The Power of Comfortable Discomfort

I was on the phone with my brother this morning as he complained about ladder-hiissues with an online merchant charging him three times for the same order and then taking days to refund the money. (He doesn’t have much experience with commerce issues.) After he explained the situation, the conversation went something like this:


Me:
Welcome to the wonderful world of retail …

My Bro: Lauri, you’re supposed to comfort me!

Me: I comfort people for a living.

 

We both laughed. And then I realized – that’s only half true…

As a coach, I’m not interested in the kind of comforting that keeps people where they are … I’m interested in the comfortable discomfort of growth. I create a comfortable, sacred space for clients to experience the sensation of transformation.

Ever seen the Learning Matrix? (also known as the Conscious Competence Ladder) It was first developed by Noel Burch, an employee with Gordon Training International, in the 1970s, and it goes something like this …

Step 1 – “Ignorance is Bliss” – We don’t know what we know, what we don’t know, what we need to learn or how to improve.

Step 2 – “I don’t get it!” – We know just enough to know that we don’t really know. We can feel when we’re not “doing it right.”

Step 3 – “I can do it if I think about it.”   If we focus on the new learning, we can do it.

Step 4 – “It’s second nature.” Here, unlike step 3, the new learning has been integrated and is now our new habit. We no longer have to think about it.

In my experience with thousands of students and clients, most of the transformative learning process is spent between steps 2 and 3 – and nothing about it is comfortable.

Don’t get me wrong, the way coaches like me hold space for, empathize with and be with our clients as they process their emotions is powerful. While some might describe it as comforting, I believe its more a matter of transformation than comfort. Creating safe and sacred space is very different than handing someone a tissue, patting them on the back or spewing platitudes at them.   Creating sacred space involves holding the space for and being with everything that comes up – including all of the emotions that society calls “negative”.

When we do this for others, they begin to trust that, deep down, they are enough and that they can handle anything. Once we’ve experienced this space with a teacher or coach, we’re then more able to step into the space of comfortable discomfort in our lives. From there, we can create powerful transformation – wherever we feel intuitively called to do so.

– What transformation are you in the midst of right now?
– How do you experience the space of comfortable discomfort?
– What’s possible from there?

All my best,
Lauri

PS – Speaking Soulfully when it counts is both a vulnerable and courageous act.  If you want an ally by your side as you walk through the comfortable discomfort of finding and unleashing your authentic voice in the world, schedule a complimentary Breathe Easy Consultation now.

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