Is change possible?
The reality is that we human beings are wired to resist change.
Even when one is seemingly suffering mentally, emotionally or physically because of a “bad habit”, changing a behavior can still feel impossible.
While there are several physiological bases for why changing behavior can feel insurmountable, with the right approach and techniques it actually is very possible to retrain ourselves to embrace and even seek out change. In fact, there are some really powerful ways to rewire the survival based systems that we are built with that can predispose us to resist change.
Let me share with you a few of the most powerful ways that have catalyzed big shifts for me and my clients which I have come to use and teach regularly:
1. Accepting Negative Emotions
Underneath most unwanted habits is or at some point was a negative emotion. Furthermore, our instinct to avoid pain applies to avoiding negative emotions just as much as it applies to physical pain. While our instinct to avoid physical pain helps us for survival reasons, this avoidance of negative emotions actually winds up creating blocks that halt us from developing and maturing emotionally. In working with people who have struggled with the same self-sabotaging habit for much of their lives, I’ve found that after teaching people to use their nervous system to shift from rejecting negative emotions to accepting suppressed emotional energy it becomes significantly easier, sometimes in a matter of moments, to access one’s power to change some of their most deeply ingrained habits.
2. Recognizing Unconscious Limiting Beliefs
It frequently shocks me how many limiting beliefs are blocking people’s ability to change. From not being good enough, to not being worthy, to feeling unloved, to not believing change is possible. The list of limiting beliefs is endless and most of the entourage of people's limiting beliefs lay under the surface of their conscious mind feeding dysfunctional emotional and physical habits without them being aware of it. I’ve seen time and time again when I teach people how to bring to consciousness and release these limiting beliefs the profound shifts that follow which allow them to be filled with a new power and motivation to change their deeply ingrained habits.
3. Releasing Trauma
Outside of the very clearly traumatic types of events that some people pass through such as abusive relationships and shock trauma (like a natural disaster or experiencing the death of a loved one) there are so many other types of subtle ways that people in seemingly “normal” homes and situations unknowingly get left with traces of trauma energy in their system that they are unaware of. The effects of both overt obvious trauma along with the more subtle types of developmental trauma that most people have to some degree, live inside people as energy blocks that unconsciously affect their behavior and ability to change habits for years and decades. The growing body of research shows that using somatic techniques to release this stuck trauma energy from the system activates healing for these individuals in so many ways. In my own clinic I’ve seen amazing results where people with stuck trauma energy who felt powerless to change went to feeling empowered and ready to change habits in a matter of weeks or months after learning and implementing these techniques.
When will I be ready to change?
On one hand, if one keeps waiting to feel fully ready to change, one could spend most or all of their life stuck in an unhealthy way of being or acting that severely limits their potential. On the other hand my main indicator for knowing if someone is "ready to change" is that “One has to want to change more than they want to stay the same in order to succeed”. This can actually be a big relief for many people because this means that waiting until your are fully on board with making a change is not actually necessary or even good. In fact, accepting that there may continue to be a small part of you that just wants to stay the same can actually help you in finding the courage to take the first steps towards more deeply accepting yourself. From deep self-acceptance comes true self-love, which is different than the self-love that many people are chasing after and never find. Once one learns how to access the place of real self love within them the blocks to change begin to clear and one's power to create new and long lasting habits returns.
For info on my next Group Coaching course for Habit Change starting June 11, 2023 click here