Why Change Is Hard: Comfort Vs Familiarity

Familiar is what you're used to. Comfort is if it feels good.

Familiar is what you're used to. Comfort is if it feels good.



As humans, we are creatures of habit. We get set in our ways and we resist change. We like things that are familiar because we know what to expect. However…sometimes things that seem familiar or “normal” to us… actually aren’t so comfortable at all. We still cling to these familiar things because at least it is better than the scary unknown… or is it?


I think people often confuse comfort with familiarity. Perhaps you are in a bad relationship. You fight all the time and deep in your heart you know it is time to leave, but you are afraid. You are afraid of this change and the unknown of your future without this person. So perhaps you stay. You have learned to find comfort in your chaos. It is important to step back and realize that this relationship isn’t really comfortable at all… even if it is familiar.


We have to break out of our patterns and embrace change. Change and transitions may cause us some discomfort. However, we need to realize that we may already be quite uncomfortable in the situation we are in. Just because we are used to something, doesn’t mean it is the best situation for us. Familiarity does not equal comfort!


If you stay in an uncomfortable situation because you are used to it, nothing will ever change and you will be uncomfortable forever. If you leave a bad situation, you may still experience discomfort through the transition period, but it won’t last forever. Either way, you may experience some discomfort… so you might as well go for the change. At least then you will have a chance.


Challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. Be truthful as to if you are truly happy or just comfortable with familiarity. Learn to be truly comfortable. Embrace change.