The Importance of Enduring Discomfort for the Sake of Transformation

Warrior Goddess ~ Tracie Hanson

Our “No” moments can define who we are, what we value and what we envision. One of the most profound things a woman can do is to learn to say NO in an empowered way.

Your “No” is a sword that cuts away the non-essential so that you can live the fullest life. 

A powerful point on our journey is when we feel fed up and that we’ve had enough. This place of feeling into a non-negotiable is a potent place for change. It can happen for a number of reasons, usually in response to something we’ve been tolerating that we simply can’t tolerate any longer. It could be an emotional NO or a simple mandate from the body that something cannot continue.

We live at a time where we are straddling two paradigms: an old paradigm of struggle and competition and a new paradigm of abundance and cooperation. All our small, daily actions have powerful ripple effects in the culture.

I’ve recently been introduced to the incredible work of Dr. Mario Martinez, a clinical neuropsychologist and the author of The MindBody Code. He states that there are two parts to setting boundaries: the first part is to set the limit and the second part is to give people permission to not like it.

%22Morning Light%22 by Keith Mallett

Are you willing to give people permission to not like your boundaries?

This can be a hard one for us as women. We’re largely conditioned to please and acquiesce. To be OK with being disliked is one of the most under-utilized of our powers. 

The deeper we go into our own journey, the more we access our unique power to articulate something original and necessary in the world.

We can expect to be uncomfortable as we venture into new territory–places our friends or family may never have gone before.

Much of our ability to succeed and to create the world we want directly hinges upon our ability to endure the discomfort of being misunderstood and disliked as we evolve and grow on our path.

Ellen van der Molen • 2 years ago Goddess Light

Dr. Martinez states that to go beyond our “ceilings of abundance” we must be able to endure the “turbulence at the horizons,” those points where no one in our family or tribe has gone before, the places where are pioneers. He says we must allow our worthiness to expand to accommodate a new narrative beyond what we previously thought was possible. If we do not expand the narrative, we risk going back to the old ways, the old patterns, the toxic relationships, just to break that tension.

I see this all the time with women who struggle with the mother wound. The shame that they experience keeps them locked in a perpetual cycle of guilt and self-blame for wanting to go beyond the patterns set forth by their mothers.

The truth is that to innovate, to lead, to be visible and own your voice, you WILL disappoint some people. Some people will feel betrayed or abandoned by you as you increasingly embrace your path and purpose. 

One of THE most common patterns women tell me about is the following: their mothers are loving to them when they are struggling but very distant and critical during the times that they are doing very well. The mother’s rejection when they are thriving keeps women back from their greatness because it can symbolize loss of love, safety or belonging which are our most basic human needs. (This is what Martinez calls “tribal shame” for going beyond the pale.)

To keep going even in the face of being misperceived, misunderstood or even ridiculed, (particularly by our own mothers) we must assume a NEW narrative from which we find a deeper source of integrity than what was modeled by our family of origin and culture. By sourcing our self-regard from that deeper source of integrity, we can endure the tension that comes with pioneering beyond the horizon of our lineage. This is very deep work and I think absolutely critical for women who have a mother wound and seek to step fully into their potential and power.

You can cultivate a deeper source of integrity that validates your right to be loyal to yourself and connect with other women who do the same. 

Frans Cronje

To affirm ourselves in the face of tribal shame from our mothers is a major challenge and yet it can be overcome. It’s a rite of passage for women at this time of planetary transformation. Support is essential. 

So how do we allow our “worthiness to expand” in ways that liberates us to innovate, to offer our gifts, to lead and inspire? That liberates us to say an unapologetic NO when needed?

I believe it comes from a willingness to consciously own our value and fill the “mother gap” by mothering ourselves in a way that celebrates our exceptionalness, rather than shames us for it.  

This can feel very dangerous--to admit to ourselves the ways that we truly are extraordinary and be willing to own that in the way we talk, live, move, carry ourselves, go about our daily life. We don’t have many models for this. We create it as we go and in doing so we gradually create a new normal. But until it truly becomes a new normal we must endure that tension. This is what cultural transformation looks like at the level of the individual. It’s SUCH important work.

