I recently received this question in response to one of my blog posts Super Deluxe Navigation System .
Since I suspect that a lot of you might wonder the same thing, I figured I would share my answer with you here.
“OK I have a major question about this! Sometimes life is not all peaches and roses.Sometimes we have to do stuff that sucks. After reading the first article about “what are you avoiding” and then contrasting it with this article, I’m confused. So you’re supposed to do what feels good… and not what feels bad. So if I don’t like my job, and I don’t like going on interviews and I don’t want to be self employed – all of that makes me anxious and stressed – but I do like eating junk food and watching tv because they are fun and feel good, then how exactly would I be on the right track by following what feels good? Obviously in the long run I’m going down a bad path. Soon I’ll be fat and broke and that doesn’t feel good either. Then what? “When do we “feel the fear and do it anyway” (even though it feels bad)? When do we have to say “suck it up princess” and do the hard work even though it feels bad? How do you know?”
You are right, life isn’t all peaches and roses and sometimes you have do things that scare you and that suck.
The questions is, do they suck on a long term basis…like a job you can’t stand that you feel trapped in…or a bad relationship…or an awful roommate situation, or are they things that scare you and suck on a short term basis….like going to the dentist or a job interview.
We all get scared, and it is good to learn how to move through that fear and “do it anyway” as long as “doing it” will bring you closer to a desired outcome. (This is when you would “feel the fear and do it anyway”).
I can compare it to getting a tattoo. You know it is going to hurt and it is scary to think about the hour you are going to be sitting there with little needles sticking into you over and over again, but the end result is some beautiful new ink that will decorate your body for the rest of your life so in my eyes it is well worth it.
Maybe you want to compare it to looking for a new job. Going on interviews suck and is scary, but the end result is that you get an awesome new job that you love to go to.
On the other hand, if going to my sucky job everyday feels bad and I hate it, I have to ask myself why am I doing it?
Why is it OK for me to be working a job that I can’t stand?
It is not necessary to suffer through a crappy job. There are always other possibilities and things you can do to make the situation feel better to you.
Staying in a sucky job is not so much about the money part, although that is the reason people say they do it.
What I ussually find with my clients is that it covers up a belief that you cannot get anything better, or it is the way work is supposed to be, or there are no other options. You do not expect anything different, so you settle for what you get.
If “suck it up princess” means to ignore the part of you that is crying out for something more and to settle with what you got, I say no way.
As far as following what feels good goes…if eating junk food and watching TV feels good that’s cool, as long as you are not doing it to avoid and tune out from something else.
I like to eat nachos and watch American Idol but that is not every night all night. I am not avoiding anything by doing it and it is adding to my pleasure.
When I talk about doing what feels good, I am suggesting that you follow what brings you happiness and meaning.
Sometimes eating junk food and watching TV is exactly what you need to chill out. Then it gets boring and you go do something else that is more stimulating that you want to do.