How to know when to press on vs. when to change direction?
How do we interpret discomfort?
Last week I shared a 5-minute episode of Kelly Corrigan Wonders, the podcast I can’t seem to stop talking about because it’s so helpful and relevant.
I’d like to dive deeper into the episode, “Mental Health Check on Interpreting Discomfort.”
Kelly argues that when we misread the psychological discomfort that comes with challenge and unfamiliarity — if we label it as “bad,” or we’re too quick to avoid it — we miss out on important moments of growth.
I mean, by definition discomfort feels crappy so who wouldn’t want to avoid it?
Also, it’s hard to tell the difference between discomfort — an unpleasant but temporary state — and pain — a warning that something needs to be fixed. This is especially tricky when routines and landmarks shift, like when your kids move out or there’s a global pandemic.
So how do we figure out when to press on vs. when to change direction? How do we interpret discomfort?