We all have ways of comforting ourselves, strategies for self-soothing that give us some temporary relief from the burdens of our lives. These patterns, habits, and even addictions that help us discharge unwanted feelings that can often make us feel better in the moment, but ultimately prevent us from getting what we truly want.
Like anything that can change our mood or state, most of these comforts things aren’t inherently bad in themselves, it’s more how we’re using them that matters. Namely, are we NUMBING ourselves from feeling something deeper, or are we NOURISHING ourselves after having depleted our resources?
Common comforts that can quickly become crutches for men are:
- Pain Killers
- Swiping on dating apps
- Social Media
- Video Games
- Binge Watching TV/Movies
- Obsessive exercise
- Completely fusing with our “work”
- Food (particularly carbs and sugar)
- Obsession with Sports
Moving forward with direction in our lives can take a tremendous amount of focus, discipline, and energy to create that which is most important to us. Anything that requires long term dedication can sometimes feel impossible to achieve, so we as men will often reach for quick comforts and “fixes” to make ourselves feel better in the moment.
Three of the greatest pains we’ll often try to ease with our “comforts” are often 1) not having the deep meaningful connection we want with a romantic partner, 2) not feeling like we’re truly doing meaningful work in the world, and 3) not wanting to feel our mortality.
The problem with these comforts is that they often leave us feeling MORE drained than we were before we partook in them. Thus they rob us of crucial and vital life force that we actually NEED to fuel the risks and commitments that will ultimately get us what we want. The feelings we’re often trying to numb out or discharge, though they may be uncomfortable, are usually incredibly important signals from our body that are screaming out that something must change. Rather than exploring those feelings, we’ll escape into our comforts.
However, the most meaningful aspects of our lives almost NEVER come from us being in our comfort zone. Instead, what ultimately satisfies us most deeply comes from when we step boldly into the unknown, leaning into our edges just outside our comfort zone. Whether that’s taking a risk in our professional lives, having a difficult conversation with friends or family, or feel the fire to walk across the room and introduce ourselves to a beautiful woman.
What comforts do you lean on that might actually be limiting your life?
Are you ready to kick your comforts and jumpstart your life and relationships?