Hey Stupid! (Why Do We Resist Change?)

Procrastination

 

Hey Stupid!

Am I talking to you??

Well, maybe…..”

Are you one of those people who knows exactly what you should be doing when it comes to your own health, wellbeing and happiness….but you don’t actually do it?

One of those people who should exercise more, eat more healthily, stop worrying so much, get more sleep…

 

I ran into a young man I know recently.

“You look amazing!” I said.

“I should, I’ve lost 50 kilos,” he replied.

I raised an eyebrow in surprise. “How did you manage that?”

He gave me a rueful smile.

“I got diabetes….”

 

How often do we wait for the crisis rather than making change by choice? What is it that allows us to become essentially blind, deaf and mute when our body, our heart and our mind are shouting at us?

What allows us to block out the whispers that let us know change is due?

And why does it often require a whack over the head with a sledgehammer to finally wake us up?

 

We all know what we need to do to be healthy and happy. We read the books, go to the courses, watch the TV shows and the TED Talks from our comfy chairs. We get all motivated, have great intentions, buy all of the associated crap that will make us happier, healthier, thinner and much more beautiful….and then we…we….well, can’t be bothered really….yawn..

I know my health is at risk, that my habit is killing me, my lack of movement is crippling me, my relationship is suffocating me, my job is sucking me dry…..but…maybe tomorrw….

Why is it that we spend so much time, energy and emotion resisting, when the changes we could make are often quite simple, frequently pleasurable and definitely in our best interests in regard to our own wellbeing and happiness?

Why are we such a bunch of donkeys when it comes to making simple changes in our lives?

 

Imagine if instead of thinking about it, agonizing over it, worrying about it, punishing ourselves for it or postponing it, we instead decided to let go of our resistance and simply do it…

Now there’s a radical idea!

 

I have a friend who refused to stop smoking until the day she walked into the dentist’s office and was told that if she didn’t quit now  she would lose all of her teeth. “I’m vain,” she told me. She walked out of his office, threw her pack of fags in the bin and hasn’t touched one since.

 

I wonder what it would take for you?

 

As for me I’m off for a walk…

Or I would be if it wasn’t raining… :)

Suck It Up, Buttercup…

exercise

I’ve been uncomfortable lately- very uncomfortable…..

I remember a time when that would have caused me distress- now I am quite comfortable with it-(now there’s a paradox!) It can even give me a bit of an excited buzz.

Can you remember a time when you felt really uncomfortable?

It’s quite likely (if it wasn’t a time when you were wearing a too-tight pair of undies..) that you were probably doing something that pushed you out of your comfort zone. Now that it’s all done and dusted, you can possibly look back at that time and acknowledge something positive or something useful that came from it….no matter how difficult and uncomfortable it seemed at the time. It may have been uncomfortable in a physical sense, in  an emotional situation or a social encounter. It may have been due to an intellectual challenge or something that you felt was outside of your skills and capabilities or your capacity to cope. It felt uncomfortable…

Remember a time when you learned something big, did something challenging, experienced something completely new, put yourself in a new situation, gathered up your courage to try something or did something you hadn’t done before? It is highly likely that it involved some level of discomfort- maybe quite a lot of it.

The truth is that if we stay comfortable we don’t grow.

I’m creating some massive changes at present, on lots of levels and in lots of areas of my life. It’s requiring a fair deal of effort, lots of difficult decisions, heaps of courage and a fair amount of risk.

That doesn’t always feel comfortable….and that’s okay!

I have learned to link discomfort with growth and the expansion of my world. I realise that it is temporary and that in experiencing it I will come out with a new understanding or resource that I didn’t have before- so for me it will be worth it. (Even if the learning is “I won’t do that again!!”)

One of the things that I notice constantly is how unwilling human beings are to experience discomfort of any kind. In fact, people will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it at all cost. They build their lives around avoiding it: especially if it involves other people…

To grow and progress we need to be willing to face the uncomfortable questions, the assumptions and judgments of others. We need to be willing to be upfront and honest despite the fact that we may not be liked for doing so. We need to risk conflict instead of running from it. We need to be willing to “have our feelings hurt” or to be told “No!”….

The irony of course is that in running from discomfort we actually create a toxic pool of it that we immerse ourselves in….we never find the courage to step through it and into growth. Sure it may not always be pleasant but that’s okay!

Listen to the people around you- too many seem to have the same encyclopaedia of excuses- “Too hot/ too cold/ too far/ too much effort/ too dirty/ too inconvenient/ too much trouble/ too hard/ may upset someone…….”

They give it labels like “anxiety” or “Insert your own latest trendy word :) disorder” and treat it with drugs and a myriad of therapies.

They complain endlessly about being stuck, overweight, unhealthy, unhappy, bored and miserable.

They whinge, moan and complain endlessly about never reaching their full potential.

They want a “quick fix”, someone to show them how and someone else to do it for them.

They want it all to change but they’re not willing to actually do anything….

In the end, it’s often all the same thing- a plain old unwillingness to experience discomfort.

So ,how uncomfortable are you willing to get?

Just askin’…. :)

How To (Not) Get What You Want….

know what you want

That’s NOT what I wanted… So how come I got it anyway??

When we were kids my dad told us often that we were not to get a tattoo-no matter what.

Every time he said it (“You will not get a tattoo!!”) guess what I saw in my head-yep, a tattoo… I used to think about the tattoo I was (not) going to have and where I was (not) going to have it. I thought about what it would (not) be of, what colours it would (not) be and about how it would (not) make me feel. Needless to say, I got a tattoo…

How much of our focus in life is directed upon what we do not want? And how come not wanting it doesn’t seem to make it go away?

It still surprises me that the “anti/not” brigade don’t quite get it yet. (Who is advising our government on this stuff?? Hire me for your advertising campaigns!!):

-Do not speed (Yeehah!!)

-Do not binge drink (Hic!)

-Do not drive fatigued (Snore….The pictures of those big, red tired eyes hits me with a wave of fatigue every time.)

(Any smart parent will tell you how well the “don’t” command works- quite often all it does is fill our little darlings’ heads with exciting new suggestions. Just like “Don’t Touch-Wet Paint” is ALWAYS a winner for me! :) )

I’ve had lots of people who, when I have asked them what they want, answer “I do not want to be fat any more” or “I do not want to eat junk food any more” or “I do not want to smoke any more.” (What pictures are you getting – a fat person with a Maccas in one hand and a fag in the other?)

If your head is full of what you do not want how on earth will you get what you do want? It’s a bit like looking backwards, walking forwards and hoping you actually get somewhere near where you’d like to be (without hitting a brick wall or falling off a cliff in the meantime.)

Focusing on what we do not want generally gets us more of the same-after all that’s what’s in our awareness.

Many people get so obsessed about diets and food  that is all they think about all day long-( imagine what might happen if they thought about a healthy body and fresh air and exercise instead?)

So, start to have a bit of a listen to yourself and to the people around you. Are you using the negative language of what you don’t want or the positive language of what you do?

Do you want to “not smoke” or “not be fat” or do you want to be “fit and healthy?” Which one puts the most effective picture in your mind? Which one feels best??

Do you “Not want to work here anymore” or do you “See myself in a job I love”?

Do you “Not want any more dramas” or do you “Want a harmonious relationship”?

One perspective and focus delivers you more of the same whilst the other opens up possibilities and opportunities for something different and something better.

So, do you “Not want to be stuck anymore” or do you “Want to get moving?”

Isn’t language a most curious thing!