It’s a question I have been asked several times over the past few weeks since we began discussing The Habit of Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable. The question is important, “Why is this necessary in order to successfully implement change in our lives.”
The answer is as simple as the question is valid. Being comfortable with being uncomfortable allows us to both accept and endure the pain and discomfort that most often accompanies our efforts at personal change.
Whenever we undertake to change something about ourselves we are in essence endeavouring to exchange one habit for another.
It is not possible to lose, abandon or get rid of a habit.
At best, we can exchange an existing habit with a new one and the process of doing so often causes a sense of pain or discomfort which is our internal messaging system signalling us of its unwillingness to move away from a habit with which we have become comfortable.
The old saying “Old habits die hard” plain and simply is not true. Not only do old habits not die hard, they don’t die at all. Instead, what they do is shrink down into the deepest recesses of our minds where they patiently wait for an opportunity to pounce back and re-claim what they’ve always believed to be rightfully theirs.
We’ve all met people who lost vast amounts of weight only to gain it back, or folks who have fallen off the wagon after lengthy periods of sobriety. Just recently I met a man who told me that he started smoking after a 20 year period of smoke-free living.
What all this means is that changing habits is really not a pain-free endeavor.
We need to constantly resist the strong temptation – those powerful urges – to not stay on the cozy couch but rather to force ourselves out of the house and into the gym or to push away the offer of chocolate cake with a polite “no thank you,” or to simply ignore that craving for a cigarette until it passes.
To do any of these, and all the other things we need to do to form new habits which lead to the permanent changes we desire, we need to become comfortable with the uncomfortable state of wanting to not do what we know we should be doing and wanting to do what we know we shouldn’t be doing.
The Habit of Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable does this for us and it is the acquiring of this habit that will separate those of us who do what they set out to do from those of us who constantly talk about it.
And to talk about it.
And talk about it.
The Habit of Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable is the biggest barrier between having the life we presently have with all of our old habits, and the life we want with all of the new ones.
And if we aren’t willing to become comfortable by being uncomfortable with the challenges of acquiring new habits, we may as well simply give up and become comfortable with being uncomfortable with the habits we have.
Our lives are a reflection of the choices we make and if we wish to introduce, implement and sustain positive change, then we must pick one form of discomfort to become comfortable with and stay with it regardless of how uncomfortable being comfortable becomes.
There is no other way.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.