Doing the work of self-discovery is uncomfortable. Simply reading that statement is a little uncomfortable in itself, isn’t it? None of us like the idea of being uncomfortable. In fact, most of us avoid it to the greatest extent possible in our daily lives. We tend to gravitate toward stability, comfort, and peace. While this makes all the sense in the world, we have to break free from those ideas in order to embrace change and start the journey of working on ourselves. I tell each of my clients at the beginning of our work together they will feel uncomfortable at some point during the process, but that is a sign therapy is working. This is because an inevitable aspect of growth is discomfort. That’s why they call it growing pains. Change is new, so it shouldn’t feel easy or familiar. When we’re brave enough to try a different experience than we’ve ever had before, when we find the courage to see ourselves in a new light, or when we accept the challenge to act in different ways than we have in the past, we’re stepping out of the comfort of the known and into the chaos of the unknown. It will hard. It will be scary. It might even push you backward before you can step forward. But it will be one of the greatest gifts you’ve ever given yourself. If you can find a way to persevere through the fear and pain that comes with confronting the truth of who you really are, you will give yourself the chance to create the life you actually want to live. Chipping away the expectations of others, the lies from society, the remnants of trauma, and the insecurities within won’t be a pretty process. It’s really difficult to learn a new way of living and being. But isn’t it more difficult to imagine your life if nothing changes? You have an opportunity to push yourself to become the person you want to become, instead of the one everyone else has been trying to force you to be. You can find the version of happiness you’ve been craving. You can be completely in charge of your thoughts and feelings and actions. The feeling of pride that comes with showing up and fighting for yourself is incredibly powerful. While there is no step-by-step guide to self-discovery, if you lean into the discomfort and start to really listen to yourself, I think you’ll be amazed at what you find.
-Arielle Saunders, LMFT