If you had to pick between the 2, which one would you go for.
When you think about word association exciting is probably associated with words like fun but also maybe risk.
Comforting on the other hand is probably associated with familiarity and being boring.
Despite what you might think you’d choose, if you look back on your past choices many people find that they choose comfort, over and over again.
I think the reason for this is that even if we can’t admit it, we’d much rather stick with what we know and be bored than take a risk and potentially have it go wrong.
And so the real choice we give ourselves is risk or relief.
This is one of the easiest ways to feel better about life.
Instead of gazing into the abyss of nothingness wondering what the future will hold, you can set yourself up with something to look forward to.
It could be a catch up with a friend in a few days time or a holiday a year from now. But it could also be you making time for a hobby you enjoy one evening after work.
I think the reason having something to look forward to can help us feel better is because it gives us some indication of how the future will be. Granted we can’t predict everything but if we can set one or even a few things in stone then suddenly the future isn’t so frightening.
It’s common to fear the unknown and so if you can in some way bring some sense of knowing or stability, it helps make things easier.
Talking about how unhappy you are with where you’re at is easy to do. Talking about the changes you want to happen in your life is also pretty easy.
But when it comes to actually turning those thoughts into plans, things tend to get a little more challenging.
First of all, there is the familiarity factor. There is comfort in familiarity. Just the fact that your current circumstance is what you’re used to will make it difficult for you to move on from it to something new.
Then, there is the commitment to the change you want.
Lastly, there is the risk ‘what if it doesn’t work?’
All of that is enough to convince many people to stay exactly where they are. Or they tell themselves they’ll make the changes slowly over time. But often those efforts are half-hearted.
What you might need to do is take a leap a faith. Launch yourself into the unknown, fully committed and knowing that you can handle whatever challenges come your way.
Sometimes that’s the only way to make changes in your life.
Often when a person finds themselves craving something new, it’s because they’re bored with where they’re at.
As much as familiarity can be comforting and pleasant, for many people they find themselves at a point where they want more.
You find yourself wanting something different, not because what you’re used to isn’t working but because you want to remember the feeling of newness.
It’s like taking a different route home every once in a while. You do it to switch things up not because you never want to take your usual route again.
This idea can apply to so many things and one of them is the work you do. When you’re doing the same thing over and over you’ll get sick of it after a while because you’re no longer doing it consciously, you’re not thinking or stretching your mind and you want to be challenged.
So, you put yourself forward for a new type of work. It’s new and unfamiliar and you enjoy it simply because it’s not what you’re used to.
The beauty of this kind of situation is after you’re tried something new, you can go back to what you were doing before often with new found appreciation.
The idea of exploring is one I don’t think is valued enough. I don’t mean travelling and exploring new countries or cities, I mean exploring self.
Being able to know your own limits whilst also being able to put yourself out there and experience new things.
It’s so easy to stay within the remit of what you know because there’s comfort in familiarity. However, it’s also worth considering when you don’t venture outside of that you lose the chance to learn about yourself about and understand yourself.
When you give yourself the opportunity to explore life a little more, you might find that you don’t actually believe the things you thought were true.
It’s a new day, a new month, a new year and a new decade.
If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to begin, that time is now.
Start the blog, writing the book, writing songs, writing poetry, take that class, visit that new city, initiate plans with that person you met recently, start that podcast, share your photography or whatever it may be.
So, often we hold off from starting because we think that we’re not ready or we’re waiting for the right time.
But there is no right time, it’s a myth and you’ll always be able to find an excuse as to why you should put off that thing for just a little bit longer.
Maybe you don’t feel comfortable enough with how your voice sounds to start a podcast. But maybe if you just started the comfort would come with time. Plus most people don’t like the sound of their own voice when they hear it back, so you’re not alone.
The difference is they choose not to indulge in that feeling because they know that they have something worth sharing.
If you’ve been waiting for to start, start now.
You can’t always have both.
So it turns out that the thing that brings you the most comfort might also be incredibly unhelpful to your personal development. It could even be the main thing holding you back from living your dream life, a life of bliss.
But you get so caught up in the comfort of this habit that has grown on you and with you that you can’t even see how it is hindering your progress.
On the flip-side of this is helpful habits and actions. If you’ve never done them before they probably feel a little uncomfortable but that is to be expected. Despite, how these things may feel they’re actually good for you and following though with them will lead you to your dream life, a life of bliss.
And so it’s a choice between short term discomfort for long-term joy or long-term comfort for long-term dissatisfaction.
The choice is yours.
Mid-week musings on not embracing anxiety.
If you find yourself caught in the analysis paralysis of indecision it might be worth making a conscious effort to care-less.
Instead of allowing the thoughts to go on and on until breaking point, give yourself a deadline.
3 minutes, 3 hours or 3 days before you have to take action. Do it for at least a week and keep a dairy of the decisions you made and the outcome.
The ideal outcome would be that you find that whether you care or care-less things will still be alright which is a pretty good reason to stop being so afraid of making decisions.
You’ll have physical evidence that what you decide isn’t always the most important thing it’s how you feel and your attitude towards what you’ve decided.
And if you find you’ve picked something that didn’t result in the desired outcome , then it’ll be the perfect time to practice your bouncebackability.
At the end of trying out a different approach to decision making the beauty of it is, is that if it was just totally dreadful you can always go back to your old approach.
If that’s the the case at least you tried which is often more important than the actual result.
You can always go back.
One of the things that I don’t think is often considered is that when you leave your comfort zone you can always go back if things don’t work out.
For example if you make music and usually just keep it to yourself, try putting it out there for people to hear. Sure you might be nervous and it’ll take a bit of courage but if it doesn’t go well you haven’t lost out on anything.
And if you lose that feeling of courage you can always go back to keeping your stuff to yourself again, you can always go back to your comfort zone.
However, on the flip-side you can keep trying because good things take time and it’s like Ziglar once said ‘Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well‘.
It’s more than just comfort and familiarity but it’s both of those things too.
When you move on from something and you haven’t reached the place you moved on to, it’s totally normal to look back at what you left or let go of.
And when you’re in a place of limbo, perhaps feeling a little dissatisfied with where you’re at, you might find yourself looking back from a place of lack.
Then suddenly that thing you chose to leave looks golden and bright. You find yourself wondering why you even moved on in the first place.
But deep down you don’t really want that thing, you just crave certainty. It’s much easier to take a step back to the familiarity of what you know than it is to keep going and venture on into the unknown.