What do you make it mean?
I bet you’ve experienced this: you tried something new and did not get the level of success that you had hoped for. You’re bummed out.
In reality, even without getting the success you expected, you did a lot of growing: you moved forward, you took action, you created something that wasn’t there before. But that’s not what you are thinking about right now. You are just discouraged and want to quit. I have been there many times.
There is a lot of discomfort that comes with a perceived lack of success.
At this point, what you make the “lack of success” mean will determine whether you continue to
move forward or whether your discomfort starts to move you backwards. And that, my friend, will be determined by how you think.
Discomfort can go both ways
Discomfort can move you forward. You can use your “fail” as a stepping stone for the next adventure.
Think about a child learning how to walk… When he falls, he can decide that he is not good enough, he is really bad at walking, he is never going to learn how and he is done trying. Managing discomfort this way pulls him backwards. On the other hand, he can decide to get up one more time. And every time he falls and gets up, he gets stronger and enhances his ability to walk. This is discomfort that moves you forward.
Now of course, the child doesn’t think about all of that. He responds to his environment encouraging him to stand up and try again. This makes him willing to be uncomfortable.
We, as adults, can take a look at our minds and see what is going on in there, decide whether we are using discomfort wisely or not.
Does this discomfort comes from a loving discipline for myself? Am I worth doing this to?
There is a huge difference between loving discipline and beating ourselves up.
When we discipline ourselves, we do a lot of uncomfortable things. We do stuff on our calendar that we don’t want to do, we eat foods that we may not want to eat, we refuse foods that maybe we would rather eat, we get up early when we’d rather stay in bed, we pay our bills, we follow through on commitments that we make.
So many of those things are uncomfortable and they might face us with feelings of deprivation. But this is the kind of discomfort that serves us. We can embrace it because of the growth that it produces.
Discomfort that doesn’t serve us is the kind of discomfort that comes from berating ourselves and hating ourselves. We might inflict this kind of discomfort on ourselves because we have thoughts that we deserve punishment, that we should suffer, that we aren’t good enough, that we aren’t acceptable, that we must be better.
Either way, the discomfort comes from the thoughts in our mind–the sentences in our head.
Once you realize the difference between the two kinds of discomfort, you can begin to change your thoughts if necessary. And thoughts always bring about feelings which trigger actions and results.
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