Have you ever said, “I’ve been doing it this way too long to change”?
I recently decided to learn a new sport: pickle ball. I attended my first impromptu lesson at a pickle ball free play court last week. A visiting player and pickle ball instructor showed me the basics and encouraged me to learn the game. Afterward, he began playing a pickup game with some other more experienced players. He offered his partner, several suggestions as she played. Later, she said to me on her way to the car, “I know he meant well but I’ve been playing tennis this same way for 27 years and I’m not about to change now with pickle ball.”
Have you ever said that?
I’ve been doing it this way too long to change now.
I could probably improve but it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
You might as well just say, “I’m comfortable right where I am, thank you very much. I’m not about to consider making any changes… even if it is for my own good.”
It’s an interesting decision when you are talking about how you play a sport. It’s concerning when you are talking about routines and patterns that affect other areas of your life. Much like the dog that is lying on a nail but decides it is too much effort to get up, we often put up with negative circumstances even though we could change them… if we would.
The problem isn’t just that we are stuck in our comfort zone. The problem is that we have defined discomfort as something to be avoided at all costs… even if it means an improvement in our end results. Here are some examples of how this might play out:
You want to lose weight, but only if it means not giving up the carbs and sugar you love.
You want to have a job that you can look forward to instead of dread, but only if you don’t have to look for it, change your skill set or do something scary like put in an application and risk rejection.
You want to feel less depressed and anxious but only if you don’t have to challenge the way you think or form new habits.
Discomfort is part of the process of growing. Remember the caterpillar? It has to fight it’s way out of that comfortable cocoon before it can enjoy the life of the butterfly. It doesn’t just wake up one morning to discover, “Oh my now I have wings!” Instead it takes effort and energy to bust out of the cocoon and claim it’s new life.
What is the discomfort you’ve been avoiding that might result in the change you desire?
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