I have a more reliable solution.
When you’re trying to better yourself, willpower is often the way we try to override our natural tendencies and muscle in a new habit, lifestyle or way of doing things. Unfortunately all it takes is a bad day to return to your default setting.
If you’re relying on willpower, you’re going to have an uphill battle. Fortunately, there are some alternatives here.
We are hardwired to move away from any endeavor or situation that we perceive as painful, and to a lessor extent, towards pleasure. That means that even though we know how exercise for example, might be good for us, make us feel better etc, the painful act of making time, doing it, getting uncomfortably hot and sweaty is going to outweigh our perceived benefit. The carrot doesn't work as well as the stick.
The trick is to program your subconscious with better information, by attaching a stronger pain signal to the act of not exercising, or whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish.
If you attach pain to the inaction, and pleasure with the action, your subconscious will pick up where willpower falls short and you won’t have to work so hard to keep yourself on track.
Your subconscious is also very impressionable, which is good and bad. Good because we can use it, and bad because it hangs onto trauma preventing you from being free to the degree you would like. But that’s another story. Right now, lets focus on how we can use it to our advantage.
How To Reprogram Your Brain
What we need to do, is to make a strong impression on the subconscious that the thing you want to do, exercise for example, is awesome and being a slug is really horrible. We can do that by closely looking at the benefits, downsides and stirring up some strong emotions.
This is actually a Tony Robbins thing and he was inspired by A Christmas Carol. You have to be willing to let the ghosts of Christmas, (or exercise) past, present and future visit you. It’s not as spooky as it sounds.
What follows is a little exercise that you need to do in one sitting, you can journal or use visualization or both. If you journal, studies have shown that writing it out longhand sticks in the subconscious better than typing, so keep that in mind. You’ll want to be alone for this, and do it all in one sitting. The more you can exaggerate and stir up your emotions, the better. Cmon, I know you have an inner drama queen!
Ready? Got Kleenex's? Here we go!
The thing I want to change/do differently is_________________________________________
What are the consequences that the way I’ve been doing _________ has had/is having?
What has it cost you in relationships?
What has it cost you in finances?
Your physical health?
Your level of happiness and fulfillment?
What are you losing or missing out on by doing or not doing ______________?
What do you regret most?
What is it doing to your self-esteem? Do you feel less powerful?
How does this affect your energy level?
Take a minute to really feel the pain and loss, examine how it affects all areas of your life. Imagine the weight of all those limitations, all the things you’ve missed and move 5 years into the future with all of the baggage, getting bigger and bigger as you move through life and continue to lose out from being on your current course.
Visualize yourself with your baggage backpack, weighed down. All the missed opportunities, all the pain, all the frustration, all the anger… Imagine looking at yourself in the mirror 5 years in the future.
How do you look?
What is the price your face has paid?
How do you feel about yourself, having gone another 5 years down the road you are currently on today? 5 years of giving up your power. 5 years of living beneath your potential...
What are the things you should have done but you didn’t because of your action or lack of action?
Now step forward 10 years. Drag 10 years of disappointment, 10 years of failure, with each failure building one on top of the other. 10 years of all that you’ve missed out on. Look in the mirror again.
Do you feel more alive or less alive?
Stronger or weaker?
Excited or depressed?
Heavier or lighter?
What do you say to yourself having lived an entire decade like this?
What did you give up?
How much frustration have you experienced?
What’s been the cost for you in your relationships?
What do your friends and family think about you?
Feel the pain and make it real. Where are you?
What’s happened to you?
What has it cost your family?
Was it worth it?
Are you willing to live this way?
Is this the destiny you will choose?
If this is painful enough that you are committed to never living this way again, your brain will shift it’s program around what is worth avoiding. If not, do what ever it takes to make this really painful. This is all a shadow of the future. This can all be changed by changing your beliefs. Come backwards in time, back from the future, back to today. Now shake off your backpack, physically move your body and interrupt the negative pattern and get out of that state completely. You’ve just changed your course!
