One counterintuitive cause of self-sabotage

Take a moment, if you will, to contemplate some of the best things in your life so far... Really consider the accomplishments you're most proud of to date.

You might even like to write them down.

For example, I am really proud of:

  1. Achieving exceptional grades in yr12 of school

  2. Receiving awards in Dance & Chemistry at school

  3. Being admitted as Lawyer

  4. On "graduate lawyer offers day", receiving not 1 but 2 exceptional offers

  5. My husband proposing & us becoming engaged

  6. My two water births (birthing my babies into the world)

  7. Breastfeeding both my daughters for a few years each

  8. Responding consistently 24/7 to my daughters' cries in the early years of their life & beyond - in particular I'm so proud of being there for them with love & responsiveness every night, no matter the time, since they were born

  9. When my coaching clients make incredible progress

  10. When I receive solid grades in my postgrad psychology studies

  11. My 16+ yr loving relationship with my husband

You get the idea. It can be anything at all in your list, so long as the memory fills you with a sense of pride and self-respect. Now that you have brought to mind the events in your life where you feel really proud, here's a question for you: Was it easy to attain those outcomes? Those outcomes that you're so proud of, were they easy to achieve? The reason I ask you this question is to give some personal meaning to the saying "all the magic is outside your comfort zone". Never heard that saying? Well, it comes in various forms and here is one version of it: “Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new “ – Brian Tracy. Then there's this well known Latin proverb: "Fortune favors the brave" - traditionally attributed to Terence (c. 190-159 B.C.) And also one of my favourite quotes ever: “A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” - Tim Ferris The point? Perhaps the current trendiness of less hustle, do less, more flow, let it be easy etc... has resulted in us "throwing out the baby with the bath water". Let me explain: Yes, we want to be more effective & efficient in our efforts. Yes we don't want to non-stop grind & hustle, making our life a miserable feeling of exhaustion, yes we don't want our lives to feel mostly like we're in "distress"... but we shouldn't throw out ALL stress. If we throw out all stress, discomfort and effort, we throw away growth. E.g. A weight lifter can do some serious damage to their body by working out the same muscles every single day with no recovery time & consistently using weights that are beyond their current abilities. Should they quit weights altogether though? Well, a muscle only grows & gets stronger if you stress it out regularly. Working out creates small tears, recovery allows for those tears to get repaired, and the net of the whole cycle is that the muscle grows stronger. Instead of quitting weights altogether, the weight lifter needs to instead move from working out in a way that causes "distress" to working out in a way that creates "eustress". So, what is "eustress"? Here's a definition for you: "a positive form of stress having a beneficial effect on health, motivation, performance, and emotional well-being … during positive stress ("eustress"), such as a promotion or vacation, feel-good chemicals called endorphins are released."-Tracy Boyd. If you were to reflect now on those events that you're most proud of, would you say that chilling in your comfort zone resulted in those outcomes? Or are you more likely to notice that there was some significant effort and discomfort on the way to creating those outcomes? Could searching for "easy" be sabotaging your life goals? You see, if it was all lounging around being comfortable, flowing all the time and letting things be easy, we wouldn't get to experience the discomfort and positive stress that results in the very life events that we're the most proud of.

I can certainly say that significant effort, courage and discomfort was experienced on the way to every single one of the events that I'm most proud of. So, perhaps resisting discomfort and positive stress, and seeking an "easy road", is in fact a form of self-sabotage. The magic is outside your comfort zone. You can do hard things. Doing hard things leads to outcomes we feel proud of. Could it be time for you to lean into more "hard" stuff? Could it be time for you to lean into discomfort? Could this be the time to embrace even more courage? If you answered yes to any of the above, here's one final question for you today: How many ways can you lean into even more positive stress today? With care, Elise P.s If you prefer to feel supported while journeying through this wild ride called life, book a free discovery call with me now to find out more about 1on1 coaching. Spots limited.

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