Change is scary… but being scared can be the catalyst for positive change.
Change can be scary, it may mean stepping out of your comfort zone and facing fears, stepping into unknown territory, or exploring new challenges.
As humans we seek pleasure not pain, safety, not danger, when we have found these we stay safe. We are wired to survive, so even if surviving may not really mean thriving, safety overrides our desire for change. Our behaviours, feelings and thoughts, even words, become habitual to the point we no longer notice them, they are unconscious, so we stay here almost oblivious to the fact that it could be different, except maybe in our wildest dreams!
Then BOOM. Something happens and the situation is brought into our conscious mind, which is when we will see things for how they really are. Now we either freak out totally overwhelmed because we believe we are at the mercy of the situation or others, or as the song goes “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”
I have just turned 54 and I have been launched out of my safety zone and forced to take a look at some of my deepest fears.
For much of my life I have not been well so I recognise I tend to live my life trying not to make myself feel worse, I have successfully built a safe life but it is restricted. I have had severe digestive issues most of my life and I am currently only able to tolerate 6 foods, one of which was something baked for me by a bakers in London where I used to live (it’s a long story that you really don't want to know) A few weeks ago my worst fear was realised… THE BAKER'S CLOSED DOWN!!!!!
Result: negative thoughts and emotions spiralled through my head and my body…
What was I going to do now?
Was I going to starve?
How ill would I get if I had to step off my “safe” foods list?
Would I go back to the bad old days of weighing barely 7 stone?
Luckily as I am now well practiced in the art of mindfulness, I observed this play out in my mind. I noticed the sensations, the images, the thoughts pass in front of me like trains arriving at a station, but I didn’t jump on those trains, I let them pass.
Then came the realisation that it was good news, this was the opportunity that I had been waiting for.
I was being forced to make changes that in my heart I knew I longed for but feared. I recognised that this needn't cause me to feel out of control, it was up to me whether this change was for the better or for the worst, this was a chance to take control over the years that food, or the lack of it, had governed my life.
For those of you who know my story already you will be aware of how, using mind based therapies, I was able to get myself out of a lifetime of illness and years of disability, to the point where I have been leading my version of a full and active life, including having spent 8 years helping others do the same through running my own Wellbeing and Hypnotherapy Practice.
But I have never addressed this, I accepted it, I worked with it with peace and without judgement, it was just how I was and that was that. I had built myself another safe but restricted life. It was way better than the last one, so I was happy with that, but it could be even better, and now it was going to be.
Now again it was a case of therapist heal thyself!
This story will continue and many of you I am sure, will have situations in your life that you don’t like, but you also don’t change. So I hope my journey and the techniques I use will inspire and support you to take a chance on change too.
Technique no 1:
The breath is one of the most powerful tools we have, it enables us to quickly and easily switch on the bodies parasympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as the rest and digest mode, giving an instant calming response.
If you would like to access my breathing / relaxation recording to help you feel calm and comfortable whatever life challenges you with then access it here;
I AM HERE TO HELP