The truth is that owning your value is not frivolous or flattery. It’s fact. 

Spiral Goddess - c. 4000, Romania.

It feels dangerous because traditionally women have been valued in direct proportion to the ways they’ve DE-VALUED themselves. That’s where we’ve received the most validation—by how we’ve been willing to invalidate ourselves. Whether it was through giving away our power, saying Yes when we mean No, or simply accepting less than what we truly wanted and deserved.

To mothers who have espoused this view by willingly de-valuing themselves throughout their lives, a daughter in the new paradigm represents a direct affront to the very foundation of their identities. The new narrative that you embody may feel simply too threatening for her worldview to accommodate and she may unconsciously attack you or withdraw. Ultimately, it’s not personal at all, but it can feel so very personal and challenging. This is usually not intentional at all and often completely unconscious on the part of the mother.

Having support is essential. I see that the women who get support (coaching, therapy, community of conscious women, etc.) are the ones who most successfully make it to the other side of the mother wound. Otherwise, It’s too easy to get trapped in guilt or shame without it. The tension of making the fundamental change is strong because these inter-generational patterns have incredible momentum. Getting support gives you momentum to counter it and make it to the other side.

Trust- by Anahata Katki

Dr. Martinez says that what is needed to go beyond what the culture has permitted to us is to create a “subculture of wellbeing” that validates and celebrates the new paradigm. This is in full alignment with what I’ve written about in terms of the “Rupture of the Mother Line” and how we as women are forming a “new mother line.” We can more explicitly support one another in owning our value, celebrating one another, and embodying our greatness, which is really just being more of who we REALLY are, more of the time. We need each other and we need to work together in this if we are to transition to a new culture that values the feminine and life itself in every way: in ourselves, in men, children, animals, and the planet itself.

I think it is actually an exciting time to be a woman and to help build this new culture of realizing the value in ourselves and in others. Not the value for necessarily what we do for others…. but the immeasurable value we bring to the world by BEING who we really are.

Kiki Smith, untitled 1992

Owning our value does not take away from others, as the old, scarcity-based paradigm would have us believe.  

Owning our value ENHANCES the lives of others: 

  • Gives others permission to own their value, gifts and strength
  • Allows you to share your gifts more freely in your relationships, career and family without shame
  • Frees you to find better solutions, form deeper connections and create a more soulful world.  

And even deeper than that, the truth is that you have every right to live for you. As women, this is a big one to take in. You don’t have to solely define yourself for who you care for, who you love and who needs you. Give yourself permission to live for you. Whatever that means, whatever that looks like for you.

Find ways to live the way you feel in your soul that you want to live in this world. This is primary. This is the deeper gift, the most extraordinary thing. You living as your soul; you, bringing forward that irreplaceable, extraordinary essence that will never be repeated again.

Even though we do care for many and have people who need us, we need to have a piece of us that is solely for ourselves. Taking a stand for that requires saying NO.

What Am I by Rebex

Being loyal to your essence, to your soul, to your authentic self ALWAYS serves the whole better than any compliant, attenuated, small version of you could.

It’s going to feel uncomfortable in moments.That’s for sure. And it’s totally, totally worth it. We can support each other in those uncomfortable moments.

Embodying the new narrative comes from highlighting the evidence of your worth.

To endure the tension that comes with being a leader and a pioneer, find evidence of the value that you hold within you, the wisdom, the experience, the commitment, the love that makes up who you are. Find the facts and remind yourself day after day.

The truth is that owning your value feels like betrayal in many ways because that’s what it is. We are betraying the old paradigm by creating the new one. It’s a necessary betrayal as the tectonic plates of our lives and the world shift to create something new.

One could even say that inter-generational betrayal is necessary for evolution.

As Dr. Martinez says, how would we evolve if no one was willing to risk being shamed for going into new territory? To endure that tension of betraying the OLD paradigm, we must validate and find evidence of our integrity in the NEW paradigm.

