Fear and rejection of discomfort is creating significant problems. We have been made to think that if something makes you uncomfortable then you must avoid it. If it requires you to stretch then don’t do it.
I want to share with you some reasons why this belief as become stronger in our world today and what you can start doing to really achieve your greatest desires and goals.
Strength based focus is a problem. I was trained to be a strength based clinician. I saw a lot of good things happen while using techniques that focused on building upon strengths. The idea is to not go into deficits and to learn to use current skill set to get stronger and overcome impediments. Strength Based also helps people see they are resourceful and resilient in the face of adversity. There is a lot of good in this!
Where I saw focusing on strengths only become a problem…
We are putting ourselves into this “comfort bubble.” I like to make it very clear to anyone with whom I work that if you want to remain comfortable in life and you only want tasks that are comfortable then I am not the guy for you. Sure, we don’t want to intentionally make things hard but if what you desire to accomplish in life requires hard steps to get there then let’s do it!
I also saw this become a problem because I would work with people and felt like from a strengths based perspective I would have to tell people… use the tools and skill sets you are good at and only do things that are consistent with these. I wouldn’t say it like that nor would a strengths based model teach you to explicitly say that; however, that’s the message we are delivering. We really are saying … just go with what you have and make it stronger.
Instead, we need to be saying… what do you ASPIRE to BECOME? Let’s get you there. Let’s look at what you are strong in, let’s look at deficits you will need to overcome, let’s get uncomfortable and let’s become great!
So, that is where we need to focus… but I really want to help you understand in depth why the comfort zone is a horrible idea… a harmful idea.
- We are evolutionary beings. In essence, variables are always changing. Conditions are always changing. We either fight the change or we adapt. I teach people to create routines, but I go much further and help you adapt those routines to variables and conditions. This is an art that can easily be developed if using the right methods! BUT, if we are not willing to step out of the comfort zone we will become stuck, limited, and victims of life.
- When we we choose to stay in our comfort bubbles we allow boredom to to take over. When you are bored in life you look to negative coping to make life fun. When in all reality, life is plenty entertaining when you stretching yourself. We also look to others to entertain us and are bored if there is not enough external entertainment. That doesn’t sound like a life I want to live. You won’t reach your goals like this.
- Comfort zone leads to idleness. You will become idle when you allow yourself to play in the stagnant bubble. When we are idle we are not progressing. We are merely trying to not be sad, trying to not be anxious, trying to not be unhealthy. Well, as I always say… “not is not a goal.” You have to focus on what you DO WANT! An idle brain is simply avoiding what you need to accomplish in order to experience true joy.
- You will become a complainer and a reactor. You stop looking for excuses to grow and begin living by excuses of why you can’t grow. Consequently, you aren’t being proactive… life is just happening to you. Ugh, that sounds awful.
- I could go on and on about how contaminating is the comfort bubble. But, I can only take so much negativity. Honestly, as I write this I don’t like this negative talk… it bothers me. I want to share some tips with you of how to look at both your strengths and deficits and start really progressing towards your aspirations!
Ahhh… before I forget. I also think there is danger in models that just dwell in the crap. Sometimes in therapy we are trained to get people to where the past no longer effects the person. This is great… but THEN WHAT? The truth is we must have balance with both ideas… strength based and resolution of the past.
Where to start?
- You have to have 3 reasons WHY you are wanting to achieve your health goals. Don’t simply stick with 1 reason. You need to be clear on your inspiration leading to aspiration. Get clear on this!
- Once you have your big picture you need to gain confidence in yourself. How the heck do you gain confidence? You show yourself by making some small strides. Set some small goals and reach them.
- Stretch! While you are taking some small steps… find one area that you want to go outside your comfort zone. Don’t choose too many things at once. Literally, I want you to choose one thing at a time to push yourself. If you choose too many big steps at once your brain and body will fight against you. Instead, show your brain and body that it’s okay to stretch and move outside the stagnant bubble.
- When you are stretching don’t expect perfection. Be a scientist. In good science we look at the variables and analyze them. We seek to understand what went well and what went wrong. We try other variables to see if it will create better outcomes. NOW… you only change one variable at a time in good science. The same applies when you are trying to make big change.
- As much as I want you to push yourself I also want you to be easy on yourself. Accept deficits as part of the human experience. When you are trying to reach out of the comfort zone you will experience pain, struggles, and so on. And this is GOOD! Don’t judge yourself, but don’t settle.
I hope you will consider these tips and ideas. Have balance and push yourself!
All the best,
P.S. To get tons of free resources visit my website: DrDrewBrazier.com