Is your comfort level really comfortable? In your job, in your relationships, even in your parenting methods; are you settling? Comfortable is nice curled up by a fire on a cold evening. Comfortable is nice when your stomach is full from your favorite meal. Comfortable is nice on days when your relationship is in a honeymoon phase. However, comfort doesn’t produce growth, and growth requires change.
People fear change for many reasons, but almost all resistance can be attributed to simple fear. Fear of the unknown – hence the old expression - “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”. The challenge is to isolate the specific fear. Honestly ask yourself exactly what you’re afraid of. Dig deep - beyond the superficial. Write it down. What will happen if you leave your job? What will happen if you end your relationship? What will happen if you stick to your agreed-upon discipline choices for your child? Sometimes when we face the fear, it really isn’t as big as we thought it was. Another great question is: “What’s the absolute worst thing that can happen if I ______?” It’s usually something you can handle.
Leaving a job requires you to find another one. There is fear of rejection, fear of not being as happy as you thought you would be, fear of “fitting in” to your new work environment. However, there is also the chance that you will prosper, that you will make wonderful new friends and learn valuable new skills. Isn’t that worth it? If you were completely fulfilled where you are, you wouldn’t be considering leaving anyway. It may be comfortable, but that’s not good enough for you - that's why something is stirring.
Leaving a relationship means you will likely be lonely for a time, you may have financial stressors, you may think you’ll never find another. Again, if you’re considering leaving anyway, you’re not completely satisfied; you are settling. (Of course every relationship has ups and downs and normal conflict) What are the fears? Are they more powerful than the possibilities of a truly satisfying relationship? Is being alone for a while and concentrating on yourself really so frightening? Why? What might you find? What’s the worst thing that can happen? After all, it is your job to make yourself happy, not your partner’s.
If you stick to the consequence you’ve agreed upon for a child’s misbehavior; it is easy to back down and reduce or eliminate the consequence. That makes you feel better, but it is actually somewhat selfish. It spares you, but it does not teach your child the real rules of the world. What is the fear here? Are you afraid your child will be angry? Not love you anymore? Really? If you truly ask yourself what you are afraid of here – you will probably be a little surprised and embarrassed to realize that yes, you are afraid of those things. No one “likes” consequences that are negative, but as a parent, you must not let your need to be liked override the difficult job of real parenting. Appropriate, fair and consistent discipline will not cause your child to no longer love you. They will, however sometimes be angry. Expect it, and stay the course. They will not only continue to love you, they will appreciate the boundaries and maybe one day even thank you for them. There is a reason you are the parent.
Somewhere in your life, you may feel discomfort. Wherever it is, listen to that cue to muster up your courage and spirit of adventure. Your better life is calling - do something different. Write down the fears and face them. Change doesn't have to be scary. You will grow tremendously in every area. Your self esteem will sky rocket, and you will find it easier the next time. You'll eventually even look back and laugh at those fears with the great satisfaction that you conquered them. You are brave, you are strong, and you are worth it.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in you sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain