Let’s face it, change can feel DIFFICULT…
There are many reasons for this. Often times, the change that we want to make is one that we have tried to accomplish before. Perhaps we were not successful,
We called it a failure with a Big F.
Often times, failure leaves an underlying automatic thought that we don’t have what it takes to change. We don’t have the willpower. We don’t have the time. All of these negative thoughts promote negative feelings. It is near impossible to achieve a desired result running on a negative feeling.
Besides the negative thoughts of failed passed experiences, we also have to deal with the never ending excuses or justifications that our brain will tell us. Thoughts such as, “you had a hard day, you should drink the bottle of wine.” Or perhaps, “you exercised for 2 hours today, you earned 3 snickers bars.”
Our brain offers us excuses
with hopes that we will use them
…so we can avoid negative emotion.
Let me give an example. Let’s say that you are depleted from a long day at work and you are supposed to meet with your trainer for a workout in 30 minutes. The thought of working out makes you feel absolutely overwhelmed.
In this situation, your brain may suggest the excuse, “you are just pushing too hard, you need a break.” The excuse takes away the feeling of overwhelm in the moment. So, you decide that it is a good idea to cancel your workout. You call your trainer and cancel.
The next morning, after a goodnights rest, you experience major regret that you did not stick to your workout plan. You let your excuse talk you into skipping your session so that you did not have to feel the feeling of overwhelm. In the end, you traded overwhelm for regret plus gained extra negative self talk from not following through on your plan.
Does this sound familiar?
I tell this story because as we are trying to make changes,
Our brain will try very hard to come up with believable excuses.
This is why your REASON for change has to be so strong that it trumps any excuses that could easily be used.
With any change, we tend to experience extra strong emotions that are often negative. Being prepared to experience these emotions will keep you one step ahead in order to stay on track.
When my clients tell me of the strong negative feelings that are coming up all of a sudden after a few weeks of enjoying an easy to manage mind, I congratulate them. This means that change is happening at the CORE!
If you are considering making a change because you think you SHOULD… Proceed with caution
“Should statements” fall into the thought distortion category.
When we think we “should” do something, we believe that by saying out loud, we are convincing ourselves to change. This could backfire with a vengeance.
If you proceed because you think you should, your reason for change will not be compelling enough.
You will rely on willpower to dodge the negative emotions and excuses until your willpower exhausts. Then you will find yourself in the relapse cycle.
When you use your willpower to dodge negative emotions, you are not learning how to allow negative feelings in. If you learn to allow yourself to feel the negative feelings, you will never need to use willpower. This is transformation from the inside out.
Finally, if you move forward towards change with no good reason and you fail. Your relationship with yourself will continue to dwindle. You will continue to create negative thoughts towards yourself, and you may even start to believe them.
I encourage you to be honest with yourself.
Perhaps, you are not committed to changing right now. It could be that you are just not ready to embark on a new journey immediately.
Be kind and patient with yourself.
Your epic reason for change will surface if change is truly desired. But, until it does- appreciate where you are right now…
Where you are right now may be pretty awesome!