How To Beat Your Resistance To Change

by Jean-Paul Cortes

This is a pretty BIG statement. After all, when you think about it, no matter how much we tell ourselves that we're going to change, for a lot of us things just seem to fall back to the way they were. Am I right?

Just think back to all those New Year's resolutions made over the years, how many of them really resulted in significant change? At least for me, the scales aren't tipped favorably.

Our understanding of what's going on within our brains may help us circumvent our natural tendency to resist change. What you'll find, is that this process has more to do how we ask ourselves to change, rather than willpower or determination.

The fact is, that throughout our lives we unknowingly program ourselves to be and act a certain way. The manner in which we perceive our world is largely determined by a gamut of personal experiences. As humans, it's hard for us to realize how we're affecting the input.

For the most part, we usually don't consciously pay attention to what we're doing; we just do it. Once you learned how to walk for example, it became pretty much second nature.

Over a lifetime, there are many activities that we do that are carried on seemingly on autopilot. Inside our heads, our brains have worked hard to make sure that all the neural circuitry is just so, so that without any conscious effort on our part we can go about doing the things we do.

The reason we resist change is that it's much easier for us to remain the same; rather, it's much easier and less energy consuming on our brains to revert back to familiar patterns of behavior, ones that we already have the neural circuitry for.

The good part about our brains is, that it has a wonderful capacity to make new neural connections; in effect it can rewire itself and therefore change the output.

We just have to figure out a way of asking it to change...

Although there's still a lot to learn about how our brains work, with every new finding in the field of neuro-science we gain a greater understanding of what exactly goes on within.

The process of finding solutions to our need to change, may be found in an technique that's been in use for ages...and you may find yourself surprised at just how easy it can be.

The World Of Affirmations...With A Twist

Most of us can remember the famous children's book "The Little Engine That Could", along with its main theme of "I think I can, I think I can..." In a sense, we readily identify with this little engine's push for getting up that hill.

When it comes to people, all it may take is a creative adaptation to how we tell ourselves that we can.

In order to make the process work, we enlist the use of our imagination.

Albert Einstein remarked that, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."

The technique that I'm proposing makes good use of our ability to imagine a desired outcome and it harnesses our brains ability to create new neural connections.

Scientists have found that the same brain networks used in executing a task, are also involved in imagining it. The implication of this, is that we can effectively tie in our affirmations with the rich mental imagery of our imagination.

The cognitive dissonance that's created between our current reality and the imagined reality, reinforced by our affirmations will push our subconscious mind to create that which we ask of it. In a nutshell, our subconscious mind will strive to achieve the image of whatever we ask of it.

Many studies have shown the efficacy of using a process of affirmation-visualization to elicit change. In simple terms, you can use the following rules:

  1. Craft and affirmation that you will repeat mentally.
  2. Visualize an image of the way the world will look like as viewed from your eyes when the affirmation becomes true.
  3. At the same time, mentally recall an event that triggered positive emotions. The reason why this is important, is that this chemically tags the new neural circuit being created by the affirmation-visualization process.

There's an additional structure to the language we use to craft our affirmations, you can use the following guide to help you:

  • Be Personal. We only have the power to change ourselves, so use words like "I am" and me and let go of the notion of influencing others, you'll feel much more relaxed and in control.
  • Be Positive. Take a proactive approach and focus on solutions; center your mind by using positive language such as "I am happy" instead of "I do not want to be sad." Remember, our subconscious mind will give us exactly what we ask of it.
  • Use Present Tense.Imagine yourself as if you already have what you want. If solutions are always in some far off place in the future they're more likely to remain there. Let yourself experience the reality in your mind.
  • Express Positive Emotion. Use emotionally charged words to tap into your emotional vault. Harness the power of positive emotions to help you gain what you want.
  • Be Realistic. Don't be afraid to stretch, but keep it real. Take it in little steps, your mind is much more likely to comply.
  • Be Specific. Your mind needs very specific commands to comply. Asking it that you want more money is pretty vague, come up with affirmations that are as exact as possible and let your subconscious mind figure out how to get there.

Some of the results you can achieve by using this technique include:

  • Solving problems with the power of your subconscious mind
  • Getting rid of negative emotions, behaviors or habits
  • Creatively finding solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems

That's it, now you have a baseline of creating your own affirmations and beating your resistance to change.

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