Getting Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Most of my readers and clients are physicians.  I often think about you – what worries you, keeps you up at night, or how the current business climate impacts you and your family.

You may not know this, but you all have a superpower.  What do you think that might be?  An ability to endure discomfort and both physical and emotional pain.

Now I know you may be thinking, “What kind of superpower is this? I want to be able to fly or shoot lasers out of my eyes.  At the very least, I want to be able to read other people’s thoughts!”

Let’s take a moment to reflect on how powerful the ability to endure discomfort is.  Would you have survived medical school, much less your medical training, without an enormous serving of discomfort?

Let’s change the lens.  Think about the areas of your life you are most proud of – this could be your marriage or raising a family.  It could be serving as President of your group or a recent academic promotion.  In the physical realm, it may be completing a one-hundred-mile mountain bike ride or finishing your first triathlon.

Sitting with discomfort, getting curious, and discovering what’s behind it is a superpower.

Think about all the things we do to avoid being uncomfortable – eating, drinking alcohol, all sorts of recreational drugs, shopping, sex. You get the point.  The list of ways we distract ourselves from discomfort is endless.

What does this have to do with money and finances?

It could be as straightforward as comparing yourself to others – how much do you make?  How much do you have saved?  What kind of new car did your neighbors park in the driveway?  Where did you go on vacation this summer?

The powerful work comes when you get curious and ask more challenging questions.  One of the fundamental pieces of any solid financial plan is uncovering and highlighting the client’s values.

If you say you want to spend more time with your family or take care of your health, but you pick up extra calls and stay late at the office.  What’s that all about?

If it’s important to you to give your time and money to charities that speak to your heart, but you never seem to have the time or money at the end of the month to give?  What’s underneath that?

In today’s culture, avoiding discomfort is easier than ever.  If you are bored standing in line,  just pull your phone out and scroll mindlessly.

If you are stressed out, we have many ways to solve that problem.  You could shop online or head out to the bar for a drink.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this chronic low-level anxiety and discomfort we are all feeling.  Why does it feel it’s gotten so much worse?

The two answers that have resonated for me are we are avoiding things that need to get done.  And we are avoiding who we are.

All of us have areas of our life that could use some attention.  But I bet that you feel like I do and just seem so dang busy.  Let’s sit with this for a minute – is this true?

I think the tension is that we are all saying yes too often for too many things that aren’t important to us.  We hate saying no to people, and what ends up happening is we untimely are saying no to ourselves.

We don’t have enough time to eat healthy or care for our bodies.  We are always rushing through bedtime with our kids so we can get back to work and finish patient charting.  We want to be closer to our spouse but are always too tired.

Or we want to spend our energy on different kinds of work but can’t imagine the work and struggle to make that happen.  So we stay with the status quo.  It just seems easier.

I’ve been trying to live by minimizing my regret.  At the end of my life, I want to look back and have few regrets.  I think we do that by jumping in and living with our whole selves.

Trying difficult things.  Traveling.  Living with excitement and joy.  Let’s get moving!

Reach out here if you want to chat about your current situation.

ipad showing freebie 5 Things You Must Know About Your Student Loans
Monthly email guidance for healthcare professionals
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for advice on how to live a life of financial freedom, plus receive our free ebook guide: 5 Things You Must Know About Your Student Loans