My Alarm went off at 5.40am. I slipped out of bed trying not to disturb my Husband anymore, tiptoed through the house trying not to wake the children, shushing the dogs, who are always optimistic for meal time. Went into the bathroom to get changed into my already laid out gym kit. I was looking forward to getting to my spinning class. It hasn’t always been like this.
The minute my eyes open my brain activates into the energy saving mode of you could get eaten by a predator today. This part of the brain served us well in caveman days. We haven’t had an upgrade for 21st-century living. It is a very important part of our brain as it keeps us safe. Have you ever found yourself moving like lightning to jump out of the way of an oncoming car or a potentially dangerous situation? Well, you have this part of the brain to thank, it is our fight, flight or freeze part.
My internal dialogue kicks in telling me I am tired, I’ve had a hard week, my legs are tired, it is cold, dark and very windy. Why the weather makes a difference I do not know. I drowned out my inner dialogue by listing all the things I am grateful for, a great distraction technique.
We are programmed to a negative bias, which means our glass is half empty, jumping to the worse case scenarios, again to keep us safe. If our brain had a motto it would be “do what you did yesterday as you are alive today” it is linked to the chemistry our body makes, so we feel a certain way. The way we felt yesterday. This is why there is such a resistance to change and getting out of your comfort zone because your brains number one concern is to stop you from dying. Yes, a massive priority especially in Caveman days. Even our thoughts are 98% the same as they were the day before.
This is brilliant if your thoughts, behaviour and actions are serving you well like mine were this morning. As I had previously powered through the brain safety mode, proving that I have done it before and remained safe. I actively wanted to change my body chemistry for more feel-good chemicals called endorphins. It takes consistent action to form a new habit. Once it is a habit, science shows after three weeks there is a noticeable improvement. By 66days it becomes an ingrained behaviour into your subconscious.
The subconscious is responsible for 80% of our emotions and actions, most of the time we are completely unaware of it. When was the last time you actually thought about tieing up your shoes or walking? We just do it because this is where the knowledge is stored, helpful and unhelpful!
Sounds easy right!
How come we are not all doing what we want to then? Why have you have tried to give up things or implement a new healthy habit and failed miserably at a goal and then given up? There are a few hurdles to need to get over they are called beliefs and stories. These are linked to our subconscious, we need to manually override theses to achieve what we want.
A really good way is to look at your “Whys” Why do you want to do it? Why is that important to you? Keep asking yourself why, being brutally honest, your whys should make you cry. By attaching emotions to your reasons why you stand a better chance to achieve what you want. The brain is very powerful and really does do a great job keeping us safe.
Another way is looking at your true beliefs you have around the change or habit, calling yourself out, you know what you need to do. You also know what is stopping you only you can take the action. So what beliefs do you have around it?
I will share an example with you.
For years, actually eternity, I believed exercise was hard and only mad people did it because they found it easy and loved it. Although I went to various exercise classes because I felt I “should” be going, I hated it. I enjoyed the social aspect of it, I still do. There was so much resistance regarding exercise it was exhausting, no wonder I thought it was exhausting! I simply did not get it I kept trying different types, thinking I will get it. Maybe this one will be the one I love, nope! I look back and give myself credit for my persistence, It is an inside job until you pull apart the beliefs and install the ones you want.
You will just not feel anything other than what you tell yourself, what you think and feel about it. I can honestly say I view exercise a self-care and I actually enjoy it now, this is from taking the layers off the old belief that was not serving me well and installing a belief I wanted.
If you tell yourself something is hard are you going to rush to do it? No, will you find anything else to do? Yes, even putting the washing away. Which is my number 1 thing I dislike, in reality not so much now after a major Marie Kondo de-clutter session.
Developing awareness is the key to unlocking your potential by looking at the stories you have got on loop. You really can achieve anything you put your mind to, once you have overcome a few hurdles.