[ Don’t confuse truth with consistency || Change is unavoidable || Change has a lag time || You’ll experience it.., when you believe it || Finding core beliefs || The transforming beliefs process ]
Why can’t you change?
Because you yelled at that puppy years ago and you’re being punished for it.
Because you even asked the question is more accurate!
Understanding the mechanisms behind NOT changing, will help you change. So lets explore them first.
Many people do get into a state where they believe they can’t change or don’t deserve to. Or that it will be hard or take a long time. Belief about change is often a big part of not feeling like YOU CAN change.
Of course knowing what needs to change is always the first step.., and wanting to change the second.
Some therapists would ask “do you really want to change?”
But lets be honest.., once you’ve gotten to the point of searching for answers to why you can’t change, it’s pretty likely that it’s out of frustration and not confusion about what or whether to change.
And lets be clear here for a second. You are ALWAYS changing.., yes ALWAYS. Life IS change.
Don’t confuse truth with consistency
Truth and consistency are NOT the same thing. Just because something has been the way it is for a long time does not mean it’s truth. Truth is perspective more than anything.
Beliefs get confused with truth all the time. The truth about beliefs is that they are useful or not useful.., that’s it! Nothing has any inherent unmoving meaning.
Change is the only constant in life. And change really is just learning. So we have and will continue to learn all our lives.
A full stop in change is called death! Movement is constant.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.., energy requires movement to transform!
Even your sight of a still object is about movement. The eyeballs move in little micro twitches in order to focus. If your eyeballs where to be held in place while you try to look at an object you would not be able to see it.
So what we are really talking about here when the statement ‘Why can’t I change’ is made.., is the quality of changes you’re currently making are not at the level you want them to be. This is NOT a statement of ability.
Let go of the fear of not being able to change. You CAN change.
By the time you’ve finished this article, you’ll be back in the drivers seat.
Change is unavoidable
Albert Einstein is given credit (perhaps incorrectly) for saying something along the lines of- “Today’s problems will not be solved by the level of thinking that created them”.
Whether he said it or not, the statement has to be true even logically does it not?
To make a statement in line with the principles of the Law Of Attraction, Quantum Physics and basic existence: From a quantum level of understanding.., change can be said to be unavoidable. At that level, each new moment is a complete new reality that happens to look similar to the last one only because of your current beliefs and need for an amount of consistency. To truly be in the ‘now’ is to let go of anything needing to be any way. And that includes not invalidating what is currently real for you.
When you make life wrong.., you’re living the wrong life.
Every moment, you are a complete new person.
And accepting for a moment the many universes theory in quantum physics.., if you can’t change, it’s because you expect to BE changed rather than understanding that there is a version of you that already has changed!
That’s a challenging concept for most though. So lets focus more on observable causes and solutions.
Just realise that you can’t change what you don’t own. There has to be a starting point to build a contrasting new direction from.
Change has a lag time
Some changes will be instant and permanent. Some will take patience.
A big part of any successful change is interrupting the existing patterns of behaviour. Behaviour becomes automatic so that we don’t have to constantly remember to respond in certain ways. That’s a good thing.
People will often do far more to stay with what’s familiar than risk the unknown.
People will kill themselves rather than face the unknown!!! That’s what suicide often is about.
Stepping into new behaviour starts with an element of chaos and uncertainty. You can learn to enjoy this feeling, or you can struggle all the way.
Which would you prefer?
Relax and go easy on yourself as you make any change in your life that has significance to you.
It’s likely that you will have to alter habits that you’ve had for a long time and as such there will usually be a lag time between making changes and seeing the results.
It’s sometimes like the universe is testing you.., “Have you really changed? OK, lets throw you a bit of what you usually get and see how you respond.”
Change is not always about seeing different things.., it’s often about seeing things differently.
When you respond to something differently, you give it a chance to change to something different next time.
It’s not enough to think differently. You have to act differently before you will BE different.
Sometimes the proof of change, is that you respond differently to the same situation.., not that reality is different for you.
The hardest thing about change is not making the same choice as yesterday.
Make each moment a new choice.
