Being comfortable is a great feeling.
As per its actual definition, what’s not to like about something ”providing physical ease and relaxation”?
Comfort is important, but it can also prevent us from moving on to even better things.
I have a lot of friends who are not really willing to try new food. They will sometimes, usually following some peer pressure, but they much rather stick to what they know. And funnily enough, I used to be quite similar. I would go to a select few restaurants, and try food that was likely to be within a certain taste range.
I was quite comfortable in my life for a long time. I had started reading and following people who were talking about personal growth. Inspiring people like Earl from Wandering Earl, Niall Doherty from Disrupting the Rabblement as well as Mark Manson well known now for his latest book: The subtle art of not giving a fuck. They all started with easy steps. Walking in new neighborhoods, ordering something new or even going to a new restaurant.
They were traveling the world and blogging about it. And of course from my couch in Fort St. John, BC it seemed like something impossible. I would never be brave enough to have that kind of lifestyle. I was afraid of so many things, I couldn’t see how I could even survive the insects I would meet or all the other challenges.
I was comfortable.
But I was also finally willing to step out of my comfort zone. Not in a massive way, but I followed some advice I found online and started to walk back home using different streets. I pushed myself slowly and eventually I discovered that it wasn’t all that scary after all. And that the worst thing that could happen was for me not to like something new I tried. And that it was okay. As long as I tried.
Being comfortable is not wrong in itself, but I know it tends to be the easiest choice. For me, anyway.
It’s the same when it comes to relationships. It’s a lot easier to stay in a comfortable relationship, even if it’s not what you want it to be than to leave and learn to be alone again.
Work can also be very comfortable. You know what to expect. You settle in tasks you feel confident about. You can sit at your desk and not even think consciously about what you are doing since it’s always the same. It’s automatic.
Maybe you teach. And because you know your subject and have been teaching it the same way for years, you keep going. That is one example that I experienced rather closely when I was working in a school teaching French. I had learned a new and very efficient method of learning and teaching a second language using gestures and wanted to share that with the teachers. Some of them were willing to give it a try. Some wanted nothing to do with anything taking them out of their normal schedule. And others went all in.
At first, I couldn’t understand why some teachers didn’t even want to give it a try, especially after months of seeing it used in other classes and seeing how good it was. But now, looking back, I see that they were afraid. It was very different than what they knew and didn’t know how to be comfortable with the change.
Just like I was with food before.
I’ve come a long way from the person I was a few years ago. I’m a lot more confident in trying new things in all aspects of my life, knowing full well that once I’ve tried it and find out I do not like it, I can move on to something else. I have no obligation to stick to everything I try. Except for the obligation of not simply accepting to be comfortable.
Being comfortable in certain aspects of one’s life is okay, as long as we are aware of it and not simply think that this is all that life has to offer.