What's your excuse for being stuck in a rut?
We all know the old cliche of 'the most important part of making change is really wanting to change'. This is so overused that sometimes I think people become ambivalent to how important it is. Wanting to change, and having the the right mindset to fuel this, is basically the difference between staying in a rut or making improvements to be in a better place. This applies to anything from curbing addictions, developing better relationships, achieving a goal, losing weight, pursuing a new career etc. In this article we are going to delve deep into the internal processes behind making change and why your mindset is so crucial to achieving your desired results.
The nature of change
We all have things in our life that we know can be better. It is the impact these have and our ability to act upon them based on our current mindset which determine the path we take. When the idea of making a change is more enticing than the reasons why we shouldn't, this is the time to act. Change happens predominantly on the two main extremities of emotions:
1. Pain - where something bad has happened (or inevitably about to) that forces us to change our ways - e.g. an overdose that forces a drug user to stop their addiction
2. Pleasure - when you are happy (or the premise of happiness/pleasure is near) associated with a particular change - e.g. you just had your first child and want to lose weight so you can be a more active parent.
These two main emotions (and all the grey areas in between) are what form our mindset in relation to change. This mindset is an interplay between the conscious and subconscious parts of our mind. For change to be initiated subconsciously, we must first have conscious awareness of whether we are applying this change from pain, pleasure or another reason. Once we set a clear and defined objective and reasoning, the subconscious will then become congruent to give the journey direction, purpose and outcome, most importantly at a more autonomous level. In saying this you don't necessarily have to be in extreme pain or pleasure modes to change something, rather identify the perspective, reasons and emotions you are attaching to making that change for best results.
Wanting to change
With hypnotherapy (or any profession helping people for that matter), the clients that achieve the best results are the ones who really want to make their desired change. This goes without saying. Often people come to me hesitantly or because they have been forced to by someone else. These people don't really want to change and are simply doing so because they are looking for a miraculous 'magic pill' solution without putting in some sort of effort or motivation. They are always the hardest to treat because they are simply not ready. On the other hand, clients who have a very specific reason and are absolutely focused on fixing something in their life are much easier to treat because much of the hard work is already done. When I identify that a client does not really want to make their change (or are not ready), before I even start treating whatever issue they have come to see me for, I will put in place a foundation to help rectify this. Without doing so is like building a house on an unstable platform - it will always fall down eventually.
All of this you can apply to your own mindset too. Before you begin another New Year's resolution I highly suggest you consider the following areas below. Please pay particular attention if you find that you have had troubles in the past achieving such a goal or that you are doing it because someone else gave you an ultimatum.
Where do you spend your 'change energy'?
Nowadays everyone wants something from you everywhere you look. It's like our days are full of doing things for other people. By the end of each day many of us are exhausted from helping others that we have no mental, physical or emotional energy left to do things for ourselves. This is a huge part of why many people simply live in a rut and don't make the effort to change. Making a conscious effort to step back, analyse where you are spending your emotional energy, and whether it is worthwhile and being appreciated, is very important to ensure you have enough left over to spend on making yourself better. In fact doing this is a change in itself!
If you identify with this, I recommend Rick's Personal Life Motivation or my Hypnosis For A Super You programs to shift your focus away from dedicating your life to helping others and more towards yourself
Do you step outside of your comfort zone?
Many factors in modern society make it easy to live life in auto-pilot mode as our subconscious rationale gets used to behaviors and patterns. By this I mean we never challenge ourselves and this becomes our normality. This leads to living each day exactly the same as the day before, repeating the same themes, stuck in a sense of time. Work, home, chores, TV, sleep - repeat for 330-340 days a year - and maybe if you are lucky, go on holidays for a week or two each year somewhere new. This makes it hard to step outside of this perceived comfort zone to make changes for a better life in the future. The cyclical nature of this is that our mind is not focused on the future because it is too easy to simply slip into the same monotonous routines in the present, which are in turn a resuylt of the patterns of your past. Making a concerted effort to break free from this monotony and experience new and exciting things every day will go a long way to developing a mindset more conducive to making positive changes. This is the only way to break out of this type of rut.
If you identify with this I recommend Rick's Fear of Change or my Hypnosis For Breaking Free programs. These will help you step outside your comfort zone and break the mundane pattern of being in a rut doing the same things day in day out.
What is your perception of your self?
If you have low self-esteem, self-worth or a generally negative outlook, then any improvements you try to make to your life will always be met with reservations of not deserving it or uncertainty This can be challenging to self-identify, but the best advice I can give here is to really look deep inside and ask this question:
"What do I think of me?".
Really challenge yourself, be honest and look deep into your core. It is here however that things can become complex, as is often the case with mind. As I mentioned earlier we best change on the 2 extremities of emotions - pain and pleasure. With respect to your perception of your self, there are two possible pathways here, try to identify which best fits you.
1. The sadness and self-loathing have hit a stage that has overpowered everything else in your life. If this is the case, here is where you lock in how you feel right now and use that as motivation to make things better because they can't get any worse. If you identify with this then use that sadness to motivate you to never return to this point again and make the change/s that you desire. Most importantly, ensure you have a clear picture in your mind of where you want to be. Whether this be slimmer, a non-smoker, happier, successful etc. it doesn't matter. Just make sure you counteract the negative now with the promise of a better life later. I personally recommend Rick's Happiness & Self-Esteem program for this as well as any specific program/s directly relating to whatever issue/s you are trying to improve. When you hit rock-bottom that in itself is enough motivation to slowly but surely chip away at all the things that have caused you to become that way.
2. You identify that you have self-sabotaging tendencies and that these may have hindered your previous attempts at making changes in the past. If this is the case I advise you to not even think about the specific changes you wish to achieve quite yet, rather let's just focus on changing your mindset around first. Once again here I recommend Rick's Happiness & Self-Esteem program or his Self Worth & Optimism program, but just use these for 6-8 weeks on their own before you start looking at fixing other things like losing weight, quitting smoking etc. Spending the extra time and effort here will make a huge amount of difference in the future and allow you to work on lots of positive changes over time productively and much more effectively.
Why do you want to make change?
If you are at such a point you have decided, yep it's time to fix this, what are your primary reasons?
Is it something someone else has given you ultimatum to do - .i.e. your wife has said you have to quit drinking or she'll divorce you?
My best advice here is to clearly identify your reasons and put them into context with everything else I have spoken about in this article. Is your decision being driven by current sadness or the pursuit of happiness? Is the reason strong enough that it will keep you going even when times are tough? Are you doing it for yourself or someone else (which most of the times I regret to say will fail)? This is a time for personal reflection and allowing your mind to become clear. For this reason if you are unsure of why you want to change I recommend using my Truth, Faith & Knowing program to help spend a bit of personal contemplative time to find answers within, or Rick's Personal Life Motivation if you identify you are only changing for someone else and not yourself. These will help get your mind and reasoning clear before you start your journey.
What are the excuses now (or in the past) that have stopped you?
We've all got excuses - there is an old saying about that. These are manifested in our self-talk saying things like:
"I don't have enough time in my life right now to spend on this"
"It's all good, I don't have a problem"
"Just one last time for old time's sake, I'll give up tomorrow"
"It's OK I will go for a run later to burn these calories"
If you find that your self-talk right now reflects themes like this, you probably are probably reading this article thinking, "yep I get what he is saying, but...". If this is the case it's more than likely that you won't do anything about the things that you know deep inside you need to fix. My advice here is simply... STOP! This is a HUGE reason why most people are get stuck in a rut. If you identify with this I recommend before you even think any more about the thing/s you want to change, let's instead think about changing your self talk pattern and internal reasoning process first.
Sometimes just a small one degree shift in our current direction can result in a complete 180 degree shift later. Simply by working on creating more positive and autonomous self-talk patterns and removing excuses, laziness and a general unwillingness to change from your mindset, this can be the start of something truly amazing. Once you change this internal process it is MUCH easier to change anything else you identify will make your life better in the future. Once these patterns are removed, you have set a foundation to achieve substantial and highly noticeable positive changes to appreciate later.
If you identify with this I recommend Rick's Fear and Panic Free program, as a lot of the time it is a fear inside that causes us to make excuses to not do something. Alternatively, my Hypnosis For Laziness to Pro-activity is also a great program if you feel that you generally make excuses because you are in a false comfort zone repeating the same negative things over and over and making excuses to sustain this 'easy' way of life.
Some final advice
I understand some of the questions I have asked, and themes for you to identify with, in this article may be a little challenging. However this is key to getting out of a rut. Like I mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons we all get in a rut is because of the failure to challenge ourselves. By delving a little deeper and getting your mind in the right direction, rather than just buying the latest 'fad' product to overcome some issue, you will always experience MUCH better results. Hypnosis here is no exception. It is simply a very common-sense and logical tool to work on the most important part of you - your mind. Used on it's own or adjunctly with other programs that help fix whatever issue you are wanting to change, even before you start, it will greatly your chances of achieving your goals.
I also hope that my recommendations for the most suitable hypnotherapy programs we offer for each of the questions I have asked, has helped provide some guidance. I often get asked what is the best program for one issue or another (we have 100's of titles), however the simple truth is that every person is different. I always like to hear some background information before I recommend any program or begin a personalised treatment session with a client. By giving you some background information that you may identify with, I hope that it results in you choosing to spend the $10 or so we charge for our download programs and gives you the absolute best chance at success. With that I wish you the best of luck, and as always, please get in touch with me here if you have any questions or would like some personal advice.
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