Be Uncomfortable on Purpose!

August 11, 2009

Doesn’t that sound like something you want to run away from?  Good!  But do it anyway: be uncomfortable on purpose.

(sound of marbles hitting the floor)

I know you think I’ve lost them, right?

As an artist, I know that it’s good to do the things that make you feel uncomfortable on purpose.  Why?  Because it makes you stretch into new places, grow new horizons, see new worlds and possibilities for your work.  If you are always doing things that are comfortable, the work gets stale, repitition and routine kicks in and your art is sunk.  This is true for your life as well.

So stop complaining about all the things going wrong, get right with it.  It is what it is and no amount of complaining will change that.  What you have right now is what you have.   Complaining doesn’t do one thing for you except to keep you in that box of  “I can’t control the world and it pisses me off”.  If you like that box, don’t stay there!  That’s not a good place to be and drives people away from you.  Is this what you really want?   No?  Okay then, be open to what is.  Try seeing how you can make that challenge work FOR you, think of ways to make it benefit you.

You only have two choices in life in any given situation:

If you can’t change what’s outside of you, you must change how you look at it.

This is reality.  What does this mean?  If something is out of your control to change, then you have to change what’s inside of you.   An example would be if someone snapped at me; I could choose to say that person is a jerk and close the book on that one OR I could choose to say that person might need more sleep/is having a bad day and probably needs to build some skills to deal with it better and maybe next time they’ll treat me differently.  It might be uncomfortable the next time I see them but who knows what this choice will bring.   Instead of being a puppet on a string and responding in kind, I choose to see how this may turn out and perhaps educate me somehow.  With one choice I lose the potential of whatever that person may provide in my life and with the other, I wait and see how it goes.

I don’t choose to snap back.  Instead, I choose to step back.

Everyone has hard times.  My hard times aren’t necessarily bigger then your hard times or vice versa.  It’s how we handle ourselves or challenge ourselves through those hard times that makes the difference.

When you’re uncomfortable do you work harder or run away?  The answer to this question will tell you which direction is natural to you.  Try doing the opposite thing next time.  See what you learn about yourself and how this knowledge adds to your life or your work.  Be uneasy, work with it and see what it gets you.  You might find that it was a good thing.


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