How To Make Real Changes in Your Life
We all tend to have a whole invisible bag full of goals and wishes for things to be different.
Wanting to change your diet and your relationship with food?
Wanting to change a behaviour you have and can’t seem to shake off?
Wanting to be out of pain?
If your answer to any of the above is yes, you are not alone. Most of us have one or more of the above goals. And we all know how tough it is to make real lasting changes when it comes to this.
Food has more of a grip on us than most of us care to admit. Behaviour seems just too hard to change and pain, well pain has a mind of it’s own and comes or goes as it pleases.
It can certainly feel that way. The problem is that the above are the issues we are aware off and so we try to change them.
We try to make an effort to eat better or we go on a diet. We identify the behaviours we have that we don’t like and we make an effort to stop ourselves from doing them. When it comes to the pain, we may go see the doctor or a physiotherapist, start recommended exercise or go for regular massage treatments to keep the pain away.
Perhaps you notice that most of the interventions we resort to are very much on the surface. We identify a problem and our solutions tend to be simply oriented towards just stopping the problem. Stop bringe eating at night. Stop the unwanted behaviour, stop the pain.
Of course that is what we know we want but since these may be tough things to implement, we should probably ask ourselves why that is. If we do not like these things about us, why are they so hard to change?
The answer is that all of these things actually are serving a purpose. Yes it sounds completely wrong and yet it’s true. The overeating or eating badly, the unwanted behaviour, even the pain serve a purpose that we are perhaps only subconsciously aware of. Look at it this way, if there was absolutely no purpose in those things, why would they keep happening?
For example we may be eating too much junk food because it has a self -soothing effect and helps us avoid the horrible reality of something we can not cope with. The unwanted behaviour, what ever it is, may have a similar reason, and pain tends to be the voice of our nervous system, letting us know that something is wrong. Sometimes it is an injury that hurts, sometimes what the nervous system is identifying as wrong is a little more complex.
So simply stopping these things may not work, or may not be sustainable. These are issues we have, not because we are weak but because of something underneath not being met, not being in balance.
In order to approach our goals more effectively we can start investigating what these “issues” are currently doing for us. If we can be honest with ourselves about this, we can simply replace the unwanted behaviour, even the pain, with something more effective, more helpful, more wanted, that fulfils the same job.
What we also need to do is really identify that we actually really want in life. Rather than denying us all sorts of things in order to have a better life or be a better person and focusing on the things that are wrong in our life, what do we really want? What are our core values in life? Are they being met? Or are we compromising our own needs for all sorts of very good reasons? Our instinctive brain is not interested in our very good reasons why we are not putting ourselves first. Our instinctive brain is only interested in looking out for us because it knows that we can not be there for anyone else well, if we are not taking care of ourselves first.
So if you have identified things in you that you want to change. First of all, be kind to yourself. There is no need to criticise yourself. Understand what you are currently getting out of your behaviour that is otherwise perhaps missing in your life and ask yourself what do you need in your life in order to live the way you want. What do you really want? What is wrong on that fundamental level? These can be tough questions to ask and find the answers too.