The thing about being comfortable is that it sneaks up on you, embracing you in the blanketed coziness of familiarity that tends to blur your awareness that I’m. Not. Moving. Forward. Um, sorry. I didn’t seem to notice. I was justsadamn comfortable…
If you’re familiar with the movie RainMan, you may remember Raymond Babbit’s frenzied insistence in adhering to the comfort of his familiar daily routine: “Wednesday is fish sticks. Green lime jello for dessert.” For my husband and I, fish sticks and lime jello once become a catch-phrase between the two of us when one of us suspected that our son was ritualizing something, signaling that it was time to take action. Be it food related, a television show, video game, or behavior, due to his autism, we’ve felt it’s necessary to step in and shake up this form of self-protection whenever we see a potential issue emerging. Now that he is 20, it’s rarely an issue, but in the early years it was extremely difficult for him to be pulled from a comfort zone he had designated for himself, and it became necessary for us to say no out of love vs. yes out of fear. We rode out his discomfort with him until the situation passed, and with each triumph he grew increasingly self-confident in his ability to not let a situation determine his behavior. He learned that being uncomfortable is just part of living and not only does he have the capacity to withstand discomfort, he would progress and thrive due to his adherence in doing so. As with so many of these life skills that I believed I was helping to instill in my son on our autism journey, the lesson was, as always, intended for me.
Steven Pressfield says, “The more important an activity is to your soul’s evolution, the more resistance you will feel.” In my own experience and in the many shared experiences of others, I have found this to be true 100% of the time. In the challenges that we were almost too scared to take on, the endeavors that we believed were bigger than us, or any feat that we nearly convince ourselves is beyond our reach, do we find the key to our next level. I can’t tell you what’s on your next level, or even what’s on my own for that matter, but I can tell you for sure that I want to get there and I have made it a priority to get, gulp, uncomfortable.
What that means will be different for each of us. It could mean pushing yourself differently in your workout, leaving a comfortable but spirit-crushing job, going balls to the wall doing something that you enjoy but are not good at (yes, fellow perfectionists out there: you don’t have to be an ace at something to enjoy it!) starting a new business, removing yourself from relationships that deplete you, and anything else that requires you to stand in your truth. If there’s one area you are going to encounter resistance, it will be when you begin to stand in your truth, and it is for the very reason Steven Pressfield stated above: it’s important to your soul’s evolution.
Are you ready to kick it into high gear and get uncomfortable? Only you can pinpoint the areas where resistance is present and push back accordingly. If you’re scratching your head and son-of-a-bitching me right now because you believe you don’t have a clue as to where in your life you’ve become comfortable, relax and breathe. If you are a meditator, you know how to go within for your answers. If you are a person who prays, pray for guidance in seeing what your eyes are not showing you. If you are a person who all of this sounds a little too woo-woo for, get outside and take a walk/run/hike/swing and clear your mind. Don’t think, don’t feel, just get. See what comes to you. You’re not on the clock. Your answers will unfold in their own time simply by being open to them.