Are you too comfortable?
Picture it, pretty big white snowflakes falling from the sky and piling on your trees or grass. When this happens what are you doing? I’m curled up in my warm fuzzy blanket or better yet under my heated throw. Growing up in the Midwest, I loved winter. As a kid, I remember many winter nights wishing for a snow storm so I wouldn’t have to go to school. The next day I would play in the snow until I was too cold and wet to stand it. As an adult something changed. When it snowed, I still had to show up for work. I had to shovel snow out the drive-way or remove ice and snow from my car. Snow became my enemy. Winter became a time of year when I hibernated mentally until spring, only being outside when necessary.
I realized comfort is a tricky thing because it can be good and bad for you. All my life I’ve sought after comfort. I grew up with modest means so everything I did was to gain more comfort only to realize seeking to maintain comfort can hold me back from many desires and pleasures. This sounds so ridiculous and paradoxical even to me as I write it. Some of the definitions of comfort are:
“contented and undisturbed; at ease; reassure; feeling of relief; a state of ease and satisfaction of bodily wants, with freedom from pain and anxiety”
Are you thinking, “Yes, these are great things and I seek this often, so how can it hold or strip me from desires and pleasures?”
Let me explain. You say you want a new career, but the comfort of a steady paycheck or the comfort of knowing the ins-and outs your current job and co-workers keeps you from sending out your resume or networking with new people. You see interesting events or places on the internet but the comfort of knowing what to expect in the usual places you go keeps you from exploring them because it’s so different than what you have done in the past. You see interesting people at your gym or church but the comfort of talking to people you know keeps you safe from the potential rejection if you reach out to new people. You have health goals for yourself but insist on eating ‘comfort’ foods or stop exercising when you feel too much discomfort.
Join me on the joy journey and get uncomfortable in the quest for more joy in your life. Seeking discomfort can bring much more joy, pleasure and the change you are seeking. Without discomfort, it’s hard to make significant positive changes in your life.
Ok ok so ‘how?’ you ask. Well unfortunately the answer is cliché “feel the fear and do it anyway”. The whole point is to grow your ‘being uncomfortable muscle’ so you can invite more pleasurable things and joy into your life. Start with a small discomfort then consistently build on that. For example, you may have always wanted to go attend Zumba or Hip Hop exercise classes and meet new people, but the comfort of saying you’ll go when your friends are available is holding you back. Their schedule never matches your schedule, as well as you are not comfortable ‘dancing’ in public. First commit to going to a class and participate in the back of the class. Do this over and over for a short period of time with the goal of eventually moving closer to the front of the class. Another goal will be to start small talk with at least 1 person in class every time you attend class, then build on that. Eventually you will start making “exercise class” friends and look forward to seeing these friends.
What areas of your life have you been keeping the cozy blanket on? What will you step out and do or experience? If you want help and or support in taking action,