Your brain is specifically wired to protect you. Protect you from harm and danger, and promote survival. The bad news is, honey, that brain was great for the time in history when humans were running from saber tooth tigers and killing lions for dinner. But that hasn’t been happening lately, now has it?
You’re not being hunted and odds are, you’re likely not even the hunter. You buy that steak at the local Winn Dixie, or order it from the waitress wearing a black apron from your 7 page menu.
So here you are in this daily safe world, void of threatening ferocious beasts, and your brain has no danger to protect you from. So, guess what our powerful minds do void of danger and without the need for survival mode … they seek to keep us comfortable.
Yes, your brain is continually working to just keep you comfortable and avoid all things that would be hard and undesirable.
For real, your mind is now just working to avoid washing dishes and working out! Why? Because it might be a little hard or slightly undesirable and your mind has switched to comfort mode.
Now here you are walking around in this body that, in it’s greatest form, could battle lions, is now battling a messy kitchen. You don’t wanna clean the stove or put away the dishes. You don’t wanna take out the trash or empty the sink. Then what happens? Well your brain recognizes the signals as a threat to your comfort and starts shutting down any plan of action.
AVOIDANCE – DELAY – PROCRASTINATION – DISTRACTION
All to keep you comfortable, honey.
Oh and this goes so much deeper than just your kitchen. This is about seeking comfort in your relationships, your career, your daily routine, and your plans for the future. Every area of your life is now touched by your brain’s desire for comfort.
Now the big question … how much is your comfort costing you?
Seriously, what is the cost here? What have you sacrificed to remain comfortable? Is your continual comfort worth all you have given up here?
Do you remember the BIG Life scripture I shared in Friday’s episode? 2 Corinthians 6: 11-13 (MSG) “The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way.”
You were created for a BIG life. When God designed you, he envisioned a full, overflowing, abundant life for you. Then, he equipped you with everything you would need to step into that BIG Life. But if you’re living your life small, then you’re missing all he has available for you.
This is what comfort does to us. We are comfortable, but dang have we missed all God has available for us?
Going for more would be uncomfortable. Daring to see what you’re really made of, and all you’re truly capable of, would set you up for potential failure. Does anyone really want to fail? Does anyone want to hurt? Does anyone want to try and fall short? Does anyone want rejection?
So our brain reads that signal as a danger to our comfort and shuts down all further action. NO ,you will not go for that promotion, that would be risky. NO, you will not move, that would be hard work. NO, you will not try to lose weight again, that would be unpleasant. NO, you will not go on that retreat with strangers, you might feel awkward.
All while God has already said YES to you. Yes, he’s already made a way for you. Already equipped you for the battle. Already gone before you. Already aligned provision. The lights are green, but you’re not moving forward because it’s uncomfortable. So once again, you miss the abundance and the breakthrough the Almighty had planned for you and you’re left with more of the same … but it’s comfortable.
Where could you be if you would have stopped seeking comfort 5 years ago? Dang woman, no telling! Where could you be 5 years from now if you stopped seeking comfort today? There’s only one way to find out!
Here’s a simple tool to help you overcome this lifelong battle with your comfort seeking brain …
It’s Mel Robin’s 5 Second Rule. I know this will sound silly, but if you will practice this, your comfort seeking brain will be rewired to instead seek action towards the life you really want. Here’s how you do it.
When you have an instinct tied to a goal, start a countdown.
An instinct – you know, that little voice inside that tells you you should wash the dishes, you put your workout clothes on, you should drink some water, you should make that phone call. That’s your instincts talking. When they’re tied to a goal such as have a clean house, have a healthy body, have a good marriage, or be financially responsible, then that means the countdown starts.
Before I go further on the countdown, let’s make sure you understand, not all instincts are tied to your goals. Some instincts will tell you to whip that car over and bury your face in a dozen doughnuts. NOT TIED TO A GOAL. Some instincts will tell you to buy it in every color because it’s on clearance. NOT TIED TO A GOAL. Other instincts will tell you that feels good right now, just go with it. AGAIN, NOT TIED TO A GOAL. Move on, Sis.
But when the instinct passes the goal test, then you start the countdown immediately.
I see the dirty dishes. I have the instinct that I should wash them. Goal check, yes it is tied. Countdown commences … 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO! Take immediate action.
You know the truth is, you waste more time avoiding what needs to be done than it would take to just do the darn thing, right? So challenge yourself to countdown and go.
If you do not take action within those first 5 seconds, your brain kicks into protection mode again. “Oh wait, what is this … is there a threat here? I gotta shut this crap down. My girl might be uncomfortable. PROTECTION! PROTECTION! AVOID ALL FURTHER ACTION.”
Your brain is over-reactive and irrational. Because there are no saber tooth tigers to slay, your brain has turned simple tasks into massive undertakings that threaten your well-being. Now, you’re playing the game of avoidance to keep you comfortable. And in that 5 seconds since you had that instinct to do something, without action, your brain has killed the instinct and given you comfort.
But look what God’s word tells us. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
Your brain may be working against you, but God’s spirit dwells within you and gives you power, love and self-discipline, my sister. Your spirit, powered by God’s spirit, needs to take the power from your brain and get going!
YOU WERE NOT DESIGNED FOR A COMFORTABLE LIFE.
God didn’t put his very best in you then say, “Gosh, I hope this girl has a comfortable life.” NO! He said he created you for good works. Look at your design. These hands, these feet, these legs and eyes and ears, they were not given to you to just sit around in comfort. They were given to you to do something with your life. To work, to grow, to impact, to love, to make a difference, to leave a mark.
The enemy shows up like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He doesn’t always show up as disaster, more often he shows up as comfort. But oh the cost of that comfort is mighty high my friend, make sure you examine that expense.
Is your comfort today worth the sacrifice of years off your life?
Is your comfort today worth the sacrifice of goals that God declared possible for you?
Is your comfort today worth regret in the future for what you could have done now, but one day can’t? It will be too late to make that call, take that step, cross that bridge, and do the right thing … but it’s not too late today. You could do it today. Ahhhhh, that’s an instinct.
The question is, in the next 5 seconds will your over-reactive, irrational brain kill that instinct in an effort to keep you comfortable … or …. will you take action?
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … GO!