Making the decision to lose weight is one thing but do you know how to support this decision during the countless choice points you’ll experience moment to moment? There are universal principles at work in creating change and they operate a lot like gravity. You can argue all you want with gravity but in the end, if you fail to honour it, you’ll experience its consequences. Remember this as you make your way through the following universal principles. This article is the third in a series that maps out how change happens.
Resistance is predictable
Most people acknowledge they get in their own way at times but few realize the predictability of when and how this happens. For example, any time you’re about to make a change that may bring a perceived loss, you’ll experience ANTICIPATORY resistance — a way to keep yourself (and your drug of choice) safe, small and protected. Alternatively, if change has taken hold in your life and things have begun to shift for you, you’ll experience LEVELLING resistance — a way to restore the equilibrium (the normals) you had before the change. In my work with clients, I’ve found all resistance falls into one of these two broad categories and each client leans more towards one than the other.
Exploring things further, the most common resistance I see showing up at these times is ambivalence, procrastination or sabotage. Think of these as increasing degrees of resistance. If you consider the change continuum (introduced in Part 2 of this series), you’ll see ambivalence show up the most between Self-Deception and Clarity; procrastination is typical between Clarity and Intention; and sabotage hinders your efforts between Intention and Action. Simply being aware of all of this will help you observe and loosen the grip that resistance may have over you during your choice points.
A few clues about sabotage… when I notice a client repeatedly sabotaging just before a cherished goal is reached, it’s most often a deservedness issue. If they’re sabotaging just after the goal is reached, it’s more likely a joy issue. The quickest route I’ve seen to sabotage is self-betrayal. This is when you’ve awakened from Self-Deception, discovered a Soul-level, empowering truth about yourself and then tried to dismiss it and go back to sleep. The important thing to remember with all of this is to focus on the issue the sabotage is pointing to, not the act of sabotage itself.
Change is evidence-based
So why all this resistance in the first place? Resistance persists until enough new evidence has accumulated in your life to support the change you want. One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to force themselves to give something up (an unwanted behaviour) before this evidence has accumulated and it will backfire every time. Whether you approve of each of your behaviours or not, they’re all helping you function right now.
We have four quadrants we operate from: physical, emotions, intellect and Soul. Your behaviours generate the external, physical evidence of your life but it’s your beliefs that underpin those behaviours. Your beliefs stem from your internal dialogue regarding your emotions, intellect and Soul.
What is a belief? Quite simply, it’s a repeated thought. More importantly, it’s just an operating instruction. It is not WHO you are. Therefore, trading in an old belief for a new belief is where all change begins. Every time you choose your new belief, and ergo its new behaviour, you create an increment of new evidence in your life.
Hmm, easier said than done. Just because you know better doesn’t mean you’ll always do better, especially under stress — which is when you’ll most likely revert to your old but reliable ways. A great question to ask yourself then during your choice points is “What belief am I reinforcing?” Choosing your new belief even marginally over time will begin releasing the unwanted behaviour and instead of forcibly giving something up, you’ll eventually reach a much more relaxed point of letting it go.