I let myself get far too comfortable in my situation, and it’s often to my detriment. I’ve spoken about this recently on my podcast, This Indie Life, but it’s worth exploring further.
The trouble with being comfortable is it stops you pushing beyond your current state, to where you know you can be, and ultimately want to be.
I know where I want to be in life, with my business, finances, health, etc. But my current state of “being too comfortable” stops me pushing to achieve those goals. Because to achieve those goals I need to cross the chasm into the uncomfortable.
But, being too used to being comfortable means that I don’t really know how to deal with being uncomfortable.
What do I mean by “comfortable”
- I have a roof over my head that won’t be going anywhere (own my home)
- I have a rather nice quarterly income that pays all my bills and more
- I can feed myself whatever I want, whenever I want
- I can spend my time however I please (within client deadlines etc)
James, that sounds fucking great! What’s the problem?
The problem is I fall back on all of these things whenever things get tough. I’ve lost a little of the resilience I had when growing up.
I struggle to deal with challenges head on and I tend to self-sabotage on certain things knowing that I’m ultimately comfortable.
There’s the obvious examples like missing deadlines for work and knowing all my needs will still be met.
But there’s the less obvious, long term (and slightly more damaging) examples of this where I’m wasting my potential and all of the things that I’ve built up over the past few years.
What am I going to do about it?
There’s no point me complaining about being too comfortable and not doing anything about it. So here’s my plan.
I’m going to put myself in more situations where I feel uncomfortable and try and take note of what my brain is thinking at that moment, then do everything I can to bypass it.
One specific example that has helped me recently:
I’ve taken up cycling because it was fun, but then I found it was a great exercise for this very thing. I found myself pushing beyond comfort because I, enjoyed it? When I’m planning a big ride, I’ll often chose the route with the least hills. Or if I’m coming up on a hill I’ll turn around or get off and walk. But recently I’ve been tackling hills and trying to enjoy them. Despite how uncomfortable it is. Embracing them, even.
So taking note of various times I’m feeling uncomfortable and pushing through it. Learning how to deal with that feeling.
The next thing is trying to take that overwhelming feeling and emotion I get when there is something I really don’t want to do.
Because I’m too comfortable I can usually just not do the thing. But realistically this is not going to help be build a good life for myself in the future.
An example here is creating content for my wallet brand, Whitstable Craft Co.
I’ve been wanting to do this for the past year because the wallet business is something I feel I could do long term. The problem is I don’t “have” to do anything. There is no client, no sponsor, no accountability to grow this thing. The only way I can make this happen is to remove the emotion, feeling, however you might describe it and just do the thing.
More tangibly I’m going to schedule time every week for content production. Non-negotiable.
I’m applying this same strategy to other work that I’ve got to do. It’s uncomfortable, it’s not what I want to do, but I know I’ll feel better for doing it.
This might not be everyone’s definition of getting “uncomfortable”, but as someone who is resting on their laurels, that quarterly pay check and a nice warm home, I need to embrace what I find uncomfortable.