Pushing Past The Awkward

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This week I went to my first grief support group meeting.  My wife got promoted to heaven just over three months ago and the hospice ministry she was a part of has a regular grief support group meeting.  As I drove there, awkward feelings started climbing into my head.  As I parked at the last place where my wife was alive, the awkward started screaming.  Everything in me was shouting, “LEAVE!” but I kept going.  When I walked in the room and people were quietly sitting around the table and my inner voice laughed at me, “This is so weird, go ahead and get out while you can!”  However, I found a seat and sat down.

Life is full of awkward moments.  Moments of uncomfortable we would rather not experience.  As we get older, the danger is we have a choice and too often we shy away from the uncomfortable.  We make excuses like, “I’m just not good at things like this,” or “I just don’t have the time.”  If we spoke the truth, we would say, “I’m uncomfortable with that and don’t want to look or feel stupid so I’m not going to try.”  This attitude builds up within us and eventually, we stop growing and learning new things.  We have to start making it a habit of pushing past the awkward or we will stunt our own growth and those we are leading.  Here are a few tips to push past the awkward.

Recognize The Awkward

  1. We have to stop making excuses for the awkward feeling we have.  If we do not recognize the awkward, we will allow other excuses and apathy to build up in our life.  We must see that we feel uncomfortable and recognize that feeling.  We may even be scared of looking stupid or failing at something new, but we must see that those are just feelings.  There is nothing wrong with those feelings unless we let them control us.  They control us by making us feel awkward so we stop trying.  We must see the awkward feeling first and quit trying to come up with other excuses for it.

Big Picture The Awkward

  1. One of the best ways to overcome the awkward is to remember the big picture.  Why are we trying to do something that makes us feel awkward?  If the gym makes us feel awkward but we want to get in better shape, one of those feelings has to win.  Seeing the big picture and keeping it in mind will help us to allow that feeling to overpower our awkward feeling.  There is usually a bigger picture that we want to accomplish and that is why we are in our current awkward position.  Remembering the big picture reason and keeping it front and center will help us push past the awkward.

Ignore The Awkward

  1. When the awkward is screaming at us and trying diligently to keep us from trying, we sometimes just have to ignore it.  Recognizing the awkward and remembering the big picture help, but sometimes we just have to keep moving and flatly ignore our feelings.  Feelings do not always lead us in the right direction and leading ourselves means sometimes we have to just keep moving ahead even though everything in us is screaming to stop.  We can even change the way we see the awkward feeling.  We could identify the feeling with growth.  When we feel it and it screams at us, it means we are learning something new and growing.  This can change how we see the awkward feeling and gives us the power to ignore them.

I will admit the beginning of the meeting was awkward and I felt very out of place for a while, but as the meeting went on and people began to share the awkward feeling got strangely silent.  I am really glad I went that day and pushed past the awkward.  The lessons I learned strengthened me that day.  Plus, I left encouraged about how I was doing and the direction I was walking on my own grief journey.  If I hadn’t gone, the awkward would have won and I would not have learned those vital lessons.

What are awkward feelings keeping you from doing?


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