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Confidence Starts by Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

Updated: Dec 5, 2022



Ever felt your chest begin to tighten, your heart begin to race, perhaps your stomach starts to backflip before having to perform in some way? (Whether that was on a stage or in front of your colleagues at work or before stepping out onto a sporting field or maybe before a test, perhaps your first day on the job... the list of anxiety-provoking situations goes on!) Those feelings are uncomfortable right?!


Would you like to be able to reconnect with what you love, and perform with confidence, liberated from your fears and doubts to do what really matters to you?


Did you know you could actually use your discomfort to be your super power?


First, these sensations mentioned are uncomfortable because what happens when we are uncomfortable? We respond! As living organisms we want to relieve that tension and return back to homeostasis or balance.


What is also happening is that our sympathetic nervous system is activated where our adrenaline is pumping and we are ready to fight or outrun a bear! We are filled with energy and can use this to our advantage if we can manage these overwhelming feelings and sensations effectively, while also knowing what to do when they are accompanied by sometimes not-so-helpful thoughts, memories, images etc.


It is pretty common to want to avoid these feelings in some way or the situations that give rise to them which in the short term can offer some relief, in the long term however, can move us further away from our goals.


Sometimes these unpleasant thoughts, emotions, memories, images, sensations etc that come up for us can feel VERY real, threatening and overwhelming and impact on our higher order thinking such as working memory, problem solving, decision making etc, subsequently our performance.


Since 2017, I have been supporting people to uncover what is truly important to them and I can tell you, deep down, it is NEVER simply to avoid all scary things for the rest of their lives!


...It's usually to have meaningful relationships whether that's with their families or friends or partners; or it's to finally have the confidence to start a business; to have better health; or it's to contribute to something bigger in some way... the list goes on! Whatever the case, our deepest values and goals, far outweigh a natural (yet unhelpful) desire to avoid the uncomfortable.


THE GOOD NEWS


By effectively practicing and applying evidence-based strategies, we can begin to shift our relationship with fear and even use them to our advantage, ENHANCING our performance!


THE CATCH


The answer does require some work, although it may not be as hard or scary as you may think. In fact it can even be FUN!


We do have to stop running from, fighting, numbing or avoiding what we feel though. We need discomfort to learn and grow, to adapt and gain resilience. Our true power is in acknowledging what we are thinking and feeling for what they are - words, images etc and still doing what matters to us anyway! One way could be to:

Acknowledge what is coming up - fear, anxiety, regret, doubt, insecurity etc "Aha! There it is, my old friend 'fear' is here". And the thoughts that come with them.


Connect with it in your body... where is it? What it's like? Just observe as a curious scientist. Engage with the present moment. Notice your surroundings and what you're doing.

There are many many strategies that can help facilitate this process and working one-on-one with an experienced counsellor or coach can help with exploration and strategising which approaches may work best for you and your goals. Get in touch if you would like to learn more and/or stay tuned for upcoming workshops on this!

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