Get Comfortable Feeling Uncomfortable
The uncomfortable truth about successful Clutter Clearing is that to successfully clear your clutter you will have to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable.
It’s the only way we know we’ve stepped outside our cluttered comfort zone and are in the learning and change zone where we need to be to succeed.
There are 5 reasons why we must get comfortable being uncomfortable on our Clutter Clearing Journey.
1. It’s a Sign
Being uncomfortable is a sign we’re in the learning and change zone that is outside our cluttered comfort zone. It’s a sign that you’re learning which in turn gives you choices. When you’re not feeling at least a little uncomfortable on your Journey, it’s a sign you’re not focusing or learning.
1. The Facts
When we have clutter, we actively avoid facing and acknowledging the reality of the hard facts because of the negative feelings they can trigger – overwhelm, anxiety, fear, depression, anger, shame, sadness, guilt etc. Step 1 of the Journey is often the most uncomfortable because we gather so many facts about our cluttered comfort zone through the photo exercise, e-mail exercise, stock take exercise, usage exercise, LIFE Timeline etc. The facts are uncomfortable, yet the facts will ultimately help you make realistic decisions on your Journey and succeed in achieving your Clutter Free Goal.
2. Our Tolerance
Our habit has been to give up when we feel uncomfortable. All the negative feelings we experience when we look at our clutter (see point 2) cause us to give up. Consequently, over time our tolerance level for feeling uncomfortable gets lower and lower which means we give up quicker and quicker. By getting comfortable with being uncomfortable outside our cluttered comfort zone through regular, routine, bitesize exposure to the discomfort, our tolerance slowly and steadily increases, and our comfort zone can grow.
3. It Improves Memory
Learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable helps your brain create new neural loops that trigger creativity and enhance your memory. Research has shown that when people mix familiar, routine information with new information, it actually improves the persons memory of both the new AND the familiar information, in a large part because it triggers the hormone dopamine – the feel-good hormone – which is ONLY released when you experience new things. This confirms what we’ve always known – getting into a regular routine of doing your Journey videos will enable your comfort zone to grow to envelope where you’re standing now. Three cheers for having a routine…..!
2. More Good than Bad
When we learn to be a little uncomfortable outside our cluttered comfort zone on a regular, routine basis, and we learn to acknowledge and sit with that discomfort, it allows us to recognise that it’s a sign, gather the facts about why we’re feeling uncomfortable, improve our tolerance and improve our memory. I don’t know about you, but I’d say all those things far outweigh a little temporary discomfort – especially when I know it’s going to enable my comfort zone to grow.
How to become Comfortable with Feeling Uncomfortable
Of course we’re going to have to learn how to manage our discomfort on our Journey. Just as we have to break our habit of blitzing and giving up, we have to break our habit of being so uncomfortable we end up in the panic zone, get overwhelmed by the discomfort, and just like we always have, give up.
We’re going to have to start by dipping a toe outside our comfort zone to test the water, and then gradually build up to being able to stand outside our comfort zone for 2 hours a day, 5 days a week.
So how do we do that on our Journey?
There are 5 things you can do.
- Remind yourself that everything you’re learning – especially in Step 1 – is about the past. It’s what you USED to do, often without even realising it. Once you become aware of what you used to do, you have a choice about whether to continue to do that in the present and future. So being uncomfortable is actually giving you choices.
- Smile. I know – crazy, ridiculous, but it’s been scientifically proven that the muscles you use to smile trigger a positive emotional response in your brain. If you don’t feel like smiling when you feel uncomfortable, put a clean pen or straw horizontally between your upper and lower teeth and bite down on it. It will help you trigger that positive emotionial response.
- Talk to someone / therapist about your discomfort. Acknowledging it out loud can reduce the intensity of the feeling, especially if we are talking to someone we feel safe sharing with.
- Be quiet and still. Our habit is to do whatever it takes to avoid being uncomfortable, so just be quiet and sit with the feeling. First for a minute, then two minutes, and build up the time. Before you know it you’ll be able to sit with the discomfort until it passes.
- Focus on your WHY. Why are you on your Journey? Look at your Worksheet 7’s and Motivational Mood Board. Is feeling a bit uncomfortable now going to be worth it when you become clutter free Forever?
Few people enjoy being uncomfortable, especially when our comfort zone has been cluttered for years or decades. However, we won’t successfully clear our clutter unless we reframe our discomfort as a sign that we’re in the right place – we’re learning, changing and most importantly, getting closer to our Clutter Free Goal.
Our finest moments are most likely to occur
when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable.
M. Scott Peck
If you are ready to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, visit my Help Centre to find out how I can help you get started. https://www.clutterclearing.net/clares-help-centre/