Yesterday I made a case for wanting. Today my case is for discomfort. Even though we know evolving past our self-limiting beliefs is right, it doesn't mean it will feel good. We'll stretch just an inch further than we imagined we could go, we'll feel the tug of this new self-extension, we won't be able to predict how far is too far, and this all will make us feel uncomfortable. The truth is, discomfort is where everything changes.
It would be easy to go backwards into the safety of predicted outcomes: I know when I go this way, I'll get there on time. I know when I give them what they're used to from me, I don't question myself. I know if I don't ask, I can't be rejected. Predicted outcomes are comfortable and non-movements. Non-movements don't only hold us back, they calcify around our energy, creating hardened shells where enthusiastic live-wires used to be. And it's all because we avoid a little discomfort.
When something aligns with what we want, but feels slightly uncomfortable, we are evolving. We have to practice this discomfort. We have to resist over-serving it with "what ifs" and "maybe I shouldn't haves" and replace it with quiet and the groundedness of believing ourselves when we claim what we want. Otherwise, we don't just stall. Our soul mechanism gives out and eventually collects dust. It gets trashed. It loses the invisible force that made it tick and, eventually, it dissolves. We can't afford that.
Yesterday I told you about my five categories of wants: Labors of Love, White Space, Time Wealth, Vitality, and State of Being. Anchoring those five columns were four rows: Experiences, Internal Metric, Happenings, Check Marks. I'll explain:
Experiences were how I described those five categories - the kinds of things I wanted to happen under each heading. So for Labors of Love one experience might be for this to be a successful, helpful blog and under Time Wealth I might say I want the experience of traveling to new places twice a year.
Internal Metric means how I measure my forward action toward my experience. What is the benchmark that lets me know I'm headed in that direction? It's important that it remains internal because this is where expectations can cloud our better judgment and all of a sudden we think we want to win So You Think You Can Dance instead of creating our own choreographic masterpiece because a second cousin of ours thinks that's the only way to "make it" as a dancer. You get the picture. Measure internally.
Happenings are those less grand instances that will eventually lead to experiences. They are measurable and medium-sized. If I need $6000 in savings to be able to travel twice a year, that means I need to save $62.50 a week. That's a happening. I need to work for that, I need to save that and manage it. For my experiential desires to come true, it needs to happen.
Check Marks are the boring things that have to be, you guessed it, checked off the list day to day. That means if I want this blog to be successful, I need to write a blog post 2-3 times a week. Check marks are the lowest common denominator but they're each connected to the bigger idea of experience and what I ultimately want out of my life. And if I have check marks that aren't connected to the bigger picture, I erase them.
At the end of the whole process, I took a photo of the Post-It Blueprint and then scrapped the whole thing. Looking at it made me nauseous (or that could have been the fact that I had written every Post-It with a Sharpie). Either way, something about putting it out there made me uncomfortable enough to put it away. I ripped it down from the wall and stuffed it into my drawer. Because one thing became certain, I saw what wasn't up there. There was nothing about worry, or prestige, or even regular old standards of success. It was about vibrance and the productive kind of effortlessness. It was all about my own alignment.
The thought of enacting some of these check marks and happenings made me uncomfortable. It felt uncomfortable to show myself my hopes and dreams on my bedroom wall. It made me feel, ya know, accountable. But we should be. And this is the only place to which we should be accountable: Ourselves. Our dreams. Our desires for a life that looks good to us and not fragments based on predicted outcomes and playing it safe and being comfortable.
So I took the Post-Its down, but it didn't matter. They had been up once. And I could still smell the Sharpie.