YOU are worth every bit of discomfort it takes to embody and express more of who you truly are in this world. It’s worth it for you in terms of how it creates a powerful inner environment of self-love and because what you offer the world as you radiate from that place of realness is pure gold.

It’s the epitome of a win-win and it’s the foundation of the coming world.

“When you know you are fire, nothing can burn you.” ~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

%22The Visions of Vespertina%22 by Greg Spalenka Vespertina

© Bethany Webster 2015


Questions to contemplate: 

1. What have you been tolerating in your life that you would like to set a boundary with?

2. Are there any other areas you need to say “No” in? Do you have any fears about saying No? What can you do for yourself to support yourself to say that No?

3. What would open up in your life as a result of saying No? What would become available to you that wasn’t before?


Sit down with a blank sheet of paper and write an exhaustive list of all the talents, experience, wisdom, and qualities you have. List every skill you have, every degree or certification, every thing you can think of; big and small. When you think you are done, challenge yourself to think of 5 more things. Pull out this list often. Add more things to it as you gain more skills and develop more qualities in yourself. Pull it out when you feel down and need reminding of the extraordinary person you are. Ideally, look at it every day, especially if you are trying to make a big shift in your life.

Please check out Dr. Mario Martinez book “The MindBody Code” and check out this interview on You Tube. 


I’m excited to announce that I have a couple new openings in my coaching practice!

If you’d like to receive my personal support in moving beyond the mother wound and into your full potential and success, please click here to sign up for a free, 30-minute Clarity session where I can help you get clear on how the mother wound is impacting you and create a roadmap to get you to the other side. I look forward to connecting with you!  ~Bethany

Ways to Work with me: 

Click here to download my FREE e-book on “Transforming the Inner Mother” and sign up for my newsletter.

(Art Credits: Warrior Goddess by Tracie Hanson, Morning Light by Keith Mallett, Ellen van der Molen, Frans Cronje, Spiral Goddess from Romania 4000 B.C., Trust by Anahata Katkin, Untitled by Kiki Smith, What am I by Rebex Nie, Visions of Vespertina by Greg Spalenka)


29 thoughts on “The Importance of Enduring Discomfort for the Sake of Transformation

  1. I am right at this juncture in my healing growth. Being able to tolerate the tension of being misperceived or misunderstood or judged in my present day relationships. It was that tension with mother that propelled me to self betrayal with her. It was always accepting her version in order to avoid her alienation. My gifts & talents were judged, ignored or punished. I broke off my relationship with her by a legal court order of ‘No Contact’, 33 years ago! That was my ‘NO’ to her. But the imprinting I received from her continues. It is terrifying to feel trapped within that present day trigger – tension…it is a PTSD emotional flashback for me still.


  2. Reblogged this on Madhupa Maypop and commented:
    I was thinking about various parts of this post today. So many wonderful gems to glean from this one! Learning the art of saying NO is very important. When it’s time to say yes…it’s not just yes…it’s HELL YEAH! Enjoy the read (smile).


  3. Saying NO to my mother was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Setting boundaries was something that I’d never even heard of up until a couple of years ago. After discovering these two things and seeing how empowered I felt after using them was the beginning of my journey. I started to read articles on tribal shame because I knew that in my family there was something “not quite right” but I could never name it. Finally the pieces all started to fit together. There have been a lot of casualties in my journey – people have fallen by the wayside and this has been extremely painful but I will persist and persevere with my journey as it right for me. Thanks again Bethany for your inspirational posts. Onward and upward!


  4. “You is Smart, you is Kind, you is Important” – a quote from the movie, The Help.

    This quote really captures, for me, the evidence of support and validation about this child’s true nature. A good sign post for the level of integrity I now require in my inspirational circle.

    Bethany, again love the clarity of your writing ! Thanks for your generous sharing.


