Updated: Feb 7, 2020
I often take issue with myself when I set a goal or an intention and then flake out. I have endless internal debates with the part of me who is the unwilling procrastinator in some new undertaking that will make me more efficient, fitter, or slimmer. And yet, in spite of all the time given to planning, in spite of all the berating, I still fail to commit to some of my decisions.
What is the art of committing to change? Is there some secret recipe we can apply that will magically overcome our internal resistance?
I believe that we all have the potential to change. I also believe that each of us needs to find our own path and access our own wisdom when we want to move in a new direction. For me, change is always more achievable when I am fully present in the process, aware of how I feel and how this influences the choices I make – stay in bed or go for a run?
In his amazing book “Breaking the habit of being yourself: How to lose your mind and create a new one” Dr Joe Dispenza explains how we can consciously design the change we want to experience in our life and wire it into our body so the real experience (reality) will inevitably follow.
Dr. Dispenza says our personality creates our personal reality. As we experience external stimuli, we have internal emotional responses. Over time, these responses become conditioned - we respond in the same way to a stimulus without being conscious of it. Only about 5% of what we think, feel, or do in a day is actually conscious. The rest of our responses happen on auto-pilot and are “hardwired” into our body through specific neural connections and firing patterns. We know these hardwired responses as habits.
We are now stuck in the same movie on auto repeat! Our hardwired responses and choices – our habits – influence how we perceive the world, which in turn creates a reality that matches our expectation. This cycle creates more of the same – making it difficult to change.
To create sustainable change we need to change our way of being before our way of doing will follow suit.
This is what I learned from the book and am practising in my own life to form new habits and to create change:
Be present with yourself by simply observing your thoughts and emotions. This shuts down our auto-pilot and allows us to realise when our current way of being causes us to be stuck in an old unhelpful habit.
As we build our awareness of what we think while we’re thinking it, and what we feel while we’re feeling it, we can question it and change our perspective about a situation or relationship.
Now consciously choose how to see the specific situation. This shift in perspective changes our perception of reality – we are able to experience things differently because we feel differently.
This forms the neural connections needed to support the desired new habit. Program your desired way of being for an event that hasn’t happened yet. The best way to do this, is to play the movie in your mind, and to experience it in real time.
Experience how you look, sound and feel when you do things differently. Spend planned, quiet time each day to repeat this until it is hardwired and becomes the new autopilot.
With this new wiring in place, we make different decisions because we feel different. We change our daily reality by BEING different.
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