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Choosing Change over Comfort?

The comfort of knowing what one currently has and can fall back to when needed is a reason for many of us not to change. We fear failing and falling into the abyss of the unknown, drifting away from the familiar. There is a sense of security when the known remains the known.

It is in our nature that we resent change. We express resentment of adapting to any new normal as we have to make a change in mindset. Our environment does its own thing and does not take into consideration that we were in a pretty comfortable spot.

We are ranting over the fact that Facebook made UX changes. The pages are filled with messages of disbelief. The old school fanatics elaborately describe that the choices made for an interface change will hurt the market. Statements that this change will see a drop in usage are copied and pasted wildly across the net. Or in their books, are just simply plain and stupid. We utter out our frustration, because we were so used to swiping from left to right to see the next post without thinking. Now, the mother of all social media channels decides to screw your mind by making a change.

What were they thinking?

Now I have to think again to make that same move?

Bastards!

Yet, a few weeks later, the disgusts of the changes are no longer present. Change is integrated into our lives. We forget that what initially scared the bejesus out of us has become the new norm. We can’t even remember what the fuzz was all about.

The options to embrace change are limited: you either accept them, you continue to spill your guts about (and still use the same platform) or find new ways to satisfy your need to swipe from left to right. The brain does not care what you do. It will and can accept change as it is wired in such a way, it adapts to new environments or finger-flicking movements.

What I am trying to say here is that you can embrace change as a life’s constant. You can also decide to stick with the good old while not getting sucked into the vortex of the amendment. It is up to you to decide which trail you want to take.

With change comes a decent amount of fear. The fear of failure, that nagging fear of the need to leave your comfort zone, and jumping into the deep without knowing whether we can ever adapt to our environment. Change can be a nasty player in the way we perceive change. Why? Because we do not know what the reward will be at the end of the line. The path may be smooth sailing in our minds and on paper. We just do not see the light at the end of the tunnel, and whether we will ever see it. And that is a scary thought.

But while change unveils a risk factor, it also allows one to explore and take new roads and increase the uncertainty factor. In the recruitment industry, the sentence “the grass is not always greener on the other side’ often appears in my feed. The meaning of it does not need any further explanation, I dare say. 

A deliberate choice to stay in the cosy now and avoid treading the darker waters of a new you. 

It is a fine balance where candidates arrive at crossroads to decide whether they should go left instead of right. Weighing options, extending the deadline to make the change, talking, researching and Wham! The desire to change moves from the gut to the rationale.

In many ways, change is also an essential component when taking your ability to thrive to the next level. Climbing those stairs with the speed and agility of a mountain goat are far behind us; we barely make it to the 2nd floor without huffing and puffing our lungs out. Expanding mid sections may be the result? Hauling that extra weight that was not present a couple of years ago drags us down and dips our shirts in darkened spots of sweat. Should we sacrifice our hours in front of the telly after a day’s work for our health or perhaps opt to call the elevator a few times less than before? Oh, the discomfort of change. 

There is no denying that change is hard. A decision one has to make without knowing what trade-offs one has to make. The easiest way without circumventing the unknown and avoiding the rocky path is what lies in our scope. To climb out of our mental recliner and change to a new chair without proper lumbar support or an extension to put your feet up, just for the sake of change wants to make you think twice.

It is even for making conscious changes when it comes to your health. We still think that what we do now will result in that goal. 

I need to lose some weight.

I heard and read it so many times before. And xx months later, we still stay in our comfort zone. Cursing left and right that one simply is not able to make that decision to embrace change enriches conversations with friends and family.

Because we all are somehow afraid to step out of our comfort zone. 

We trust our rationale above our gut.

We know we need to change but extend that cutting-the-ribbon ceremony when we think we are ready.

How to change should be perceived is like levelling up in a computer game. We’ve mastered the skills of one side of the spectrum (we killed the guards of that alien fortress, it is now going after the supreme leader) so that we are ready to move up. We may die a few times and respawn back to the starting point of this challenge, but we learn every single step of the way. Changing tactics to stand face-to-face with that ugly, heavily armed dude from a planet, far far away springs to mind when we simply cannot breach the inner walls.

But whatever it takes, we want to come out victorious in the end. No matter what it takes.

These gamers regularly reach out for some online support (the game’s website, YouTube tutorials, or fellow online conquerors of the same level) on what changes may or may not work. Success comes with persistence and consistency. I design my health changes and coaching on similar practices.

We often believe we can handle change well enough. And with lots of volume and velocity, we feel that it may turn out to become an uncomfortable ride. And going faster and with a mentality of going all in, the results we want to see, don’t appear. Thus we go faster, quicker and take on more to get to the checkered flag. It is like chasing that bucket of gold at the end of the rainbow.

We never get there. But we hope it is there.

But what change does, when being consistent on all fronts, is it reaps tremendous rewards and a new way of looking at what once was your comfort zone. High-fives and showing your progress on your once demonized Facebook page turn out to be confirmations that change is possible and creates positivity in our lives.

When utterly determined to change, nothing can stop you. Your why for change becomes as clear as a full moon pinpricking a cloudless sky. Rushing into change – chasing that pot of gold – on our own is put as a priority as we know our comfort zones. 

Ever considered that tutorials and guidance from those who have levelled up and become Master of the Universe have gained those skills through trial, error and education? Reaching out for them for some advice or teaming up to make those sustainable kills to reach beyond the upper echelon of your game called “living a thriving life” just maybe that trigger? 

Staying on the same level over and over again because you do not see your blind spots to turn change into a success formula is not what you are after.

Choose change over comfort; it may give you those extra bonus lives you need to thrive.

My tutorials of those opting to change can be found right here.

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it | Hellen Keller

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