Making change is challenging. When we try to move forward and make changes in our life we usually reach that point where we have to push through the uncomfortableness. At this point in the process we tend to fall back into our comfort zone of familiar feelings. These are the experiences that we know and while they may not be pleasant they are familiar and this is why we abandon change over and over.
The comfort zone consistent of 5 components
- Hurt Feelings
We can, however, use these elements to implement change. First, we must be aware of the emotions we are feeling. Then we must use those emotions to give change momentum.
How can these perceived negative feelings assist us?
- Fear Gives Us Focused Energy: Did you know that sadness is actually anger turned inwards? When we are afraid our attention is focused and all distractions have been eliminated. Intense concentration automatically focuses our attention on what is important and converts thoughts into action. When we feel fear we can choose to recognize it for the energy force that it is and redirect this fear energy towards something we are passionate about. We can use this energy to create positive changes in our life.
- Hurt feelings can show us where our passion is and how much we care: When we are passionate about something we turn to our family and friends for support. When they do not see the situation the same as we do, our feelings get hurt and many times we can turn away from our dreams because others have made us feel as though they were either unimportant or unachievable. We have our feelings hurt because we care. We care about the idea or proposal we have presented. We can use the energy from these hurt feelings and to reconnect with our passion, allowing us to move forward with intention.
- Anger creates massive energy for us to use. By allowing ourselves to be the observer in our life, we have the opportunity to be aware of the anger and feel the energy that surges up within. Our heart races, our checks flush, and our breathing patterns change. As Davene pointed out this is a power tool that does not need a battery to be productive! We can replace these negative thoughts with positive thoughts (Law of Substitution) and remember that what our attention is focused on manifests. (Law of Growth)
- Guilt is anger directed at self which provides energy for change: Feeling badly about something that has happened validates that at the core we are good people. These feelings also validate that our spiritual compass is working. Mistakes are not about good or bad they are opportunities for growth. If what is making you feeling guilty can be fixed then fix it. If not the past lives in the past, forgive yourself and learn the lesson that presented itself during the experience. Change your beliefs rather than berating yourself. Treat yourself with the same kindness you would show to someone else.
- Unworthiness allows us to focus and stay on track: It is very important to be the observer when these emotions surface. Feelings of unworthiness usually surface when we have too much on our plate; when we are overextended. Multi-tasking is not productive, contrary to popular belief, and feeling unworthy reminds us to pull in the reins. We do not have to give anything up but we do need to prioritize. We need to make a list and work through the list rather than keeping all the balls in the air. Ironically unworthiness can bring us the most satisfaction because it reminds us that we cannot be everything to everyone. Remember who you are and what you have to offer and then share those gifts with others.
I taught nursery school for years and while Mark and Davene were discussing the above, the below thought popped into my head.
Preschool children are busy and they are little sponges, soaking in everything around them. Similar to adults they too can feel overwhelmed. If you place a toy box in front of a young child you will usually find that they dig, and dig, and dig through the items in the box, spilling them onto the floor. They may find what they are looking for but usually they empty the toy box and move on. That is because their choices are not clear and it is too much work to make a decision.
If you take that same child and place them in a room with toy shelves, where their choices are lay out in an organized fashion they will quickly find what they want and begin playing. They may even return to the toy shelf again and again to add other toys to their imaginative play. Their choices are clear and because the feeling of being overwhelmed has been eliminated they are very focused and clear on their intent.
The next time we are feeling one of the above emotions we can remember the nursery school child. Step away from the toy box and focus our energy towards our passion. Use our DMP as our toy shelf and when we are hear the call of the comfort zone we can direction our attention back to being the observer. See the comfort zone for what it is and redirect those negative feelings to give change momentum.