You’ll experience it.., when you believe it
Running invites chasing! Why do you think wildlife guides say NEVER run from an animal even with wild animals used to human contact? When you behave in ways in line with a limiting belief.., you alter the whole dynamic of your world to show you proof that you are right.
Are you right though? Or are you missing opportunities and ways of being different because you simply are not tuned to seeing them.
The irony, is that the first belief you need to change is the belief that you can’t change.
The belief that you can’t change will make you think you haven’t changed even when you have. The result of which will be that you will respond the same way you always did.., get the same result.., reinforce the old habit further.., and most likely give up.
And that sucks.
Equally dangerous to learning/changing is the belief that ‘you will change me’, when you enlist someone’s help to make a change.
Take some responsibility! It’s your brain, habit of thought and behaviour.
Sure, a coach or therapist can and hopefully will guide you with skill in the right direction and teach you new ways of being.., but YOU have to accept the following truth…
The best idea’s, strategies, techniques and practices in the world only work.., when YOU DO!!!
Beliefs protect themselves from changing
The common denominator in all successful past changes you’ve made is you.
This is about a decision. A decision to be different even if the world looks the same.
Belief is VERY powerful. Belief drives behaviour and habit. A belief that you’re stuck can keep you miserable your whole life.
Part of the power of a negative belief, is that it’s self perpetuating. IE: A belief has as part of it’s structure, that it is permanent and can’t be changed. This is a lie. A useful lie for positive beliefs admittedly but a lie all the same.
Fundamentally as I’ve said, a belief is simply either useful or not useful. If it causes you to live a more fulfilled life, then it’s useful.
Pain and pleasure controls behaviour
At our core, we behave as we do to either avoid painful feelings or gain pleasurable ones.
The key here (especially when finding something challenging to change) is what you define as painful and pleasurable.
If you associate more pain to changing than staying the same.., then you’ll stay the same even if at the conscious logical level you think that changing would be better.
We all have past experiences that have caused us pain. Sometimes we make the decision unconsciously to avoid that situation again at all costs even though we have grown up and learnt more since then and that response no longer fits with who we want to be.
Once identified, a belief becomes more like a choice. Sure you may feel like you are choosing it on autopilot but it is still a choice. Letting such a belief go can be as simple as this realisation alone.
Other beliefs may be more persistent.., but even those ones are persistent because at some level you believe that letting them go will lead to more pain.
Finding core beliefs
Once you have learnt to let go of negative beliefs, you will find it easy and fun to change whatever you like.
Identifying any belief is empowering. Identifying a core belief is life changing. The process of discovery is very similar for both.
Think of a core belief as being the stem of a bunch of grapes that supports all the outer beliefs (grapes) that once let go of, will let go of all those connected beliefs with it.
In helping people or yourself change, the first belief to work with is then obvious.., the belief that you can change at all!
So identifying beliefs is actually quite easy. You are probably already aware of some.
One of the easiest ways is to ask one or both of the following questions –
“What would I have to belief about myself in this situation in order to feel the way I do?”
“What is the worst thing that could happen if I actually do get/do this?”
Lets take an example that we can then carry forward to the process that follows.
Yes.., I won’t leave you hanging, lol. I will give you an effective way to deal with these beliefs.
Lets say you feel sad because you’re single. Ask yourself the questions. You may get answers like these:
I’m unattractive/people only go for looks.
I’ll be rejected.
I don’t make enough money.
I’m scared I’ll die alone (now we’re getting to some deep ones).
My heart will be broken again and that’s too painful.
I’ll never find that special someone.
I don’t deserve the kind of person I’m attracted to.
Core beliefs trigger strong emotion
As you keep going in this way you will start to identify more powerful core beliefs. You will know this because as you identify them they will have a lot of emotion attached. Notice the type of emotion and how it feels in your body. To find more you can even ask:
“What would I have to believe is true at my core for these other beliefs (that you’ve already found) to even matter to me?”
Common core beliefs revolve around worthiness and being a good person:
I’m not worthy of true love.
I’m a loser.
I’m a failure and no-one will love me.
