“We don’t grow when things are easy; We grow when we face challenges.” Joyce Meyer
We don’t grow when things are easy, we grow when we choose to respond differently to challenges. Think about the last time you faced a challenge. How did you respond? Did you do things that made you feel better in the moment but didn’t necessarily resolve the issue long term? Or did you aim to do something different that was uncomfortable in the short term but had positive long term consequences? Short term relief can be things like avoiding talking about a conflict with your partner to avoid feeling uncomfortable, or staying home by yourself and drinking alcohol to avoid feeling anxiety at the social event. These are short term solutions that make us feel better in the moment but don’t help us grow long term and they can eventually have long term negative consequences, like creating a deep rift in the relationship, or causing isolation, depression, and alcohol abuse. Growth happens when you allow yourself to tolerate the discomfort in the moment. If you’re not sure how to do that or the thought of allowing yourself to feel emotions like sadness, anger, shame, etc., overwhelms you, there are resources and strategies that can help you. Talking to trusted friends can help you gain some perspective on how others might handle the situation. Or talking to a therapist can you help you learn how to tolerate uncomfortable feelings. Both these things are challenges in themselves if you’re not used to it and they are not the easy short term solutions, but they have positive long term effects and you will definitely grow as a person!
Read more about tolerating uncomfortable emotions here.