The Power of Discomfort

Image result for eagles nest images

Recently, I experienced an embarrassing moment. I was taken aback by the discomfort and the shame I felt stemming from this experience. When I recovered from my discombobulation and examined my encounter, I realized this was an opportunity for me to grow. My discomfort became a vehicle of change that allowed me to become more aligned with my values and offered me the opportunity to live to my potential and become my best self.

This got me thinking about the relationship that mother eagles have with their young. Mother eagles start building nests for their eaglets from unusual items – broken branches, thorns, sharp rocks and a variety of other material that make the nest sturdy yet, profoundly uncomfortable on its own. She proceeds to line the nest with softer material such as feathers and fur from animals she has killed, in order to make the nest comfortable and safe to house her eggs and, later, her new babies.

The eaglets are beneficiaries of a soft environment and free food. This luxury makes it difficult to for the young birds to leave their nest to become their own selves and take responsibility for feeding and nourishing themselves. The mother eagle intuitively starts the process of making the nest uncomfortable. She stirs up the nest and removes the softer and safer layers of the nest, exposing her young to the sharper ones within it. She knows something about her young that they are not aware of yet. Their wings have grown and they can fly, but their comfort has made them oblivious to their capacity and potential.

The discomfort and ensuing distress makes it impossible for the young birds to stay in their nest and they are forced to leave their lofty perch. Their discovery and reward is realizing that they can fly and are now blessed with personal autonomy. Having this insight helped me to re-frame my uncomfortable and embarrassing experience. I could see my own capability to grow and to be responsive to this pressure for change. Instead of being mired in shame, I could soar again.

What discomfort are you experiencing in your relationships at home and at work? Have you been resisting this discomfort? Are you trying to hold on to the safety linings in your life that keep you from maturing, exploring your potential and discovering your ability to transcend life’s challenges? My hope is that you will have a new perspective regarding discomfort – that you will embrace the opportunity to grow and that you will spread your wings and live to your potential lavishly 🙂


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