If you took my course, Develop Unshakable Confidence, you know I’m an incredibly optimistic guy. Lots of my shares are motivating and helping you see the positive.
While inspiration is great, if we’re doing the work toward wholeness, we learn personal growth is not always uplifting. Many times it’s downright uncomfortable. If we focus only on the positive, we may bypass what really needs work.
For those wanting to dive into their growth from every angle, a tough but powerful question to ask yourself is, What are you not willing to feel?
I know. It’s not the most fun journaling prompt. There’s obvious resistance — it may bring up a whole bag of stuff that we consciously or unconsciously put under the rug. Finding out what we can’t be with helps shift that pattern.
The next question becomes, What would happen if I let myself feel this?
As musician Dustin Thomas says, “The only way to free your pain is to feel your pain.”
Feeling what we can’t be with disrupts our coping mechanisms and instead allows the energy to flow. From this space, we stop running away from our feelings, deal with our issues, and create stronger resilience.
Of course, you’re wondering, “Lou, what are you not willing to feel?”
The easy answer is boredom. We don’t see boredom as something to feel, rather a reason to do something. We’re so afraid of boredom that we’ve basically taken it out of play. When we’re bored we can reach for our phones and get instant “relief.”
For me, there’s also a color of boredom that comes from being unproductive. If it’s a weekday, it’s uncomfortable not progressing toward some goal.
What we’re not willing to feel controls us. If I can’t be with feeling unproductive, my productivity becomes the escape.
I’m not advocating that we should want negative feelings, but as humans, we’re meant to feel the whole spectrum of emotion. Acknowledging the most difficult feelings brings them out of the dark so our impulses don’t run the show.
If you’d like to do some difficult but profound self-work, take some time this week and ask yourself, What am I not willing to feel?
The more you say, “Heck no, Lou I’m not doing that!” The more there may be something here for you.
Caution: This can bring up some stuff, so I encourage you to be in a good headspace, be kind to yourself, and reach out if you need support.
If strong feelings come up as you reflect, my practice Be Gentle may help you be with them.
Cool: Exhale — After you felt the feeling, type the energy or any negative thought into the website, hit enter, and clear it out into the universe.