    • Dear Andrea, Great to hear that you have a certain level of integrity in your inspirational circle. How awesome to surround yourself with high-quality support as you move forward on your path. Thanks for the feedback. I’m so happy you are enjoying it. Much love, Bethany


  5. Bethany, I so look forward to your posts. It’s wonderful to be finding and connecting with more and more women forging this new path, creating this new paradigm. This was a very supportive and validating message for me to read today in particular, as I’m in deep excavation and questioning why we (women) are doing this work at all! But I know this is all part of the powerful, transformative, process…and I am filled with gratitude for the amazing women sharing this journey with me. Much love, Aleya ❤


    • Hi Alohaleya! Yes, I totally understand. I too am feeling so much gratitude to be here at this time with so many amazing women sharing the journey!! Thank you so much for reading my posts! Much love and many blessings to you, sister! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Very enlightening….. thank you for this. I wonder, too, then if this is one of the reasons that women struggle so (within the corporate world) to actually support and nurture each other.


  7. Thank you so much for writing this blog Bethany. I resonate with every single word, especially at this point in my life. It’s been an very challenging journey on the road of “saying no”. As a habitual people pleaser and conflict avoidant personality, I had always been fearful of not getting it right, perfect, or appropriate. In order to break free from this paradigm, I feel like we’ve all need to reach a point of being fed up with mistreatment and emotional abuse. Even if it leaves us completely isolated from the old environment and people that we are so used to being around. Some things are worth fighting for, like our value and worth. I’m grateful for your guidance and thank the universe for bringing your wisdom into my life. Love you!


    • Dina, thank you for this comment. It certainly does speak to me. I have been so much better at setting boundaries but still struggle with any conflict that may arise as a result. That word ‘appropriate’ that you used is so spot on. I don’t seem to allow myself a feeling or action that hasn’t been approved by… whoever made up the rules that now reside in my head! ‘It wouldn’t be appropriate’. Sometimes I wish I could just scream and yell and be inappropriate instead of always being the mature one – the one that everybody needs.
      Actually, I think this is just an excuse. I’m just afraid of the conflict. Never mind scaring everyone else – it would scare me!


  8. Bethany, I peer through tears as I make attempt to relate to you how your blog, and other’s comments regarding such, has touched my heart. Your passage…….”because traditionally women have been valued in direct proportion to the ways they’ve DE-VALUED themselves. That’s where we’ve received the most validation—by how we’ve been willing to invalidate ourselves. Whether it was through giving away our power, saying Yes when we mean No,”… was written as if you have lived my life with my life experiences. Such poignant words are a snapshot into my innermost fears and feelings. Thank you for so beautifully giving them voice.


    • Dear Susan, sending you lots of love. Thank you for sharing your heart. So happy this resonates so deeply for you. It is amazing to reflect on this particular point, isn’t it? How we have been conditioned to invalidate ourselves. What I find awe-inspiring is how much things transform as we turn this around as individual women and how the culture will shift to reflect that!


  9. Bethany, I read every blog post of yours – but this one I tucked away. Today was the day. I dug it out and Oh my God! You are amazing girl! Thank you. I had myself all buried under and forgot how to get out. I feel so much lighter. It’s amazing how we keep having to remind ourselves that we have a choice, that this life of ours is waiting for us to live it fully.
    Thank goodness – I now remember…


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  12. So relieved to find this site as it is running exactly parallel to my life at this exact time. These learnings concur with my very life experience and very traumatic life events I have been working on for many years. Struggling with addictions esp alcohol can be
    dealt with in my AA meetings but
    there is no where else that
    acknowleges or is evencourageous enough to breathe this subject.What a huge relief as I have finally left my mother and requested no further contact as of yesterday. For I am not able to carry her and my own inherited shame. Ironically enough my mother brought me up to be independent and in her own way was a pioneering sort. I suspect she should never have had children. Unspoken jealousy barely concealed has wrenched havoc. I have never apologised to anyone for not ever have desired children nor will i regret this decision for me that has been a resolute inner knowing that has never wavered. my mothers response yesterday was to use her standard reply was that I am a selfish self centred self pitying etc after I have raised this very subject. This site has been tremendously helpful and thank you all for it. Sarah from England


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