Many of my clients and friends have asked me why they get in their own way of reaching a goal that the desperately want. I too have had situations in which I was also was at a loss as to why I would get excited and motivated to do something, only to quit half way through the process. The answer lies in understanding the brain. Our brain is motivated to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and exert the least amount of effort. This is known as the motivational triad. Understanding this is paramount to moving towards what you want and not making a U-turn half way through.
When you decide to do something meaningful to improve yourself, your brain will immediately flood you with anxiety, fear, and doubt. I remember when I signed up for my first half marathon, I was so excited, eagerly paid my race fee, and within 10 seconds afterwards, I was drowning in all the doubt and fear that I could NOT complete it. My brain immediately understood that by committing to the race would mean more pain, less pleasure, and more effort. All of these emotions go firmly against the above-mentioned triad.
Often the brain fears the unknown for the potential harm that could ensue so it immediately wants to reject the idea to keep us safe and living within the familiar. So how do we move past this resistance?
The first step is to expect the resistance. I have come to realize that fear, doubt, and worry are a signal that I am embarking on something meaningful, and I now embrace and learn from the resistance. Resistance here is defined as the unseen force that opposes you the second you try to improve yourself. That is the sick to your stomach feeling you get when someone asks you to speak at their event, when you interview for a new job, or sign up for a marathon, for example.
When you have resistance, it means you have to do your thought work. It signifies that you have an unconscious thought that is coming in like wildfire to fight you against taking that new action. The best thing to do here is ask yourself “Why”? Why can’t I do it? The answer will reveal the thought that is holding you back.
Once you have the thought or thoughts that are holding you back, you can explore them and ultimately decide to choose an alternative thought that does move you towards your goal. If I choose to stay with the thought “Running a half-marathon is impossible,” then there’s a good chance I would never run it, and I would consequently prove this thought true. Instead, choosing to believe that with the proper training and attitude, I would end up joining the millions that had.
Remember, thoughts are sentences in our minds, and they are all optional. We have to identify the ones that are there in order to challenge and let go of the ones that don’t serve our higher purpose. Direct your mind to the place you want to go, and override its primitive reactions to your self-improvement. Tell your mind what you want and use powerful words about your amazing ability to see it through. Link so much pleasure to achieving it, and pain to not.
If you think you can you are right, or if you think you can’t, you are also right. Which narrative about yourself do you choose?
If you want to learn how to be use your brainpower to get what you want and up level your life, schedule a call with me for transformational coaching. Your dream life is waiting: http://bit.ly/2rD8YZk
Here’s my first half-marathon finish photo, which required a lot of thought work to get to the finish line……