Staying safe is objective #1 in our lives. When our brain believes we are in danger it wants us to move to a safe position. The problem is, our brain isn’t very good at discerning the difference between emotional danger and physical danger. It believes that painful emotions are something to avoid at all costs.
This was helpful to us, say, 6000 years ago, but today it only seems to keep us from the things we want most: connection, mental wellness, and positive self-esteem among them. When your brain experiences a painful emotion, it seeks distance. That very distance prevents you from feeling close and connected.
The solution? Be willing to move toward emotional pain.
Accept it as an inevitability and you will find the things you want on the other side. Here is one example to show you how this works: I want a job. My willingness to experience the fallout of someone saying “no” will allow me to ask 100 different people for a job. The job is what I really want. If I'm not willing to experience the emotional pain of “rejection” I lose out on the opportunity for the job.