I’ve done a great deal of thinking, writing, and speaking about comfort addictions. Having said that, I still consider myself a pilgrim on a journey trying to find and deal with my own comfort addictions.
My desire for comfort directs my actions, often in unhealthy ways. Some examples for me are:
- A cheeseburger is comfortable. Broccoli is not.
- My sofa is comfortable. My elliptical is not.
- Hanging out with my wife Karen is comfortable. Reaching out to someone new to build a relationship is not.
So what happens here is when we make decisions based on our comfort addictions we live a very limited life. When we lean into these discomforts we can accomplish what we otherwise deem to be impossible.
Everyone is uncomfortable in some way or another. We all have some comfort addict in us and the truth is, we can all benefit from evaluating this while being very honest with ourselves.
“All change begins by telling the truth.” – Dan Sullivan
What is one thing that makes you personally or professionally uncomfortable?
Every time you experience discomfort there is a moment of decision. The quality of these decisions will shape the quality of life we experience. We make a better life when we make better decisions.
The number one job of our brain is to keep us alive. The brain senses discomfort and interprets it as a threat. Our brain then signals us to run away. Author Marc Shoen shares these ideas in his book Your Survival Instinct is Killing You.
The brain then provides rationalization and/or justification for not dealing with discomfort. It’s really good at coming up with all sorts of good reasons to help alleviate the feeling of discomfort.
When not prepared to make a decision before we experience the discomfort we’ll almost always give way to avoid the discomfort altogether.
How to Deal with Your Comfort Addictions
How do you confront your comfort addictions? Guess what? This shouldn’t be the question.
The question is when do I deal with my comfort addictions?
There are really two ways to look at this:
- Discomfort >> Decision >> Action
- Decision >> Discomfort >> Action
The first way forces us to deal with a decision emotionally. The second way allows us to make a decision using logic.
When we plan ahead and make our decision before we experience the discomfort we are able to take the desired action rather than simply walking away.
Psychologists call this cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and it’s simply thinking about that thinking about what we’re going to do before we get there.
Discomfort is all around us. Set aside some time for yourself to make a list of everyday things that cause you discomfort. Be sure to include personal and professional examples.
I’m challenging you to take the top three to five from your personal and professional list. Spend more time thinking about the decision you can make ahead of time on these so when they happen you’ll be able to lean in rather than rationalize and walk away.
Be bold my friends and if you want to learn more please check out my book Be Bold and Win the Sale.