Being okay with feeling uneasy is key when starting anything new. No matter how much work and life experience you have, there will always be a level of unease when starting new projects, meeting new people, travelling to new places. However, it’s the degree of being okay with feeling rattled that will decide the ease with which you explore new ground, tackle new projects and embrace change.
Being okay with feeling uncomfortable is a skill they don’t teach you in school. If anything, feelings of unease are seen as negative and something to steer away from. But the more you hide or avoid them, the harder you will find it to try new things and maintain an open mind about your forever changing self.
Your body pretty much unfurled and formed by itself as you grew from a baby into a toddler into a teenager and beyond. At the same time, your sense-of-self needed experience, knowledge and memory as building blocks.
Driven by your innate curiosity, you initially played with all colours, shapes and sizes. But you soon intuited your significant elders interpretations of your exploration, showering you with love and affection when you met the criteria of the tribe, and withdrawing from you with frowned looks and cold energy if you didn’t.
You’re a boy.
Pink socks? No!
Blue socks? Yes!
Disapproval rattles the part of you that wants to belong (it’s the lizard brain, stupid!). Approval unsettles the part of you that wants to feel full of life through adventure, risk, innovation and excitement.
The rules of the tribe become firmly embedded and your mind takes over the tribal arbitration as by osmosis. ‘I like this’, ‘I don’t like that’, ‘I am like this, not like that’. ‘I’ve never been able to eat peanut butter’, ‘I’ve always loved dogs’. ‘I’m shy’, ‘I like to be the centre of attention’, ‘I…’ You can’t try new things because you’re already fully formed, but this isn’t set in concrete, even if you think or feel so .
You can change this though! Being okay with feeling uneasy takes practice but can be done. Proven disciplines including meditation, freewriting and breathing exercises help to circumvent the internalised arbiter and the fearful people pleaser.
As soon as you include these type of methods in you’re life, you’re away. The more often you practise these type of disciplines, the more being okay with feeling uneasy will become your second nature. In some cases, uncomfortability even gets exciting. This will make you unstoppable.
Suspend the call for efficiency, be happy to bust your own myth of who you think you are. It’s best not to go it alone but find or create a tribe that supports and encourages you.
Cliché or not, all boundary-pushing, eternally curious, interesting, eccentric, innovative travellers, cooks, thieves, inventors, entrepreneurs, knitters, entertainers, scientists, artists, lovers, happy sages and other brave humans have one thing in common: they feel uncomfortable but try it anyway.
© Sitara Morgenster