe and relied on each other for our very survival. In modern times, the primitive brain still wants us to be safe and part of the tribe but also in an emotional way. Therefore, when we feel rejected by somebody or maybe get negative reviews online, our brain wants us to think we are in danger and that we should run and hide.
I am going to suggest to you that avoiding uncomfortable emotions is not useful. In fact, embracing them and letting them be there without making them a problem is a life changing skill. The reason for that is we can go after any goal or try to accomplish huge things when we are willing to experience ALL of the emotions. We are so limited when we strive for being happy and comfy all of the time.
What have you been putting off or avoiding in an effort to stay safe and comfortable? Remember, the only thing standing between you and the life you want is your brain BS!
Join me in The Brain BS Podcast to continue this discussion.