“Stop saying no for comfort’s sake.”
I wrote that sentence three years ago as part of a silly magazine exercise. It was titled “my warm-up list for leaving the comfort zone,” and if I remember correctly the premise was to use the list to prompt trying new things intentionally instead of clinging to comfortable habits.
At the time the simple sentence didn’t seem all that profound. But I remember how often I turned down invitations or didn’t try a new food or watch a movie or read a book because I didn’t want to be uncomfortable. I didn’t want to waste my time watching a movie if I thought I wouldn’t like it. I didn’t want to go to a party if the only person I knew was the host. I didn’t want to go anywhere by myself. Even grocery shopping.
It’s almost as though writing that sentence was a way of setting a new rule for myself. I would no longer be allowed to say no to things if the only reason was that I didn’t want to be uncomfortable. It was my way of embracing discomfort as an essential part of making new friends, seeing new places, of expanding my horizons.
Risk-taking had already been a part of my makeup, but writing that sentence made me aware of its inherent discomfort and begin to actively seek it.
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