Creatures of Habit

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Are you a creature of habit?  Someone who inadvertently develops a set pattern of doing the same things, the same way, at the same times of day?  Quite honestly, I think we all are to some degree.  I’m not necessarily referring to establishing good habits such as exercising every day, or bad habits such as biting your nails.  What I’m alluding to are those things we do subconsciously because they create structure and predictability in our lives, they solidify our comfort zone.

I discovered I am most definitely a creature of habit when I recently walked into my local Starbucks (aka – my mobile office) only to find “my seat” was taken by someone.

I always sit in the same seat, at the same table, facing the same direction.  It’s the perfect round table in the corner, facing out towards the rest of the room.

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As I entered Starbucks and turned the corner heading to my seat, I literally came to a dead stop when I noticed not only was my seat taken, but the entire section was filled with people.  I stood motionless as I scanned from left to right, and realized there was only one available spot left, a tiny table right in the middle of the room.  As I tentatively sat down and unpacked my computer, my emotions fluctuated between disappointment and being angry.  I felt exposed and very vulnerable sitting in the middle of the room that I traditionally get to observe from a distance, and I wanted MY seat!

Like any tricky multiple choice question, there were 3 viable options, but only one right answer:

A.  Get up and leave

B.  Stay there and pout about not getting my way

C.  Put my big girl panties on and start writing

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It took a few minutes, but I did begin to write, although I continued to be distracted by the fact that “my seat” had such an emotional hold on me.

Over the next few weeks I noticed the creature of habit concept showing up everywhere.  At my CrossFit gym, members repeatedly gravitated to the same section of the gym to set up their workout station.  The women in my meditation group positioned themselves in the same spot each week, as though we had assigned seating.  Whether we were eating dinner or watching television, each member of my family consistently returned to their reserved seat.

We can refer to ourselves as creatures of habit, but I think it’s more appropriate to label us as creatures of comfort.  Our desire is to stay within our comfort zone where life is familiar and predictable.  Our comfort zone is not limited to just our physical space.  The boundaries of our comfort zone are also set by the patterns and habits we establish, as well as the way we choose to think about and mentally process our lives.

It is undeniable that the majority of us thrive on living within the safety of our comfort zone.

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Take the next few days to observe where in your life you are a creature of habit (or comfort).

I have no doubt it will show up repeatedly and with clarity.

There is a whole wide world outside our comfort zones.  But before we can go there, we have to distinguish the boundaries that keep us trapped.

Have fun with this…..and don’t forget to laugh at yourself a little!

with Joy & Gratitude,

Comments

  1. Leslie law says:

    Oh this post had me rolling on the floor. I guess it was the whole big girls panties deal! It was like when Jack left his dishes in the sink last week, which he should have cleaned up but didn’t for some reason. So do I mention it, get pissy about it or just clean it up and shut up. I opted for the last!

    • LOL!!! Big girl panties are SO important to have! I don’t always need them, but they are in the drawer – ready and waiting, for when I’m having a 2-year old temper tantrum in my head! xoxo

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