Now lets get into a very positive state and decide what will empower you. What is the opposite of what you just envisioned? Make it a short simple phrase. We now need to associate pleasure with that belief or action so you’ll automatically go for it. Close your eyes and think about how this will transform your life.
What will you gain?
How will you be happier?
How will you be more successful financially and in relationships?
How will your physical health be transformed by adopting this new mindset?
How is your life greater, more fulfilling, emotionally richer?
Are you less stressed?
How do you feel about yourself living this way?
Imagine that you have lived this way every day for the last 5 years. Take all the success that you’ve achieved, day after day after day. This time it’s not a backpack. It’s a bunch of helium balloons, one for every little win that as you walk with and collect, lift you lighter and higher.
Notice the powerful positive impact this has had on you and everyone around you.
Where are you now living?
What have you gained, how is your life better?
How has it enhanced your personality?
How has it strengthened your confidence?
What has it caused you to really go for and get?
Now look in the mirror 5 years from now at you living with all these great benefits. Are you smiling or frowning?
Do you feel younger or older?
Do you have more energy?
More joy, more passion?
Is there more excitement and love in your relationships or less?
What has the difference been for your family?
Are you healthier, more alive?
What kind of a role model are you for others?
Notice how great it feels! Stir it up! Fully feel it!
And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t talk to you about flower essences, which also make things easier as far as your mental battles go. All you have to do is put some drops in your drink. We have essences for anything you could need help with, but lets look at the ingredients in the M&M (Motivation and Manifestation) blend.
Tansy helps ward off procrastination and indecision. When you experience chaos, confusion, emotional instability or violence, it’s normal to back away and withdraw. On the surface, this looks like apathy and laziness, but it may be symptomatic of a deeper issue, perhaps one ingrained from childhood. Tansy helps you feel empowered and purposeful, with fresh energy and an attitude conducive to success. It helps users take decisive action and helps them get back in the game.
Horseradish puts you back in the driver’s seat. You can move forward and change direction. Feeling stuck, feeling like a victim of circumstance, feeling frustrated or fearful? Horseradish powers through all that. You'll have to take responsibility for your situation, but Horseradish will build you up, fire you up, and move you out of your current rut by dislodging fear, low self-esteem and blame-shifting.
Blackberry - Breakthrough and break out! Blackberry is great for the person with lots of ideas and little ability to carry them out. It helps translate grand schemes into specific plans of action. Blackberry vines push up through rocks and hard earth; they are all about the breakthrough! Blackberry will also have you speaking up for what you want and what you feel is right. Blackberry enables a beautiful balance between too timid and too forceful in speaking your truth.
Shasta Daisy helps you see how everything fits together into the big picture. Helps you pull pieces of disconnected information, ideas and concepts together into a cohesive whole. Excellent for writers, researchers and teachers who need to produce comprehensive, understandable presentations. It's also perfect for multi-taskers and anyone who has to keep track of lots of projects or information. Shasta Daisy assists with compartmentalized emotions and thoughts, helping you reintegrate and become "whole" rather than shutting down or sectioning off feelings that you can’t deal with. Being able picture can reduce anxiety. Shasta Daisy has been used to prevent panic attacks. Shasta can also restore "wholeness" in relationships by allowing you to see the big picture there too, rather than focusing on winning arguments.
Purple Archangel is all about getting things in order. It's a clarifier of the complex, aids in understanding and decisive action, and simplifies and grounds those who are stuck in chaos. Good for those dealing with creative blocks, those who are trying to get organized, or those who feel worn out by work or excess activity. For those going in a hundred directions at once and feeling the need to decipher what is worthwhile and what is not.
Buttercup helps those who are frequently overlooked to shine forth with full consciousness of their unique gifts and abilities. Buttercup inspires you not to judge yourself based on conventional ideas of achievement, or by comparing yourself to others, but to realize your worth based on who you are, not your outward recognition. This is also a helpful essence for those who have to step into a phase that, by some standards, would be considered a less important path.
M&M is a pretty general motivator, but should you want to quit smoking, change your relationship with food, or anything else you have in mind for 2016, there’s probably a flower essence for it. Come see what we’ve got!
Image credit © Can Stock Photo Inc. / prometeus