Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
The Matrix is a really simple, quick way to learn ACT. We use the diagram like a compass to guide us through life.
First of all the Matrix is about noticing your behaviour because that is the one thing you can control. By increasing awareness of what we do we can start to learn whether our actions take us towards the things that are important in life or away from them. ACT is about building a life that is worth living by increasing your towards behaviour and reducing your away behaviour. It is as easy as that, but incredibly hard to do.
It’s hard because normally people pay attention to negative thoughts and feelings, getting lost in trying to control these. It is the struggle to move away from uncomfortable experiences that takes us away from what is important. ACT is based on the idea that you need to learn to accept what you cannot control and in that way you get back in control of your life.
This is compared to the idea of driving a bus full of unruly passengers (your thoughts and feelings). On the front of the bus is the route number, which is the direction you would like to go in. However when you move forwards the passengers get unruly and make it really uncomfortable for the driver (you). Then the driver tries to get the passengers to quieten down or even tries to get them off the bus. Guess what happens to the bus!
We call this learning how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable