I love to feel good! Don’t you?
I mean, we are human, right? And human beings LOVE to feel good. We go to motivational conferences, we love to have our favorite comfort food and watch our favorite movie, or we love to hear stories that make us feel good.
You know what feeling I love even more than “good”? Anxiousness. Not anxiety. Anxiousness. There’s a difference.
A lot of times, we humans mistake that “feel good” feeling for growth or for happiness. Thing is, when the conference is over and the comfort food is gone, we step right back into the lives that we are used to living…
and if you are wanting to move forward, that “same ol’” life feels frustrating and like a whole lot of “stuck.”
Some of you may be asking “what’s wrong with staying in my comfortable life? Maybe I’m not moving forward, but at least I know I’m safe here.”
Stuck may feel like a safe place, but it doesn’t lead you to where you want to go, and that kind of stuckness doesn’t feel good. It leads to worry and frustration. You might ask yourself, “What happens if I try and fail?” Then, by simply asking the question, you begin to imagine all the pain and embarrassment of failing as if you actually experienced it. Or maybe you wonder, “What will I miss if I don’t try?” and then you worry that you don’t have the ability or the drive to do anything about it. Knowing what you want and feeling like you can’t have it creates anxiety, and that isn’t a good place to be. In fact, it’s a horrible place to be.
The antidote to this kind of anxiety is to step out of the comfort zone, which also creates a feeling of anxiety—a good and necessary kind of anxiety! I actually like to call it anxiousness— just to differentiate— and while it’s still scary, I have come to LOVE the way it feels.
So, what’s the difference?
It’s a choice, really…
When we are feeling anxiety, we recognize the feeling as a “bad feeling,” and we look for ways to feel good again. One way to escape the anxiety is to numb: We numb with food; we numb with movies; we numb by working too much… which, of course, creates a cycle of bad feelings and frustration, a temporary rush of “good feelings” that lead to more anxiety, not a true escape.
Another way to “get out” of anxiety is to dream about making a change—which, if we aren’t careful, can actually be another form of numbing. We get excited about our dream, so we take a step forward. We might begin to read piles of personal development book, listen to podcasts, attend seminars—all of which are good steps to take. When that is all we do, however, it can do more harm than good. That first step must be followed by the next step—something new and uncomfortable—and the thought of taking that step doesn’t feel good. It feels scary!! So, instead of making the decision to actually step into a new kind of anxiety (or anxiousness,) some of us choose to turn personal development into another form of “feel good” numbing—and we stay “stuck.”
The way out of the anxiety of stuckness is the anxiousness created by taking the next step.
This is why I’ve become so addicted to stepping out of my comfort zone. It may feel scary in the beginning, but the feeling on the other side is exhilarating! I’ve learned for myself that the feeling of anxiousness is actually necessary to grow and to create the life that I desire to live.
As human beings, all of us want more. It’s not about being ungrateful. There’s nothing wrong about being grateful for what we have and never being satisfied with where we are. We are progressive beings! We are meant to progress. Personally, I believe that’s why we’re here. We will never feel completely happy or joyful staying where we are because we are made to progress—even though it feels scary.
I admit—the anxiousness of stepping out of our comfort zone is not a great feeling—at least not at first. It’s very uncomfortable. It can cause all kinds of clutter in your brain. But I promise you—if you take the step and let yourself stay in that feeling, eventually the fog clears. Instead of brain clutter, you will discover a new way of thinking and you will experience life on a whole new level. That’s what I’ve become addicted to—it feels much better than being stuck.
If you are are tired of the anxiety that comes from being “stuck,” and you would rather feel the anxiousness that leads to extreme joy, try my 5 Steps to Finding Your V*O*I*C*E.