We all strive for comfort.
Whether it’s in the clothes we wear, the way we plan our finances, or the friends we choose to be around, our decisions are often made with our own comfort in mind. In his book, The Mindfulness Solution, professor of psychology Ronald D Seigel says that we are addicted to seeking pleasure, so much that we are unable “to just be”.
I’ve been trying to do things that make me uncomfortable. Like going the the gym, for example. When I first started I’d only stick to the treadmill, because I am comfortable running. Now there’s nothing wrong with sticking with what you enjoy, and you’ll get a lot of benefits from being consistent in that, but the problem is you’ll never grow (or shrink, as the case may be).
After a month or two I started a couple of classes. Some of them weren’t for me- so I dropped them (Spinning? Wasn’t nearly as whimsical as I had imagined it). I started to peer into the weight room though, eyeing up the bulging biceps and perky pectorals with both curiosity and anxiety. “I don’t belong in there” I told myself. But eventually I wanted to give it a try. So I ventured down and did a few sets with light weights. Nobody cheered, or sneered, in fact, I think everyone was as self conscious as I was to even notice me.
So each time I went to the gym I’d try something new.
Something that made me uncomfortable.
I did research at home or asked questions to people who seemed to be more advanced than I was, often times finding that they were beginners too. I just kept trying new things each time that were a tiny bit more out of my comfort zone. Six months passed and now I’m more comfortable in the weight room than ever before. I’ve hit personal bests in all my lifts and have reached goals that surpass what I thought I could do. Plus I’ve made some new friendships and gained knowledge and a passion for fitness I never had before.
So go ahead, do something new today that makes you uncomfortable . Maybe it’s talking to a new neighbour down the street. Maybe it’s applying for a new job. Maybe it’s as simple as leaving the house without your phone (you will not spontaneously combust, I promise).
You might succeed, you might fail, but at least you tried and learned something in the process. As for me? I guess it’s time for to push outside my comfort zone again. A friend attends barre class – I think they probably serve drinks there.