Did you know that you will experience discomfort regardless of what kind of life you lead? Whether you are a millionaire pop star or a homeless drug addict, there will be discomfort in your life.
So why do more people aspire to be pop stars than drug addicts? Because the discomfort appears less, or because it appears so much different than your current discomfort.
But I promise it’s there, all the same.
The fact is, we get to choose what kinds of discomfort we experience in our lives. When weighing the pros and cons of having a baby, for example, I recognized that pregnancy, birth, postpartum and caring for a newborn (not to mention all the years after that) would come with plenty of discomfort. But the alternative, the ache of wanting a family and not having one, was so much greater for me, that I chose to have a baby (10 of them, in fact).
So what kind of discomfort do you actively choose for your life?
That question will ensure that the choices you make are more intentional and purposeful, because you’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided which path is the most likely to yield the results you desire.
Choose your pain
It’s possible to choose the discomfort we want in every decision we make. We can choose to abstain from sugar and unhealthy foods (discomfort) for the reward of feeling energetic and fit. Or we can choose the reward of junk food and Netflix but suffer from the discomfort of being overweight and unhealthy.
We can choose to be patient and loving towards a misbehaving child (discomfort) for the reward of a great relationship, or we can choose to lose patience and yell at that child but experience the discomfort of disconnection.
It’s all within our power to choose, which isan amazing, empowering realization.
Expect the unexpected
Most people grow up expecting their life to be full of sunshine and roses and then, when things inevitably go wrong at some point, they either blame other people or beat themselves up for taking the “wrong” path.
But here’s the truth of it: there is no path you can choose that will be free of discomfort.
None. It just doesn’t exist, and it’s not supposed to. Life is designed to be hard.
Now, we can use that knowledge to feel bitter and resentful and awful about life, or we can acknowledge that because life will have plenty of discomfort no matter what path we take, we get to choose the one that sounds the most intriguing!
Where do you want to go?
The purpose of this discovery is to realize that we should never make a decision simply because we’re afraid of the alternative. I see so many women choosing small, insignificant lives because they’re terrified of embarrassment, criticism or failure.
But there will be discomfort waiting for you in that life as well. It will feel like missed opportunities, wondering “what-if” and maybe the loss of a dream.
I personally will always be rooting for you to take that chance and pursue that dream, and to live as large as possible. But I know that’s not necessarily the “right” decision for everyone. It’s just usually the choice that yields the most growth.
Only YOU get to decide which path is the best for you. Just don’t be fooled into thinking that the smaller life is the “easier” one. They’ll both be filled with joy and struggle.
So now we get to decide: which one sounds more fun??