Whatever circumstances you are living in now, if you don’t like them, and if you aren’t actively working on changing them you are choosing them. Some level of comfort over courage. Moreover, the quality of our life is related to the choices we make, so how can we make better choices to help us live our best lives and reach our potential? If you are settling for less than what you are capable of, there are things in your life you are tolerating. Avoiding, ignoring or repressing situations and circumstances. Furthermore, how can we choose between maintaining a certain level of comfort versus living with courage to live a great life? Above all, to make choices that lead us to grab opportunities, try new things that challenge us to grow?
There are reasons we settle for comfort over courage
First, we are creatures of habit. This means we tend to settle into our current way of doing things, whether or not they take us nearer to our desired state. Furthermore, it often feels easier to stay in our comfort zone, even if it isn’t really comfortable. Moreover, our innate set point is to maintain comfort and the status quo. As our habits are run in our powerful subconscious mind we have to consciously focus on changing any that don’t suit.
Second, we are hard-wired to avoid danger. This means our brain is constantly searching and scanning for any signs of danger. And the very act of changing signals danger, which is a hurdle to change.
This conflict between comfort and challenge is always at play. It’s like two opposing forces. On the one hand we may know what we want to do, yet on the other, we don’t do it! It’s too hard, or feels scary and overwhelming. We flip flop between the two. Above all, we need a dose of courage to simply step through the feeling of fear.
We often know what we want to do yet wonder why we don’t take action
It’s one of our greatest inner conflicts. Not doing what we know, deep down we want to do. Failing to find the courage to make a new choice or try again.
We have to step through the veil of fear created by our brain signalling danger and releasing chemicals in our body. Chemicals which we feel and label as doubt, uncomfortable, fear or downright scary!
Yet on the other side of fear is success.
“Comfort will keep you back from pursuing your goals, fulfilling your dreams, and living up to your potential. Courage, on the other hand, gives us vision to see what others cannot see, to pursue what others would not dare to go after.’ Brené Brown
Even when we find the courage to take that step, we quit on ourselves. We fail in the department of consistency and vacillate between a few steps forward and back. Ultimately, returning to that old familiar place of comfort.
The first step is to look at what you are tolerating in your life
Looking at your life through a lens of what you are tolerating is a great way to see where you have settled for comfort or mediocrity. What things you are avoiding or ignoring. Moreover, it’s a great way to see what you are choosing from your tolerations.
Here are some questions to check what you may be tolerating:
- How are my relationships? Are they were I want them to be or have I chosen to ignore what needs to be said or addressed?
- What rating would I give my health? Am I achieving the level of health I desire or have I created reasons or excuses?
- Do I love what I do in my job/career? If not what stops me from doing something about it? What do I want instead?
- Am I living life to the fullest outside work? Am I trying new activities? If not, what have I settled for or given up on?
- Do I have goals and dreams? What have I given up? What do I really want to do?
- Is there anything else in my life am I tolerating?
- What have I chosen to ignore and what reasons and excuses do I tell myself for not making a change?
When you see what you are tolerating it can help you find courage to change
Now you have taken an honest look at your life, decide what you are committed to change. Write them down and take action on one now.
Create a few powerful statements, or as I call them, “POST’S” (Positive Statement’s.) They will help you remember what is important and what you want. To be courageous rather than too comfortable. Here are some examples:
“Every day I easily choose courage over comfort.”
“I commit to change my circumstances rather than choosing to ignore them if they do not serve me.”
“Reasons and excuses will no longer be tolerated. I will be courageous in my choices.”
The next step is to create a vision and plan to help you focus on long term success. Establishing strategies and disciplines to keep stepping out of your comfort zone.
Finally, remember to check your tolerations regularly. I check mine on a monthly basis. Often, they are small things like not tidying up my desk, failing to file or delete documents, letting my desk get cluttered or forgetting to stretch.
And of course it’s paying attention to the small things that is important. If we can nip our poor tolerations in the bud early, we can ensure they don’t seep into other areas of our lives and become bigger. Ultimately, stopping us from pursuing, the words of Brené Brown, “what others would not dare to go after.”
About the Author
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach who is dedicated to supporting high achievers fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guaranteed.
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