Last week we introduced The Habit of Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable.
The Habit of Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable serves to remind us how often we need to do the very things we don’t want to do or to not do those things we want to do.
It is so vitally important if we wish to move from having what we don’t want to have or from not having what we do want to have to a place where we do indeed have what we do want to have and don’t have what we don’t.
Being comfortable with being uncomfortable is an acceptance of what has to be in order to get to where we want to be. There is a dark side to The Habit of Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable and, for too many of us, that dark side keeps us from getting to where we want to be and inspiring us to stay there.
What that means is that the flipside of The Habit of Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable enables us, to our detriment, to repeatedly do the very things we know not to do and to keep doing the very things that we know we should be doing because it is more comfortable to keep doing. We even become comfortable with the very same consequences of our behaviours that we have come to hate.
Let’s use an example that is familiar to many of us.
We commit to dropping those 10 – 40 pounds we have been carrying around for as long as we can remember.
We begin, with great fervour, a new way of eating and experience some success.
We are in the office when our boss walks in and informs us that she has decided to treat us all to pizza in recognition of our hard work. A moment later six pizza boxes arrive and find their way to a table, the delicious aroma slowly wafts through the air, assaults our nostrils and our comfort with being uncomfortable begins.
We’ve been here before – many, many times. Should we? Shouldn’t we?
An old saying reminds us that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. As has happened so often in our past, we negotiate a deal with ourselves in which we agree to eat the pizza now in exchange for not eating anything for the next 10 days.
We know from repeated past experience this will not happen, but in the moment, seduce ourselves into thinking the 10 days are real and not fiction and doesn’t start until tomorrow, whereas the pizza is here now and in the present.
Perhaps later the pangs of regret kick in and make us feel guilty but we are also comforted by knowing that tomorrow is another day and we can start this whole charade all over again.
The opposite of comfort is not discomfort, it is pain. And it is not until there is no comfort – only severe pain – to be found in the repeated discomfort of eating pizza that we can hope for permanent and sustainable change.
And so for The Habit of Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable to change our lives, we must find the comfort that exists only in the long term life and not be deceived by the tantalizing false comfort of the life we want to leave.
An old Chinese prophet says that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the second best time is now.
The same is true with our lives. The best time to make the changes we wish might well have been in the distant past, but we didn’t, and so the new best time is right now.
Right now, face reality with ice-cold objectivity, commit yourself to doing what you know to do, and burn all bridges to the way back to your old ways.
Oh, and when it gets tough, suck it up and move forward.
It won’t take long before you will be enjoying a level of comfort you never imagined possible.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.