Why are we so afraid of change?
In the last 6 months I have lost a lot of fitness, put on weight and have been living with pain…. So what on earth stopped me getting it sorted and rehabbing it properly in the first place? Had I gone to the sports therapist at the time of the injury I would be on course for running the Exeter half marathon in a few weeks’ time, feeling fit & healthy but here I am off games for at least another 6 weeks whilst the tendon heals & I strengthen the surrounding structures.
I know I’m not the only one! We put off going to see the doctors/physio/dentist even though pain or discomfort is stopping us leading our life to the full. It is exactly the same with the health of our mind – we live with negative beliefs & thought patterns, destructive behaviours, past trauma, toxic work/home situations all the time & often we settle for the life that this gives us, adapting & limiting our goals and dreams along the way.
This can play out in big fat life choices too. It can mean we DON’T;
The Ostrich Problem
How our brains hold us back
Our brain has one main aim; to keep us alive. Two other points are that the brain wants to use as little energy as possible just in case it needs the energy to fight a tiger and it likes certainty. These two points could help explain why we bury our heads in the sand – if we have found ways to adapt to our current situation then these adaptations (thoughts, behaviours, actions) have become automatic; like the path of least resistance for our brain therefore they take up less energy. It doesn’t matter that they may be holding us back – they are familiar & therefore there is a degree of certainty. When we start changing these adaptations, we expend a lot of energy – both mental & physical & we do not necessarily know the outcome.
So you see it is all very natural BUT the question is does it serve you? Are you happy to settle?
Coaches often describe what we do as disrupting normal thought and behaviour patterns to help people move forward. (The irony isn’t lost on me here – I do this all the time with my clients and yet when it came to my injury I went with the easiest option of doing nothing)! We challenge habitual thinking and raise self awareness. This is all well and good but nothing will change without ACTION!
“If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got” Henry Ford
How can we help ourselves move forward?
If you are facing any sort of change or you know there is something that is holding you back; here are some questions that could help: