Is This What’s Stopping You?

Overcoming the discomfort of change

Over the last few days I have exchanged my usual morning journal practice for an “inner listening” writing practice.

Oh-my-goodness it is SO hard!

I feel like I did when I first began meditating. I expected to sit and breathe, and peace would magically descend, and I’d be transported to a happy peaceful place.

As most of you know that’s pretty much NOT what meditation practices feel like to begin with.

Quite the opposite in fact.

And so it was with my first few inner listening practices.

Each morning I excitedly sat and breathed while I settled into the moment – asking myself what I needed to know next.

As I opened my book and spread the beautiful pristine blank pages ready to start, I sighed happily, pen in hand, poised to hear the wisdom of my soul …

and then I’d get up because I remembered something I’ve forgotten to do

or I decided now would be the best time to have that second cup of tea

or my nose itched and I needed a tissue

you get the idea right?

Today ALL I could think of was my morning coffee which I’d promised myself with a double lashing of cream if I stayed the course

This is a kind of BIG discomfort that I haven’t felt in a very long time, and it was a really humbling experience.

With my private clients I am always handing out daily tasks for them to do, and I always caution “gentleness, and give yourself time to learn to do things differently.”

I know very well how change is fraught with obstacles, discomforts, set backs and then leaps forward. And yet, here was I like a race horse out of the gates expecting miracles to shower me from above the second my pen touched paper.


I’ve had to find my own way here to bring in some softness to all of my sketchy-these-aren’t-working-expectations (I didn’t know I had).

Searching to create some relief to help me and perhaps for any of reading this now, who are struggling with sticking to new habits or thinking about making some change or other.

So here are a few thoughts I’ve been having.

Love is the Remedy to Discomfort!

1. Most of us are cursed with some kind of perfectionism, and we won’t give ourselves time to learn different ways because if we don’t get it right in the first 3 minutes we think there’s something wrong with us or assume we’re just not up to the task.

From childhood we are trained to seek the approval of others. So many people to please! So many times we have disappointed others. And so we have all created an inner critic to watch our every move. I know I came up short many times and this just makes for a very hyper-vigilant critic that has plenty to say especially when I’m trying something different.

It’s a kind of protection from making mistakes but if you let the little wretch have it’s way, anything different you try will have it screaming it’s little head off… “NO NO! what if you do it wrong…what if you mess up…EVERYONE will know!”

And this is why we get into the habit of playing small.

The thing is, criticism never changes anything. When you criticise yourself your changes are negative. When you approve of yourself your changes are positive.

2. We avoid discomfort at all costs usually by going unconscious and letting our attention wander or get caught up chasing “shiny” things. At first with my new practice I really didn’t pay much attention to how I felt, because my mind went into hyper-drive finding errands to send me on.

I wasn’t sitting still enough, for long enough to hear any wisdom. I just thought I didn’t have any! And then I felt bad, and small and a bit helpless to actually recognise I was the problem. This was a new practice, one I really want to up-level and so I need to practice!

So, if you find your excuse for not doing something – is “not enough time,” I suggest you stop right at that moment and feel how you actually feel. Probably you’ll be feeling very uncomfortable, and there’ll be a little niggly thought in your head saying, I don’t want to be here doing this.

It’s your habit to avoid discomfort, of course you”ll resist a little at first, but with a little practice it will begin to feel easier and more doable and even really pleasurable and effective!

3. Anything you are going to learn takes time, and when you begin something new it never feels right. We need to let ourselves know that this is perfectly OK and natural. We need a reward for every practice regardless of how we judge the results. The worst thing I have done to myself is denying myself my favourite cup of Italian coffee until I “did good.”

I was literally telling myself I didn’t deserve my favourite drink unless I did well. When I talk about giving yourself a reward I mean something extra.

I’ve never thought about it this way before, but why do we think that withholding something that is already ours – to be given later if we please is any kind of incentive? A reward should be something more than you normally have – not your own stuff recycled!!!!

If you do that to yourself all you’ll feel is lack and resentment and very little encouragement.

I know this for sure!

We never progress well on negativity and criticism. We have to be our own cheerleaders at the very least.

We thrive on encouragement and praise and understanding.

We have to treat ourselves as worthy and enough as we are right now.

And in addition, everything else, every try we attempt, every effort we put in deserves extra praise and acknowledgment – not judgment.

Lighten up, have fun and find something to laugh about every day. We’re not doing brain surgery, this is not life or death situations- this is a desire to feel better and do better. So find ways to feel better as you progress, get used to rewards and praise as your guiding light.

Here’s a fun little recording I made for you about a practice that will quickly show you how easily we feel discomfort and how quickly we can change that feeling with a little practice and understanding. Click on the link here: Understanding discomfort

It’s a bit rough and ready but hey I am practising imperfection here!!!

Let me leave you with one last thought:

Freedom is not overcoming what you think stands in your way; it is understanding that
“what is in your way – is part of THE WAY”

Wishing you all a little more confidence and love each day


YOU have questions? Drop me a line. I’m delighted to help.


Are you ready to take that step towards creating positive change in your life?

You may not know exactly what it is you actually want, but you do know you’re looking for the next steps and some support and guidance to help you improve your life and accomplish more of what you truly desire!

Let’s just talk and see how we can work together to get you clear, confident and back in the Game

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