When I first read this it it hit me at my core. I quickly realized that I have always been an avoider. I hated feeling uncomfortable and, as an empath, I hated feeling others' discomfort. I would avoid, retract, dismiss, and even neglect people and places where I may have to face having a difficult or uncomfortable conversation. Avoidance became my safe and known space, despite sometimes being an unhappy one. It meant losing a lot but at least I was comfy cozy. Its surprising the lengths one will go to maintain comfort.
Let me tell you, being uncomfortable for a few minutes beats a day, year, or even a lifetime of unhappiness, unhealthy relationships, unsought dreams, or whatever you are allowing yourself to live with due to the fear of discomfort.
Let me get personal here for sec. I've always been scared to tell my brothers I want to spend time with them, especially as an adult. Recently I had the idea of planning a family Christmas and initiated a Skype date with my brothers. Beforehand I was doing a lot of assuming about it because I didn't know what they thought of the idea, whether or not they wanted to make this happen, or if they'd listen and hear what I had to say. I needed to stop and not be afraid to ask the question I was scared to. So when the conversation started to go to a place where I was shutting down and getting frustrated because I felt my point wasn't clear, I began to actually speak what I had to say. With my heart pounding, my face twitching, and my voice trembling, I said something to the affect of "I really just want to create a space and time where we can all get together and spend some quality time as a family. But first, I need to know is this something you guys want to do?" I was so scared of my own families rejection that I had avoided communicating the relationships I wanted.
The conversation turned out great. I was proud of myself for speaking truthfully and honestly and into the discomfort instead of assuming, being vague, and feeling hurt in the end out of my own lack of communication. The best part was that they were on board.
What was uncomfortable for only a couple minutes turned out to be a huge win. Success!
Success can look like many different things to different people. But we all have these situations in our lives. The more you practice pushing into the discomfort the easier it will become. At first your voice may shake, just like mine did, but give yourself props for showing up. I promise, as you keep practicing, your resilience will grow and one day you will look back and see all the success you've had.