Earlier this year I was really impacted by Michael Easter’s book The Comfort Crisis. And I think what stood out to me the most was really the idea that in order to grow, one must work on becoming more comfortable with the uncomfortable — and I liked how he connected it with the idea of progressive overload that we often find in the exercise/strength literature.
When I came across that it really resonated with my work on anxiety. Mainly — that for people to really transform their anxiety it is a process of taking their insight and putting it into practice — but that transition is really uncomfortable and anxiety inducing. But it is in many ways a progressive overload of anxiety that one intentionally puts upon themselves to grow and heal.
Lots of people have insight about their anxiety, but often they are missing some deeper truths about it that can bring healing, or they become paralyzed with insight. Too much info that keeps them from moving into practice.
And sometimes people will try all kinds of new things to attack their anxiety, or will spend a life managing it, but don’t have the insight to get at the healing they need.
Navigating our anxiety requires that we gain deep insight about it, and then we put that insight into intentional consistent practice. That is what transforms it. But the process can create anxiety, and so learning to get comfortable with the uncomfortable is the journey we must all be on.