• Andrew

“This year I’m going to…”

New Year resolutions…

Ok, so we set out with the best intentions …but just weeks later, it’s same old, same old!

What went wrong?

Well it’s simple…and not. You see, when we resolve to do something, whether it’s quitting smoking, improving our diet or starting an exercise routine, both our conscious and subconscious minds (in other words, your Head & Heart) have to be on board. Without both aligning, were doomed to fail.  

The issue is this…

Our conscious mind sets goals but our subconscious mind either makes it happen …or stops it from happening!

We often blame our lack of willpower, but willpower is one of the worst tools for making lasting changes. Why? Because willpower belongs to our conscious mind and that’s less than 10% of our total mind power! That missing 90%? Well, that's our subconscious and when we get that onboard we get results - guaranteed. Our conscious mind "Directs" us...but our subconscious mind "Drives" us!

How it works.

Approximately 90 percent of our processing power comes from the subconscious mind and apart from managing most of our bodily functions (heart rate, breathing, digestion etc)  - it's also the powerhouse of all of our "feelings". And as we've all experienced, feelings generally overpower our conscious thoughts.

Once your willpower weakens, your subconscious mind takes over.

“But why would my subconscious sabotage my efforts?” I hear you ask! That’s complicated, but basically, it’s trying to protect you - It’s doing it’s best based on what it understands - and what it understands is that change is hard, maybe even painful and risks failure and embarrassment. Losing weight, getting fit...looking better...all sounds good until we break it down to the reality of committing time, feeling judged by others in the gym, being prepared to feel discomfort or maybe physical pain...then there's the cost of the gym membership...and what if I don't get the results? The subconscious starts screaming...."Best not to even attempt it!" 

Until we set ourselves a conscious goal and convince our subconscious "feeling" mind that it's in our very best interests to accept this challenge, we're doomed to failure before we start. So how do we get our subconscious "Feeling" mind onboard? The short answer is "gently". The subconscious needs to feel that the goal is "safe" and has little risk of "hurting" us emotionally. In short, it has to believe that the goal, once achieved, will result in deep satisfaction...that we will ultimately "Feel Good"....stronger, safer...more wanted, loved and secure in ourselves. These feelings (and several others) are the real "drivers" that will get the job done. The "trick" is to imagine yourself in the future, with the challenge completed...imagine the feeling of strength & vitality, the deep relaxation and satisfaction, the confidence of your new body and how it presents to the world. The best "you"! With that deep belief in how good that would're on your way.

How to make it work for you.

Getting your subconscious on board can be a challenge but the good news is…you can influence it by observing it in action and asking it questions.

When you start paying attention to what it’s trying to say, it loosens its grip. Fight against it or try to ignore its message and it’ll just get louder and more powerful. It won’t let go....and you'll go nowhere (Stuck!)

OK - so start by asking your subconscious (out loud or in your head) what it’s trying to tell you - ask it directly what its trying to protect you from. Just before sleep is best. Asked with genuine curiosity - like you were asking a friend - works best.

Amazingly, within a very short time, not only will the nature of your fear reveal itself but exactly how your subconscious is protecting you from it.  Once your fears become conscious you can begin to work with them. You finally have a chance of success.

Working with your Subconscious:

1. Don’t judge your fear. Even if your subconscious fears seem ridiculous, they are very real and have been driving your behaviour for a long time.

2. Make a promise to your subconscious that it’s worst fears won’t come true. Assure it that you will protect yourself from the worst case scenario and point out the best case scenario. Use real life examples of success to show your subconscious the positive possibilities.

3. Work with affirmations. Affirmations are intended to reprogram your subconscious and can work quite well when repeated consistently. Affirmations need to be said in a positive way. Again, the best time to repeat affirmations is right before you fall asleep or upon waking up because you have the best access to your subconscious in those twilight moments.

So remember, if you are struggling to make changes and failing, don’t get mad, sad or frustrated. Get curious about the underlying thoughts that are holding you back.

There is a lot of wisdom in our resistance and even a lot of protective love.

Start a conversation with yourself and see what you learn. And remember, everyone wants to be heard, especially your inner voice. Learn to listen and making changes will no longer be an uphill battle.

And...maybe it's not the gym.

It could just as easily be career, relationships or overcoming an emotional challenge..anything that requires clarity of decision making and commitment to see it through - In any case, this approach - appealing to our "feeling" mind, is the best (only) way forward, of getting us "unstuck" and on the right track And if you're still struggling and perhaps could do with a helping hand....

Need a little help? It's not always easy to start that conversation - sometimes we can all do with a little help, especially if anxiety or depression have become part of the frustrating pattern. Visit our website to learn about the amazing changes that are possible.