So far this week we've examined the 5th and 4th reasons people don't change:
The 3rd reason is probably the most painful: We would rather be unhappy than uncomfortable.
Making any change in our lives necessarily requires us to do something different, or several things different. And this means we have to choose behaviors, routines, settings, words, and perhaps even people that are unfamiliar.
We have to willingly get uncomfortable, and most of us don't like uncomfortable.
--Eating less carbs at lunch can initially leave you with an uncomfortable, unsatiated feeling. (It's called "comfort food" for a reason.)
--Turning your phone off during an entire meeting can be uncomfortable.
--Calming your tone, even when your colleague (or child) is intentionally pushing your buttons, can be uncomfortable.
--Taking ownership for your part in a fight with your significant other, without knowing whether they will take ownership of theirs, is most definitely uncomfortable.
We would rather be unhappy.
"Give me the misery I know" is what our habits are telling us and those around us. At least that way we can know what to expect.
So many of you have written in this week, telling me of your desires for change. You've told me of your hopes for a better marriage, a better work experience, a better body, and a better relationship with your kids. I have deep desires for change as well. But none of these changes will ever happen for us as long as our desire for comfort is greater than our desire for change.
When this gets flipped, however, change becomes inevitable. That's because when we're willing to be uncomfortable, we start doing new things. And doing new things is the very definition of behavioral change.
On Friday I'll be opening an application page, where you can apply to join 9 other people on a 91-day adventure of change, with me as your guide. For some of you, even applying will be uncomfortable. For most, the commitment of time, focus, and money will be uncomfortable.
For now, take a pause and consider what change you'd like to make. How uncomfortable are you willing to get in order to be happier?
Peace begins with a pause,