Jonathan Chandler Webb
Tension! It happens and that’s ok

Are there times during the day when you feel tension? Not necessarily stress but a tug and pull between where you want to go and where you are going? If you are human then your answer to these questions is yes…we all deal with tension, that tug and pull throughout the day. It is normal and part of life.

The key is to push through it and learn where it’s coming from. We don’t always have time to stop and write down every thing that is happening in the moment. But hopefully after reading this you will have a couple of tools in your tool belt to deal with it when it shows up in your life.

The very nature of life is tension and release (creation and destruction). Remembering this is central to moving forward in this area. Understanding this is beneficial to navigating life’s moments. Like speaking in front of a group of people, you have to understand your audience and where they are coming from. Guess what? You are the speaker and the audience is yourself! No one talks to us more than ourselves, whether out loud or in our own heads.

You see, often times when tension comes up we stop, afraid that we are doing something wrong. You’re not doing anything wrong! That tension is you wanting to flourish, to shine through all the mess that is going on around you. Does that make sense? You feel tension when you are pushing against something that you’ve never done before or that you are still learning.

For example, when you learn the guitar your fingers experience significant issues during those first few weeks. They aren’t used to bending certain ways, they aren’t used to moving that quickly at times, and they develop blisters from overuse. Your fingers experience tension when you learn how to play the guitar. Is that tension bad? Certainly not! You are bumping up against something that you’ve never done before and are learning something new and challenging. This is the mindset I want you to have when discussing tension.

For today, can you think of any areas you notice tension in your daily life? Areas where it seems like every time you try to move forward you get stuck or something always happens? Take out a journal or a pad of paper and write those down. Be honest with yourself, no one has to see these things but you.

Once those are written down, walk away from the paper for a little while. Do your best to remove yourself from that situation and take care of something else for a while. After an hour or so come back to your list.

On that same paper or on a different page, write down 3 things you can do to move forward in those areas you wrote. 3 things that you can do to push through that tense situation or at least a few ways to look at it differently.

You see, often times we are looking at things through a certain frame of mind without exploring different avenues. Sometimes by just taking a fresh look at something changes everything. That’s what I’m asking you to do here.

So, you have your homework! Think about moments that bring tension, write them down, then explore ways to move forward and/or improve those areas. Remember, tension isn’t a bad thing. Let’s get our there and create!


If you were asked to speak in front of a group of people, would that create some tension for you? Would you start to sweat and wonder how you got in this situation? Would you say no to the invitation as fast as humanly possible?

Why? Perhaps you don’t think of yourself as a good speaker. Maybe you just don’t like being the center of attention (or so you tell yourself) and would rather sit back and watch someone else. Maybe you are simply afraid and don’t want to step out of your comfort zone. Guess what? All of those reasons, and any others you can think of are perfectly normal. We’ve all been there in many situations, some much less dramatic than public speaking.

My thought for you today is this…how do we continue to learn and grow when situations like those above present themselves? How can we move through something that may be uncomfortable and unenjoyable? You see, we all deal with instances every day that are not necessarily fun. I mean, life can be challenging sometimes.

One way we can continue to learn and grow is through questions. Good questions can be instrumental in getting to the root of an issue and/or learning through some experience.

What are you currently working on that has lost its positive feelings? Is there something that used to be a ton of fun but now is dragging you down? Maybe its the new job that isn’t going as well as hoped. Maybe its a project that seems like it will never end. Maybe its a financial goal. Maybe you’ve been asked to do something out of your comfort zone like our above example. Whatever it is, take that thing through the following questions.

1) Where’s the best place to put my energy?
2) How can I continue momentum?
3) What’s great about this?
4) How can I enjoy this process even more?

Do you notice something in questions 3 and 4? Its a focus on gratitude and not fear. In those difficult moments, I want us to practice replacing fear with gratitude. Learn to appreciate the challenges as they come and work hard to move through them. Yes life is challenging. Yes there are things that absolutely kick us in the teeth, sometimes on a daily basis. I do believe that we can learn from them.

There was a point with the item you chose that was enjoyable. There was a moment when you felt like time stood still and you worked for hours. For me it is writing. I have a book I’ve been working on for 2 years. Rough draft is done but the edits have been taking me a long time because I forgot why I started writing in the first place. I took my book through the above questions and came out the other side with a better understanding of why I wanted to write it in the first place. Those answers will be the key to pushing through the mess.

Remember, you can do this! We all struggle with things so there is nothing wrong with you. Stop, take some time, and ask some questions.