Change is often said to be the only constant in one’s life.
That doesn’t mean people like change. In fact, many don’t! It seems to be basic human nature to resist changes, especially drastic ones. Fear of change keeps people stuck.
Change is a variation in the common or known way of doing things.
One of the reasons why people tend to counteract changes is to maintain the status quo. It’s convenient to continue doing something as it always has been done. Learning new things can be challenging.
However, the deeper underlying reason for people resisting change, is probably that it takes them out of their comfort zone. Being out of one’s comfort zone, in particular unplanned, doesn’t feel very safe. Therefore we tend to avoid it if possible and resist it if avoidance isn’t an option.
That’s all very well unless we actually want to make some changes. We all know that continuing to do the same things will give us the same results.
Nothing changes, if nothing changes!
So let’s say you decide that you want to release some unwanted weight.
To achieve that you understand that you could change some habits and lifestyle choices, so you have a different result from the current result of your current behaviours.
The first step would be to plan the changes, so that you are prepared and don’t give yourself a fright, so to speak.
We know in our rational, conscious minds that we need to change something to achieve a different result.
Our subconscious, not quite so rational, mind however might not want to play along, because its main focus is to keep us safe. So if our subconscious mind doesn’t feel safe, it will move heaven and earth to make sure the changes that your rational mind is trying to implement won’t work.
“Change begins at the end of your comfort zone” Roy T. Bennett
If for example the last time you were at your ideal weight, unpleasant things happened in your life, maybe you experienced a breakup, lost a job, or another unrelated (to your weight issue) life experience happened, it could be that in your subconscious mind, these feelings and events have entangled themselves.
So yes, planning, preparing, and making changes to habits, diet and lifestyle are of course necessary. These happen on a conscious level that appeals to your rational mind.
AND you also want to be making some internal changes to appeal to your subconscious mind, so it can feel safe for the external changes to occur.
Fear trumps all, and if your subconscious mind does not feel safe with the changes happening, it will not support them i.e. it will not support you.
This may show up with you losing weight to a certain point and then stop. Or you may lose all of the unwanted weight, only to ‘find it’ again a few months later. You may think (or be told) this is a lack of willpower and/or discipline.
I think it is more likely your subconscious mind ‘keeping you safe’ from stepping outside your comfort zone where it, your subconscious mind, feels threatened and unsafe.
Feeling threatened and unsafe is not sustainable for your nervous system and therefore the weight comes back on so that everything goes back to where things felt comfortable, nice, and safe. For your subconscious mind.
“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are” Mae Depree
To help the external changes along we also have to undertake internal changes. This could include changing our limiting beliefs around ourselves, our abilities, our limitations. (“I have dieted my whole life, being slim is for other people, not me”). It could be around our identity (“All the women in my family are fat, no wonder I am fat”) and it could also be around fear. (“If I become slim, I will encounter lots of attention, and look what that got me last time”).
“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results” Jack Dixon
So, if you are ready to make some changes in your life and around your health, and would like some help to clarify and clear those internal blocks and limiting beliefs, so that your external efforts can take hold, please get in touch here and we can explore how I can help you achieve your change.