You Can Get Out When You Puke — Productive Emotional Discomfort — Part Two

Last week, I gave you the assignment to examine your relationship to physical, mental, and emotional discomfort. Did you embrace the discomfort and do the work?

If not, go back, and do that right now.

It’s common for people to be familiar with the benefits of physical discomfort related to exercise; less so with the mental discomfort related to learning new information or ideas, and even less so with emotional discomfort. Productive emotional discomfort is the most avoided aspect of our experience, therefore it’s where the greatest potential for growth is. I’ll give you a simple and epidemic example: money.

If you ask most people about financial management, you discover they don’t do it. When you ask why, you hear something like, “I’m not good with numbers.”

This is a total lie.

Because if you completed the eighth grade, and know how to use a calculator, you have all the knowledge and skill you need to do financial management.

Dig a little further and you find what they really mean is, “Examining how I use money is uncomfortable.”

Uh huh. So? It’s not a pair of shoes.

The assumption implicit in the answer is, “I don’t do things that make me feel uncomfortable.”

But worse yet is the evidence implicit to begin with: that they weren’t aware of the discomfort they were in fact avoiding; i.e. the discomfort was unconscious.

Avoidance of unconscious emotional discomfort is the root of every problem in the world.

Period.

And it’s the root of every problem in your world, too.

Therefore, cultivating the ability to recognize that discomfort, and learning a healthy relationship to it is the most important endeavor of your life.

It also happens to be what Clear and Open is dedicated to, for this very reason. For my clients, I’m the guy who says you can get out when you puke.

You’re welcome. Stay tuned for part three next week.

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