Then why do we "fail" or find it extremely challenging to change some habits or conditions into the long term results we are looking for?
Consider....what if the behavior or health condition you are trying to change is ACTUALLY SERVING YOU IN SOME WAY?
What if this behavior or condition is ACTUALLY HELPING YOU TO MEET ONE OR MORE OF YOUR BASIC HUMAN NEEDS?
Basic human needs all boil down to 3 things:
Here is an example: Jane is woman in chronic pain who is always on the go. Jane wants to be pain free but her pain is actually helping her meet her basic need for love and belonging. Being in pain gives her an excuse/a reason to sit down and spend time with her husband rather than to keep busy(which is her normal pace).
This is the oldest part of your brain.
The critter brain is focused solely on survival and safety to the point that it will, in an effort to keep you safe, sabotage the changes you are making.
This is because this part of your brain interprets change as "unsafe" and in addition it believes that the behavior/condition you want to change is still meeting one or more of your basic human needs and it maybe!
In an effort to keep Tim safe his critter brain tells him things like:
" You don't have enough time to do your exercises"
"Why bother? You are never going to get better"
"You need to rescue another person and tend to their crisis rather than take care of yourself".
In an effort to keep you safe this part of your brain will distract you, create a crisis to throw you off track, or even tell you you can't do it, and all to keep you from growing.
1. Recognize-when your critter brain is at work trying to sabotage you and remember that this is actually a protective mechanism to keep you safe.
2. Replace- judgment with curiosity. Look at what just happened? Isn't that fascinating? How is my critter brain trying to keep me safe?
3. Discover-ask yourself daily what need(s) is being fulfilled by the behavior/condition I am trying to change?
4. Learn- more about yourself. What would have to be true for you to feel safe, so that you feel you belong, so that you feel loved? What do you need to meet these basic needs?
This is a process that is deeply rewarding and that can help you to make the life changes you desire!
If you need extra assistance working with a therapist like myself can be very helpful!
Please comment below to let me know what you think of the post and is there is anything you are struggling to change?