Sitting with the uncomfortable
We rarely sit willingly with our failures and weaknesses. Or the uncomfortable questions. Or the things that hurt us. We have a tendency to avoid them, to run away from them, to hide them from others.
I know I’m making a gross generalisation, but I believe it holds true for most people, most of the time. It usually takes exceptional circumstances or a momentary burst of courage or honesty to actively think about your deepest fears or failures. Or pushing yourself outside your comfort zone as a practice (and even then, I’m sure most people would rather do bungee jumping than staying with their own uncomfortable thoughts & feelings)
The only reason I am writing about it today is because I realised, after a week of daily blogging, that I’ve been writing mostly about positive ideas or things I feel comfortable writing about. And what kind of writer would I become if I did that all the time?
The one weakness that keeps creeping in my daily life is that I care too much about people’s opinions (of me or otherwise) and I let people’s words and actions overwhelm me more than it’s the case. Although it doesn’t seem like much, it does affect me quite a lot and I don’t seem to be able to fix it.
I fail to realise that people’s opinions & actions reflect more who they are than what they actually mean. And they are out of my control, so why would I worry about them or make them my problems anyway?
Sure enough, that sounds reasonable and easy to deal with now. Not so much so when it’s actually happening to you.
The solution? Why not train for those moments by sitting with those feelings regularly and practicing the response you want to have when faced with them.
Very much like in Tim Ferris’s fear-setting exercise, I need to sit with what hurts me or feels uncomfortable until I am able to let it go. Fear takes many forms, it’s not always about that life-changing decision you’re postponing or fear to make. More often than that, we’re faced with subtle challenging emotions and micro-moments of anxiety that add up over time.
Why wouldn’t we sit with all of that as much as we can? And write about it?