When you think about how much our brains hate change it’s amazing that we get around to it at all.
And being able to initiate and sustain change is really important when you’re coming for coaching or psychology.
We have a lot of things working against us when we’re faced with change. We have a ‘habit centre’ that likes everything to stay the same. We have a ‘’scaredy cat centre’ that wants to run when things look like they could be challenging. And we’re driven by instinctual, emotional centres that are so tricky we don’t even know what they’re doing.
So while you’re conscious brain might be saying, “Let’s do this new thing” or “Let’s stop doing that thing that makes me miserable” your scaredy-cat, habitual, instinctual, emotional brain is saying something else entirely.
If you want to make changes the trick is to get that brain on board.
Imagine this: you’re feeling down because you hate your job, your relationship is in a mess and every day feels like groundhog day. Your logical brain says “ Let’s look for a new job. Maybe if I’m happier at work my relationship will be better and life won’t be so dull.”
Sounds like a pretty good plan on the surface. But underneath the habit centre is advising you against doing something different: “Everyone knows you here. You know what you’re doing. Don’t leave”. The scaredy-cat centre is saying “What if you don’t get through the interview for a new job? What if you’re no good at it? What if you can’t find work at all?”, as it kicks the emotional centre into a mini-meltdown.
So now that sensible idea has become fraught with negative associations and the chances of you changing your job have become pretty slim.
If you had your whole brain on board, say by:
- focusing on the solutions rather than the problems with changing jobs,
- spending time imagining how good it will feel to be free from groundhog day, and
- giving yourself plenty of reward for taking the steps to make the changes
then life would be a whole lot different.
You would have internal congruence, which would give you the enthusiasm and motivation you would need to make changes so you could be happy.
Sounds easy right? Try it with something you want to change and let me know how you go.