Are you feeling uncomfortable? Terrific. Feeling uncomfortable is good for change. Actually, this is really amazing for change.
How Can Feeling Uncomfortable Be Good for Change?
Feeling uncomfortable doesn’t feel good. The more you hear about change, how change is constant, that you should embrace it, and that it inevitably produces something other than the status quo, the more you want to run away.
- Could that be because the thought of change makes you feel uncomfortable?
- That’s the whole idea.
When you begin something new, it feels a little strange. The scenarios include taking a different job, approaching someone you’d like to meet, trying an unfamiliar cuisine, reading a book to gain knowledge, embracing parenthood, and more. You’re understandably feeling uncomfortable.
That’s a good thing.
“The more uncomfortable something is, the more we know we are driving change.” – Harriet Green
Embrace Change But With a Caveat
If it felt good to barge into the unknown, there might be many more accidents or missteps. You’re not a daredevil, after all.
It would be best to have sound judgment, solid plans, and carefully weigh strengths and capabilities before you act.
How does this work in the real world? Here are two sample scenarios.
Feeling Uncomfortable: Scenario #1
In this example, Amy, a public relations manager for a small company, must create a PR campaign for a new product launch. The advertising is all set. Amy needs to coordinate messages in the “free” arena of PR exposure to dovetail with the ad campaign.
What Amy Does
Amy is nervous, with her reputation on the line. Therefore, she is reluctant to offer some stretch recommendations for additional free exposure. She knows from previous experience that you need to take measured risks to achieve results. She crafts her presentation and delivers it to the company president.
What Happens Next
At first, his reaction is inscrutable. Amy thinks her proposal is dead. Then, he smiles and promises to think about it. He adds that it has merit, and he will get back to her. Amy leaves the materials with him and returns to her office.
Granted, she’s taking a risk, going beyond her comfort zone. But she presents her plan with confidence and authority.
The outcome of this scenario is positive. The company president approves the PR plan and Amy implements it. The resulting free publicity boosts awareness and recognition that ties in nicely with the advertising campaign.
The situation was uncomfortable initially. But pushing past that stage with a solid plan drives change.
Feeling Uncomfortable: Scenario #2
Another change scenario involves a young married couple with a new baby. The wife feels overwhelmed caring for the infant and misses the exclusive personal attention with her husband. For his part, the husband feels a little left out, with his wife spending so much time with the baby.
What the Couple Does
This is an obviously uncomfortable situation. Both husband and wife have issues and concerns. They talk openly about them, and discuss their emotions calmly, respectfully, and lovingly.
They reach a compromise where each feels their concerns are addressed. Afterward, they emerge with a stronger bond and enter a new stage of their lives: parents.
How to Get Comfortable with Feeling Uncomfortable
Here are a few suggestions to move past feeling uncomfortable to drive change:
- Always have a plan first, then move forward.
- Expect some resistance, but don’t be deterred.
- Consider alternate scenarios and have backup plans ready.
- Enlist others who support your efforts.
- Measure results. These will help reinforce the validity of driving the change.
- Be forward-thinking. After this change, what’s next on your list?
Remember, change is inevitable. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, remind yourself that this is good for change. Learn new things each day and add to your skills and experiences.