Did you ever wish you were a magician? I mean, if you could only wave a magic wand and change something – everything would be great wouldn’t it? Especially if the ‘change’ you want to make, is someone else’s behaviour.
If ONLY our other half would just think about doing the washing up sometime. If ONLY the kids would go to bed without whingeing. If ONLY your boss would listen to your suggestions once in a while. Then everything would be OK.
There is just one problem with that.
You can’t change someone else. Really, you can’t. Why do we even think we can?
Change is one of the hardest things for a human being.
Your brain is programmed to keep you safe. That is the brain’s main job – after all, if you pop your clogs, so does your brain (conscious thought) and your mind (subconscious thought). And both your conscious and sub-conscious minds main jobs are to keep you safe.
Have you ever started something and not finished it? A diet? Giving up something – sweets, alcohol, smoking, bread, gambling, drugs, reality TV, whatever? Whilst you logically know that “giving X up” would be good for you, you seem unable to quite get there. And there are a couple of reasons for that.
Firstly – “giving up” something, doesn’t sound like fun does it? It sounds like deprivation, sacrifice, pain. And your brains main job, as we just discussed, is to protect you from pain.
Secondly, even if your conscious mind is up for the idea, your subconscious is actually WAY more powerful and will keep you “safe” in your comfort zone of what you already know your life to be. It focuses your attention on what you will be without. It thinks things like – if I give up sugar I won’t be able to have puddings/I will have to say no to all sweet things for the rest of my llife/how can I LIVE without chocolate?
It wants to protect you. So, if you want to change something you have to focus on the BIGGER benefit, such that it outweighs the negative. You also have to reframe it from “I’m giving up X” to something positively framed like, “I eat what my body needs to feel great!.
So, if it is really, really hard for YOU to change your thoughts, and therefore your behaviours, how on earth do you think you can change someone else? It only leads to disappointment and frustration, because they have their own subconscious working to “protect” them all the time. The only person that can change them, is THEM. Not you.
So, let’s start with you.
In order to change yourself and your life, you need to understand yourself and know what is truly right for you.
How do you do that?
Well, we all have an inner compass, a gut instinct. This is the plus side of your subconscious. Once you know who you are, and what you are here for, you can then learn to listen to your gut, your instinct, the inner YOU. It then becomes easier to say ‘yes’ to the right things and say ‘No’ to the things that do not serve us ….without feeling guilty.
So many actions are taken on a daily basis out of guilt. The problem with this is that the next feeling that comes along is usually ‘poor me’ or resentment, (I don’t really want to go to the shops with X, but if I don’t they won’t go and then I will feel bad, so I guess I will HAVE to go).
Have you ever taken on a client you know you shouldn’t have, because you felt you had to? Maybe they were recommended to you and you didn’t want to let the person who recommended them down? And then they turned out to be the client from hell?
And I bet when that happened you thought something along the lines of, “I KNEW they were going to be trouble – I should never have taken them on”.
Once you have your WHY and your know what you are here to do, it becomes easier to listen to your inner compass and say NO to the things that do not serve you, and yes to the ones that light you up.
If you need some help finding your Inner Compass – we have a lot of free tools in the Find Your Why Foundation Membership. And you will also find an active community supporting you on your quest to changing yourself and saying no without feeling guilty! Sounds too good to be true, for less than the cost of a Mars Bar a day? (This is more likely to help you ‘work, rest and play’ than a mars bar in our humble opinion).
See you in there!