If change were easy, there wouldn’t be a billion-dollar self-help industry. Wanting to change and actually changing are often at odds. Sometimes we consciously avoid change while other times we subconsciously hijack our plans without even realizing it.
Our minds love to protect us from pain and suffering. Our minds register our experiences and categorize them as positive or negative. Our minds prefer to experience happy, fun, and overall positive things. When our minds are triggered into recalling something negative, they can work against us without us being fully aware of it. If you’ve ever been triggered by a smell, sound, or vision that reminds you of something bad you know what I mean.
Our subconscious mind operates without us fully being aware of it. It’s what helps us or hurts us when we react to things. When it comes to making change, our subconscious can prevent us from making progress. Two ways our subconscious thoughts hijack change include-
Fear of Loss- Our minds work against us if we stand to lose something perceived as good, even when it’s healthier or better for us to change. For example, our subconscious mind can resist or hijack breaking the habit of unhealthy foods. This can be for a wide variety of reasons, including but not limited to
- Unhealthy foods tend to taste delicious
- Eating out is a social activity people enjoy
- Eating comfort foods offers stress relief
- Convenience foods are easily accessible
- Processed foods are easy to prepare and often more affordable
Consciously, we may know unhealthy foods aren’t good for us, but subconsciously we may not hold the same beliefs. In order to shift our mindset and begin to make change, we have to override the belief that unhealthy foods offer more benefits than healthy foods and internalize the benefits of healthier eating.
Fear of Inadequacy- Our subconscious loves the status quo. It broadcasts messages like we don’t have what it takes, we can’t change, we don’t deserve what we say we want, we won’t be able to keep it up for good. That’s because it’s easier to live with the current situation than risk putting ourselves on the line. #
It’s important to tune out the negative voice in your head. You do have what it takes to make change and you’ll be better for it. It is worth the risk and though you may stumble a bit along the way, you can make changes when you commit to them whether your subconscious is on board or not.