Let’s say you’re walking past a house on fire.
Do you run inside, on the off chance that someone might be in there?
Probably not. You know you’ll get burned. Instead, you call the fire department.
But let’s say you arrive at the house and realize your baby is inside.
You race inside the house, forgetting about your own discomfort, desperately searching for your child.
When you find your baby, grab her, and bring her outside, you’re probably suffering burns and smoke inhalation. Do you care much? Not in that moment.
You might not even feel the pain at all, your adrenaline is so high. All you care about is your child.
Notice how you’re willing to tolerate discomfort in the service of a higher purpose – saving your baby.
In fact, evolution has equipped us beautifully with systems (such as endorphins) that help us ignore pain when we are focused on survival or doing something more important.
A few fun facts about discomfort…
- Discomfort is negotiable.
What we feel will depend on our focus.
- We can deal with discomfort.
If we act in the service of a bigger purpose, we can easily tolerate discomfort.
- Discomfort, in the right amount, makes us stronger.
You just saved your baby from a fire. Now the rest of your life probably seems a lot easier.
- We already have everything we need to be able to tolerate discomfort.
We just need to practice tapping in to our natural abilities.
- To change your experience of discomfort, find your bigger purpose and focus on it.
Why do you want to lose weight? How will your life change for the better? Stay focused on that.
Obviously, being mildly hungry is a lot easier than getting burned. But you may find that eating less makes you uncomfortable in other ways.
- It’s hard to “waste food”.
We can hear our parents’ voices in our head: There are starving children! You shouldn’t leave food on the plate!
- Food keeps us occupied.
If we stay “busy” with food, then we don’t have to deal with other things.
- Food numbs us.
It’s a good painkiller for emotional and physical distress.
- We confuse emotions with hunger.
Often, we mix up emotions such as anxiety or anger with hunger. It feels like hunger… but it isn’t.
We do many things automatically, such as picking the last tidbit off the kids’ plates as we tidy up dinner, or popping a bite into our mouth as we cook.
- We’re worried about social consequences.
We don’t want to say no, make a fuss, or stand out as a “weirdo” at social events with friends and family.
- Our environment.
We’re there, and so is the food.
We naturally try to avoid all of these discomforts. So we make choices that don’t align with our big picture goals.
We eat because we’re bored, upset, stressed, or simply near tempting food.
But if we commit to pushing through the prickliness and itchiness of discomfort…
- We’ll be more able to reach our goals.
- We’ll feel more in control of ourselves and our actions.
- We’ll feel stronger. More courageous. We just did that difficult thing.
Moving forward, whenever you get uncomfortable, remind yourself:
- You have the power to get through this.
- Most discomfort doesn’t last that long – and it’s not that intense.
- Take a deep breath. Or three.
- Learning to tolerate discomfort while staying cool + calm + present will ultimately make your life better in the long run.
You can even try ranking your discomfort on a scale from 1 to 10.
- 1 is something like being just a teeny bit too warm.
- 10 is the absolute most painful, horrible, excruciating thing you can imagine happening.
Whatever situation you confront today, rank it. See where it falls.
Then decide whether it’s a big deal or not.
I work with women who want to learn how to create real + lasting health changes. We’ll use a sustainable, practice-based approach to build healthy habits into your life, one day at a time for an entire year.
As your coach, I’ll provide accountability + direction + support every step of the way. I’ll help you stay consistent, no matter what life throws at you.
If this approach resonates with you, CLICK HERE for details on how to work together.