by Eric Sudler, M.S.
Here we go again. Time to make a conscious effort to be insane. For each of us, we have reached a particular comfort level in one or more areas of our life. Although we want to strive for better things and more opportunities, we refuse to do what it takes to get there. Why should we have to change? Staying the same is sooooooo much easier and requires much less effort. Anything else would require… work and possible discomfort. Yuck.
Facing change sucks and the truth can be hard to recognize at times even when people try to tell us. After all, who knows you better than yourself? Why should you listen to anyone else about what you should do? Every decision you’ve made up this point has been the perfect choice and you’ve never had regrets about any choice you’ve made, right? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Maybe a little outside help or advice might aid you in your journey.
You’ve made mistakes before and you’ll probably make them again. Not doing something because you’re afraid of a bad outcome is no reason to not try. In part, the fear of breaking the unbreakable patterns stems from the fear of discomfort. Doing something different means new choices, new patterns to learn, new experiences, and more energy to explore new and unfamiliar territory. But let me propose this: Just about everything that you are comfortable with right now, was at one point unfamiliar to you. One day, you tried it and liked it. Maybe you were introduced to it and it worked out. Perhaps you didn’t like it, but if you are reading this right now, it means that you survived whatever it was and lived to tell about. Therefore, we can conclude that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The point is, you took a chance on it and it wasn’t the end of the world. No matter what kind of discomfort it is, it is only temporary.
As humans, we have a proclivity towards curiosity and the unknown. It is our nature to take risks. Without risk, there can be no progress. If no one ever took any risks or attempted to expand their comfort level, we probably wouldn’t have any of the great technological advances that we enjoy today. Therefore, if you associate risk with fear, discomfort, anxiety, or hardship, you will not be able to progress in life whether it’s branching out in the relationship realm, taking a chance at work, or just trying something different. Raising our frustration tolerance level is not supposed to be easy, but it will be rewarding. It’s a process. Processes usually take time and occur in small, sometimes imperceptible increments. So, given the choice between getting there slowly versus not at all, I would choose the former not the latter. Although the choice is easy when you think of it that way, most of us do not choose that option. If your goal is really to move forward and break that unbreakable chain of repeating events, you have to do something different or you will keep getting the same results. There’s no way around it. We have to learn to be comfortable with the discomfort and know that it’s not going to be easy. Again, it will start our very difficult and seemingly unbearable journey. However, just like most things in life, it will get easier with consistent practice. Sometimes you have to go through hell to get to heaven.