Take a chance on change
Change is scary… but being scared can be the catalyst for positive change.
Change is scary, it means facing fears, stepping into unknown territory, facing 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 of course 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 am 53 years old, about to be 54 and for much of my life I have had gut issues that have caused me not just a lot of discomfort and distress, but extreme dietary restriction. I am only able to eat 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) 2 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 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, on crutches in severe pain and anxiety struggling to cope with the simple daily tasks of school runs etc. Several years ago I got myself to the point where I have been leading my version of a full and active life, including having spent 8 years so far running my own Wellbeing and Hypnotherapy Practice helping others address their pain and anxiety.
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 better and now it was going to be.
This event had triggered me back into my old outdated feelings, my old fears, but nothing was the same anymore, so much had already changed and this was the last stage in me gaining freedom from these restrictions once and for all. I lived within boundaries now I was faced with being forced to step out of my comfort zone and embrace this as a positive opportunity for change.
Now again it was a case of therapist heal thyself!
This story will continue as I will chart my progress along the way but for now this got me thinking about change and why I and many of you I am sure, will have situations in your life that you don’t like but you also don’t change.
A lot of the work I do is around creating a resilient, resourceful mind, so when faced with any challenge we can be our calmest and most confident self. I have a lot of tools and techniques, I am now excited to use my mind to embrace and achieve the healthier, happier future that is right there in front of me.
If you want to follow my journey and get some tips and techniques along the way of how you can make changes and master what really is your magnificent mind, including accessing a free understanding and accepting emotions meditation download to help you deal with any difficult emotions, then join my community here.