A team called us recently because they were struggling with candid conversations. When we invited them to practice giving feedback, many were unwilling to be with the uncomfortable body sensations that arose. Instead, they robbed themselves and everybody else of feedback that could have helped them to learn and grow.
A coaching client recently told us, “I’m so committed to conscious leadership.” Yet he’s not doing the uncomfortable work of addressing a marriage that he’s unhappy in. Our reply: “Don't tell us you're here to change the game if you’re not willing to do your own deep work.”
Wanting is very different from being willing. You may say you want to be a conscious leader, but are you truly willing to practice? Are you willing to be uncomfortable? Or, are you more like our friends above?
Let’s find out together…
Think of a moment when you felt fully alive. Pause and notice what that experience felt like in your body. As you imagine it, notice your current body sensations, your breath, and your emotional state.
Is this something you'd like to experience more often?
Most people say yes, of course I would. But…remember our friends above. They said they wanted more candor and more conscious leadership, but they weren’t willing to face what was in front of them. So, check in again…
Is this something you’d like to experience more often while knowing that there will be significant discomfort along the way?
Discomfort is key to the experience of full aliveness.
So, let’s dive deeper…
Bring an experience to mind that resulted in significant growth for you. Something that felt game-changing, life-changing.
Odds are, discomfort was present, and you leaned in versus shying away.
Most of us can look back at hard moments and recognize that our pain and discomfort were an ally to our growth and full aliveness. But embracing discomfort as it’s happening? That’s a master conscious leadership skill.
Are you willing to stay with your discomfort?
If so, here’s how:
Notice when you’re drifting to numb yourself so you don't have to face something uncomfortable.
What are your go-to drifts? Technology, alcohol, drugs, TV, compulsive exercise, shopping, etc.?
1. Are you willing to welcome whatever pain and discomfort is wanting to happen now?
2. Are you willing to see your discomfort as an ally to support you in evolving and growing?
3. Are you willing to face whatever is draining your energy and cutting you off from your aliveness?
We know that this step is no joke. Just facing the energy leak in yourself can be nauseating. This is where your opportunity to stay with your discomfort begins.
You’re leaping into an unknown. It's not going to feel any easier next week, next month, or next year. Staying with your discomfort is a choice. There's not a right or a wrong. But don't fool yourself: It’s a choice that you're making.
What do you choose?