Change sucks. That’s why we stay in bad relationships, eat at the same restaurants, and take the same path to work every day. Humans like comfort, even when that comfort is uncomfortable.
We’re creatures of habit, and breaking habits causes everything from anxiety, to depression, to eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
For example, I spent nine years in a relationship when I should have left after five. Why? Because making a change, even a necessary change, pushes you out of your comfort zone and into that awkward place that nobody likes called growth.
But, as we all know, change doesn’t happen overnight.
Sure, we have growth spurts brought on by moments of clarity and the desire to stop playing small. But for the most part, humans don’t change until their discomfort in their current situation becomes greater than their fear of change. Growth is rarely linear and often requires a tipping point.
Often, we grow in waves, a cycle known as evolutionary catharsis. This is the repeated upheaval and cleansing of our lives. And, just like cleaning your closet, it gets messier before it gets clean. The end result is that kick-ass “aha” moment when our brain is reorganized into a new, more evolved state. In short, we're brought back to ourselves and are ready to take the necessary steps to get where we want in life.
So how does this work?
Right before we have a growth spurt, many of us have a temporary feeling of discomfort. This manifests as self-defeating behaviors. Learned in childhood as coping mechanisms, these behaviors fall into three categories:
1. Those who try to reduce the amount of overwhelm by pushing energy out.
Some hallmarks of this technique include: