If every time you think about a particular scenario it makes you sad then why do you continue to ponder those thoughts? Have you ever wondered why day after day you waddle in your misery and continue to focus on how bad things have been for you lately? Do you want to improve your life but somehow always find yourself back to the same unhappy state? If this is you fret not; there’s an answer to why you have found comfort in misery and a solution to help you find and support a continuous lifetime of joy.
First, excluding a clinical diagnosis of depression or mental illness, let’s identify why you actually find comfort in being unhappy, sad, or depressed. For many, although being unhappy is physically and emotionally exhausting, you have found comfort in the attention you gain from people feeling sorry or empathetic towards you. Of course you prefer that the situation which caused your sadness never happened, but you have actually benefited from this unhappy circumstance because of all the “well wishes” you have received.
The problem with finding comfort in an uncomfortable state is that eventually the people who wished you well in the beginning become frustrated with trying to lift your spirits later. What’s even more troubling is that when this happens you may start to look for another group of people to join you in this pity party. If continued in this pattern you eventually find yourself in a totally miserable place all alone.
Humans by nature are always seeking the easiest solution to our problems. Many psychologists have determined that people are motivated by two factors: pain or pleasure. Many studies have concluded that people will do more to avoid pain then they will to obtain pleasure. This being the case you would think that people would hate being unhappy. Surprisingly for many this is the contrary.
If a person concludes that it is more painful to change then the pain of their current situation they will always chose the latter. Here’s an example: I coach several clients whom have been in abusive relationships. And for many of those who’ve never been in an abusive relationship they find it difficult to understand why someone would stay in this type of relationship. However, what I have learned from my clients is that they associated more pain of leaving the abusive spouse then the physical or emotional abuse they suffered at the hands of their attacker.
For instance, many of these clients felt that if they leaved their current abusive relationship they would only end up in an even more abusive relationship. They had become “comfortable” with their abuser because they knew what to expect from this person. Having hope that life would be better, only to end up in the same situation was terrifying. So they chose the scenario that was “pleasurable” (in this case…less painful) then the pain of starting over with someone they don’t know.
In life we meet many types of situation where we have to choose between pain and pleasure. The pain of working a job we hate; the pain of being overweight; the pain of negating our dreams, goals, or aspirations; the pain of staying in an unhappy relationship/friendship. We know there’s a better life for us, we dream about it, but we’re too afraid to go after it.
Since you know that there is pleasure on the other side of your fantasies…then what stops you from going after them? Because you haven’t associated more pain to your current situation than the pain you think you will encounter with improving your situation. Here are a few tips to help you make the decision to better your life even when you have become comfortable being unhappy with it.
Identify what you want and why this desire is important to you
Associate more pain to NOT achieving your dream then the pain affiliated with not going after them
Identify 10 compelling reasons why you MUST achieve your goals
For more information on exactly how to apply these three principles read Part 2 of this blog on Friday.
DreamBIG, plan, get excited, and take action now…for the world is waiting to cheer your success!
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