People tend to shy away from hard and complicated – they favor “easy”. Common clichés and even ad campaigns support this – take the easy way out, take the path of least resistance – hit the easy button. But are things really ever truly easy? Taking the path of least resistance is generally following what you have been doing and staying in your comfort zone. And that keeps you stuck where you are – which can often be where you don’t really want to be if you are trying to move forward on your journey to your best self.
Easy, and being stuck, means protecting yourself, not taking risks, running away from challenges. We often talk ourselves into staying where we are because we get into our head too much to rationalize the steps we take. But then we don’t just think, we overthink and over-analyze and ultimately talk ourselves out of taking any steps forward.
Life is a roller coaster, and living life to the fullest means it is often a daunting ride. When you challenge yourself, step outside your comfort zone and take advantage of what this life has to offer, the ride gets more thrilling. When you allow yourself to really feel your emotions about yourself, those close in your life, and the world around you, the highs are higher and the lows lower. When you get out of your head and allow your heart and spirit to guide you, the risks are greater, but so is the joy!
I have spent most of my life in my comfort zone with respect to romantic relationships. This is where I used my easy button regularly. I walked into relationships with my full suit of armor on protecting myself from getting hurt, shielding my emotions and then ran away when things got too hard. I avoided being vulnerable and showing my partners my true self at all costs. I wasn’t willing to get hurt – and what that meant was I wasn’t really willing to love and be loved. And that resulted in serious break ups, and of course, I got what I was trying to avoid anyway – I got hurt! A few years ago, I found that I didn’t even know myself because my armor had gotten so thick and heavy, so I decided to step outside my comfort zone and make a change. Without that protection I was so vulnerable, and that was really scary. But I found out that it felt really wonderful to be seen and loved for who I was, and that it felt fulfilling to love more. The more I loved and allowed myself to be loved, the more capacity it opened up in me for compassion and love. My passion for life intensified. Don’t get me wrong – I still struggle with the urge to run away and push the easy button, particularly when the roller coaster is screaming downhill with no signs of stopping before it crashes painfully into the ground. My lows have been really low, but my highs have been higher than I ever imagined they could be. My heart and spirit are starting to feel at home on this coaster so they usually win over my head when it tries to calculate the probability of failure based on the velocity of the coaster, angle of the hill, stability of the structure and every other little thing that ‘could go wrong’.
As coaches we want you to get the most out of your ride – whatever that means for you. We encourage people to move forward, to get out of ‘stuck’, to face your fears, to change, to challenge easy. It is how you move toward your best self – and this world needs that person! So lose your easy button – I know that is easier said than practiced. At the very least disable it and get on that roller coaster. It is best way to ‘ride’ this life!