Keep at it until you get these type of beliefs that bring up emotion in you. I’m sorry that it feels bad to do this but you can’t change or let go of what you don’t know about. So do it now and be aware that we are about to change them. Pick the belief that has the most emotion attached to it and notice how it feels. How would you describe it in terms of something that is tangible like tightness, heaviness, heat, sharpness, throbbing etc. This distinction will be used in the following process. You don’t need to get these specifics but it does make it easier to turn such a feeling into an image as you’re about to see.
So here we go..,
Give yourself the gift of letting go of beliefs that hit you at your core.
You DO deserve love and success and health and wealth.
The transforming beliefs process
This process I’m going to describe is based on an NLP technique called Dynamic Spin Release (DSR) developed by NLP trainers Kris and Tim Hallbom.
Now, you can use this on any belief.., but for deep challenges like not being able to change it’s useful to get to deeper core beliefs and work with them. You may discover for instance that a core belief around not being able to change is something like “I don’t deserve to be happy or successful”. Having such a deep belief about yourself would no doubt make change difficult or even impossible long term because why would you even try? If you believe that is true for you, then change that belief with this process! The structure is the same for any area of your experience but for this example we’ll stick with being sad about being single identified above.
With the core belief identified.., that for example ‘you are not worthy of true love’, notice as you think about that belief again that feeling you got when you first identified it. Lets say it was a kind of tightness and heaviness that seemed to spread from the stomach to the throat which had the emotion of sadness and loss attached. Guess at how you would describe it but relax about the details if they don’t come easy. The process will work anyway.
Now here’s what I want you to do.., give that feeling an image that suits it’s feeling. So in this case lets say it seems like a knotted bundle of rope twisted tight. It could be for you an image of someone from your past, a dark cloud, a heavy rock or tangled wire. Or it could just be a ball of a certain colour. Choose what seems right to you.
No right or wrong, just do it
This is purely your choice.., there is no right or wrong here so just go with whatever you decide to make up. You are simply assigning an image to an internal state so that you can change the state visually. Your unconscious/subconscious mind knows what to do with that idea.
Don’t be fooled by how simple this seems! Making things harder than they need to be is just that.., making them harder than they need to be.
Now (with the example) either with your eyes closed or open.., pull that image out of your body and place it hovering about a metre in front of you. Notice if it’s moving (usually it will be) and if so then flip it so that it moves in the opposite direction whether that be forward, backward, left or right.
Now for the spin part of the process.
With the new direction of turning, or any direction that feels different than normal if it wasn’t moving.., start to increase the speed of the spin faster and faster and faster. Feel free to add in sound or an electric engine speeding up as you do this if that helps (it does with me).
Keep increasing the speed more and more and more until it gets to a point where you see it suddenly pop or transform into something else. Usually a different image, colour and texture that is now more in line with a pure type of energy that is positive or at least neutral in feeling to you.
Let that new image slow to a comfortable speed if it hasn’t already done so and notice how welcoming it looks. You might get a symbol like a glowing golden key, or a ball of pure blue/white energy, or even an image that includes happy people or an image of something that represents success in the area you started with. Whatever comes up for you is perfect.., and you can even add something to it that makes it feel even more exciting and positive.
Integrate the change
The last step now, is to bring that new image back into your body and just feel it being absorbed into you and spreading all around you. Celebrate and thank this new image and the changes that have and are occurring unconsciously as a result. I you feel inspired to affirm to yourself statements of the opposite of the original negative belief then by all means do so. For instance “You know what.., I AM worthy of love” “And with this new energy inside me I just know that more people will start to notice how I’m different”. Use your imagination here.
In fact to learn more about how to make affirmation more effective read:
There you have it.
You can now identify and change any belief you want. Remember that if you notice the old feelings coming back.., that this is not a failure. Rather this is an opportunity to repeat the process again to further embed the new idea. Maybe repeating it will bring up a new different image. That’s fine.., go with it and have fun.
With practice beliefs will become easier and easier to change as you recognise the fluidity of what you choose to believe.
Remember.., beliefs are neither true nor false but rather useful or not useful.