ARE YOU ADDICTED?
Comfort zones! A phrase inevitably talked about when anyone talks about change and so often used in self development. It describes a “place” where we are relatively comfortable and calm. A place where we are able to maintain an emotional balance. A place generally free from over anxiety and worry. A place that implies familiarity, safety, and security.
I love my comfort zone, where I can relax into being whomever I choose to be, do whatever I choose to do and it being ok, save and secure. I love my comfort foods, those wonderful treats that just give me that feeling of home, feeling of contentment, feeling of happiness. Can you relate?
Totally! Why? Because we all have them. None of us are exempt. Each and every one of us has things we know we love to do and how to do well. Things we don’t mind doing with other people watching.
Yet look at comfort zones a little closer. They are defined as a “psychological state in which things feel familiar to a person, where they are at ease and in control of their environment, experiencing low levels of anxiety and stress.” Less anxiety! Less stress! Less worry! Exactly what so many of us strive for and this very same desire for balance and security, is what makes stepping out of our comfort zone when it’s time to transition, grow, and transform so very difficult.
While so many of us want change and growth, we all have inside of us a craving for comfort to a greater or lesser degree, the need for a sense of certainty, a feeling that we know what’s going on, a feeling of control over our environment – even when it is not serving us.
So I was interested to read this week about Comfort Addiction. Comfort Addiction, is said to occur any time someone complains about their job, their relationships, their marriage, their life, or whatever, yet makes no attempt to change it. People who suffer from comfort addiction are addicted to the comfort level they’re currently at — even if they claim they don’t like the situation! While it may sound illogical to stay in a situation that makes you unhappy, it’s actually very common and is exactly why we stick to such “comfort” so stubbornly?
We’ve simply developed patterns and got used to living a certain way so that certain behaviour that’s maybe not “normal” seems normal and we continue living with it. It’s all about familiarity. We are drawn to what is familiar to us, whether it’s good or bad it doesn’t matter, it’s just something we’ve become accustomed to, something we’re used to. And, we’d rather die than risk the unknown, so we make up excuses for ourselves. We avoid opportunities to change by saying we don’t know how to do it, we don’t have the time to! Think for a moment how absurd these excuses are.
So lets for a minute switch that thinking. At one point of time we were all comfortable with the unknown, comfortable with change. If we weren’t we wouldn’t be where we are today. We were all born “knowing” only how to breath, suck and cry. Everything from then on, everything we are now capable of, from eating to tying our shoelaces to driving a car to talking with people, we have learned. We took our first step to walk and fell. We got up on that bike over and over again, no matter how many times we fell off, we learned to ride a bike. We learnt our first language to communicate. We pushed ourselves to communicate with others to create connection. We didn’t know how to do any of it, yet we went ahead and learned it anyway, we took every opportunity to grow and a natural part of growing, a natural part of life. And we did it, we faced our fears, got over ourselves a thousands of times over, to continue to grow, learn and connect.
So what happened? When did we decide “I don’t know how”? When did we decide “I don’t have time”? We did we decide it’s okay to settle even when we “know” it’s not serving us?
Science says it’s simply a natural progression for human beings, that we learn 80% of everything we’ll ever know in our first 5 years of life. Then it’s all downhill from there as we proceed along the spectrum from not knowing anything at all, to feeling like we know a lot. As we progress, the feeling of “unknowing” becomes more uncomfortable and we begin to cling to the feeling of “knowing” more and more.
So my question today is how addicted are you to comfort? In the end, we all need comfort, it’s one of our basic needs as human beings AND we also need growth. If we’re not growing, we’re dying. So whatever you do, don’t stay in your comfort zone for too long. Don’t be comfortable in your excuses, self-pity or victim mentality. Keep learning, keep growing, keep moving forward every day. Even if it’s just a tiny step. No magic. Just consistent effort.
Ultimately, you get to choose how you live, what you do and how successful you are. It doesn’t matter how you’ve been raised, what you’ve got “used to”, your future is always your choice. Just remember, how your life is now, is not how it always has to be. When you acknowledge that you have a comfort addiction and take steps to overcome it, you can achieve every goal you set out for yourself and live the life of your dreams.
And always, stay true to yourself — there’s no point in pushing yourself so badly that your life becomes miserable.
Are you ready to kick your comfort zone addiction? Book a 20-minute discovery session with me to see how I can help you clear some head space and have you focus on taking that next step into creating a lifestyle/business you desire. Book a discovery session here and join my Facebook group Quantum Leap for Women