So does change need to be so scary?
Our ego wants to convince us that change is VERY scary, and we might as well just forget about it. But is this true? I work with people who are really compelled to change, because the fear/pain of the change is LESS than the pain of their current reality or LESS than the imagined pain of what will happen if they don’t do something about it. People have to be backed into a corner to change, such as the threat of losing someone, a diagnosis that threatens their life and health, loss of financial security, and so on.
Is this bad? Not necessarily. Pain is a powerful and effective change agent. But is there an easier way? I think so. Would you be willing to try daydreaming as a start? That doesn’t require willpower, but it takes willingness and desire to reach for something new and different. That sounds a little less intimidating doesn’t it? But perhaps you are afraid to dream because you’ve been disappointed in the past. Whatever you’re feeling, you have to start somewhere, and to get results it doesn’t really matter where you start. So start small, when changing your habits and behaviors.
Let’s use exercise as an example. You’ve been reluctant to start an exercise regimen for any number of reasons, not enough time, too cold outside, etc. To exercise requires you to change your mind and convince yourself that the benefits you desire from it will outweigh the time investment and the pain. To create a new habit, you need to consistently do a behavior for 21 days straight, and to create big, juicy nice neural pathways in your brain that make the habit automatic (like driving is to you now), you have to do the same behavior for 91 days. You won’t do anything for 91 days straight if you associate it with too much pain.
So try exercising for 1 minute daily and slowly build up in 1 minute increments week by week. After 91 days you should be exercising about 13 minutes daily. And you will be providing “proof” to your subconscious mind that you can do it. You will build momentum and excitement because you will feel more in control of your life. By daydreaming and imagining what you want, you can take a small amount of will power and turn it into an overwhelming force. You’ve been using certain behaviors (such as smoking, overeating, overspending, excessive TV) to satisfy emotional needs and urges inside.
Would you be willing to slightly modify your behavior and have these same needs met in a healthy way?
Your urges aren’t going away, but you can meet them in a better way. To me, this is very reassuring
because it doesn’t feel like your coping mechanism is going to be pulled out from underneath you.
So does change need to be scary? No. Just decide to make a very small time investment doing
a new behavior, starting now, and you just might surprise yourself at your results in 91 days.
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