Something that I understand yet have been puzzled by is when people let their fear of discomfort keep them in a place where they don’t want to be.
The personal development world calls this our Comfort Zone and says that everything we want is just outside of it, and to get there we must get uncomfortable.
But I would argue that our comfort zones are not actually that comfortable, rather they are familiar and things we are familiar with can feel comfortable simply because we know what to expect. It’s like we’re used to it.
Let’s take having a disordered relationship with food for example.
Micromanaging every bite, obsessing over the calories or carbs, desperately trying to control ourselves and our body literally sucks. It gets in the way of so many areas of our life.
And yet, so many of us stay in it instead of working towards food freedom and recovery.
Surely, it's not because it's actually comfortable, in reality, its horrifically uncomfortable.
So, why would someone choose discomfort in an area where they don’t want to be, when they could choose discomfort in an area where they do want to be?
It’s because the brain likes familiarity. It sees familiarity as safe, even though we all could argue that having an eating disorder is not actually safe (hello, ED's have the highest death rate of all mental illnesses).
It’s not so much that we don’t want to get uncomfortable, it’s that our brain doesn’t like what it doesn’t know. The fear of the unknown is really at play here, not the fear of discomfort. I am pretty clear, disordered eating isn’t a cushy, comfy way to go through life.
So how do you get past the fear of the unknown if you want food freedom?
It’s actually very simple…,
A willingness to try something new even if you’re afraid and faith that it will bring you what you want.
Either way, you likely experience discomfort.