“There is nothing permanent except change.” Heraclitus
The idea that nothing stays the same is a challenge for our brains because of several reasons. Firstly we live in a complex world with too many choices and thinking takes time and energy. The safe option is the easiest choice and if we had a good experience the last time we are primed to make the same selection again. More reasons in the article below of why we love familiarity and why its hard to accept change.
Endure The Pain
Acceptance can effect the situation in different ways from emotional to physical discomfort and even pain at times. The example I will use highlights just two of many plausible outcomes showing that effort is needed to change. The story of individual who has serious weight problems or you could say clinically obese. What are the two main options?
1: They accepted serous weight issues and continue in the same routine of life and died at a young age with a heart attack or other complications.(Many different Psychologically reasons for denial)
2: They accepted there was a problem with thier present state and took responsibility. Endured the losses of not eating comfort foods. Endured the pain of exercise and discomfort. resulting living to a good old age helping and encouraging the family to be healthy.
The phrase No Pain No Gain is not just a physical concept but a psychological identity for change. To admit responsibility will cause emotional disturbances in the Psyche because conflict of two brain patterns. Depression and anxiety are the body alarm system telling you something is wrong. These symptoms will persist until there is a resolution in the subconscious and conscious . Sadly, society paints the picture of wonder drugs solve all problems but if our thinking is out of alignment the drugs just mask the deeper core issues. At this juncture I don’t recommend dispensation of medication but see if there is undercurrent in your Psyche causing disruption with professional help.
We live in world today that promotes self-indulgence and gratification at all costs. Or in other words: Short term gains rather than long term benefits. I agree if you have terminal illness or ongoing major health problems you cant change your perspective will be different on long term perspective. I remember talking to my wife who was having treatment for her cancer and worrying about her figure. I said “for God’s sake enjoy your occasional treat you can’t do anything else( she wasn’t morbidly obese , steroids effected her shape). Her example of enduring pain is one story of a women due for a sainthood. The pain she suffered to live longer savouring every moment to be with her children and family is truly motivating. I can definitely say by her enduring the cancer treatments she lived an extra 18 months. ( book spoiler, next year by august 6th 2022 i will publish a book in her honour , it will be 5 years since her death, the book is called Compassion Conquers Cancer. The book will assist those who are or had to deal with that life changing ordeal)
The truth of the matter is, how desperate are you to see change in your life. It’s going to Bloody hurt is the real message of change. Ironically, you’re going be miserable if you don’t change either now or in the future. Read stories of heroes and heroines that have been in your situation they have done it and so can you. Jim Carrey’s Said: ‘You Can Fail at What You Don’t Want, So You Might as Well Take a Chance on Doing What You Love’
Focus with No Regrets
Marilyn Monroe said “Fear is stupid. So, are regrets” Why is fear stupid? The brain convinces the individual with fear by a negative emotion. Others jump into fear with excitement. The list of phobias is endless, and majority are irrational. For example, the fear of spiders in the United Kingdom is irrational but some of my grown children have the fear because they learnt it from their mother. Big problem with fear it will distract and stop you focusing on what you want. For example, a small spider often stops my children entering a room driving their focus into flight/fight/freeze response activating the nervous system (HPA). That energy drains the focus of the present time and reinforce the avoidant response in the future. For all you science buffs follow link see the chemistry in your body with the HPA axis system role in stress.
Regrets are linked to opportunities when action was misdirected or not focused. This is a big psychological problem for some when a close family or friend dies. Helpful basic link for anyone grieving but I recommend professional help.
The regrets can burden a person with negative responses. It is accepting the loss and letting go. Easier done than said but change the word Regrets to Restart. Life is about perspective because what we think is our reality. Imagine hitting and shouting at a lovely, cute puppy. The puppy will grow up with negative reactions. Many rescue dogs have been trained in a caring environment reenforcing new positive behaviour. Similar fashion if you feed your brain with negative emotions, you are going feel miserable then in turn will reenforce the cycle of not accepting because the brain can’t see pass the cycle of change. I remember a few years ago when I had therapy he said “You can choose Your Emotions” at the time I was grieving my wife death, it was a hard pill to swallow. Don’t suppress emotions let them flow but don’t indulge in them because self-pity is not self-compassion.
Ready steady go! Remember these words as a child. The excitement of a race, what’s change apart from you being older? Often, it’s the experiences the brain relays to you in your head that makes us feel old. As a child learning to walk you fell over many times, but did you stop walking? Failure or setbacks are lessons that teach us better ways to try again with resilience. Again, it’s the thoughts in your head not the situation as a child. Your determination as a toddler wanted to explore the world and try new things. Release your inner child again and explore the world with curiosity with no judgments. Adults who give up Judge from emotional response, but children have a go. Even children in their development learn very quickly from the environment of criticism to give up. Remember you are an adult and tell those negative voices in your head where to go.
Build and Fortify Your Focus
The change comes from within for lasting change. Remember it’s human to have setbacks on your journey. When you hit a setback refocus on the goal. The objective is on change not time unless you have a specific time frame. (More depth on SMART goals, research the internet or link below and ask advice from a professional).
The tendency for the brain when you hit setbacks is to give up because the brain or the Ego hates uncertainty. This can trigger the fight/flight response. Problem with this mechanism will distract you from the change. For example, you want to change your body through diet and exercise. There will be occasions in life such as illness, holidays, celebrations etc that will cause setbacks. The power of self-esteem can delude you because the ego hates being wrong and it hates losses. The pride of self-esteem can cause havoc if not careful. Low self-esteem can cripple you if you allow it. This section is Build Focus with an ongoing strategy. Imagine you are at the beach, and you build a lovely sandcastle. The tide comes in and washes it away. The example shows that every project may need a new start but that can be soul destroying with the wrong mindset. The beauty of starting or adjusting can enhance your progress because you have developed skills for example you have lost weight through diet and exercise is proof you can change. Learning and adjusting to your own personal requirements is experience you never learn by reading a book or someone advice.
Focus has many definitions, but the idea used by successful athletes is centre of their life. They use their resources both physical, mental, and emotional assets. Imagine you are a captain of an army you need use all these resources to win the battle or defend your position. The army will have casualties, but they don’t surrender on the first losses. They regroup and review the damages and start again.
Flexibility is the key to success. If you can’t bend you will snap or crumble. The biggest illusion for the modern civilisation is the greatest mistake. I can’t underestimate this in the reality of being human. CONTROL is illusion of reality because it’s a miracle that you exist. The trillion of biological mechanisms working in unison to become you the living self. I have known many and I’m sure you know of the stories in history where individuals thought they were invincible. I prefer the phrase Life happens and go with the flow. I’m not suggesting rejecting discipline and strategies to reach your goal. When you hit roadblocks or treading water don’t waste your valuable resources trying to control everything and everyone just accept the situation. There may be a better way or easier way or its not the time to push forward yet. Imagine water finds its natural direction, the trees bend, and the nature accepts the challenges but eventually it bounces back. Think of the humble tree life source is dependent on the resources in nature. It doesn’t grow in straight lines either up or down. The simple truth is life is not always a straight line. If change is needed swallow your ego and be flexible.
If you have a lot of mental blocks and resistance to move forward I recommend book below “Letting Go by David Hawkins available also on audible.
Part three to come on Acceptance.