Spiritual Advice for Living a Life of Joy, Happiness, and Love with Dr. Genie
5 Reasons You Don’t Succeed in Making Changes in Your Life
It’s halfway through the year and for most people their New Year’s Resolutions are far behind them. Whether you were tying to lose weight this year, or hoping to find a relationship, or wanting to clean up your finances – there is a reason you weren’t able to stick to your goals.
We’ve all been there – it’s not just you. Most people fail at their goals or reach only short-term success. It’s not that you can’t do it. It’s not that you lack anything personally inside you. It’s that you don’t know how to face the discomfort and hurdles that change creates. You were never taught how to prepare for a new journey in your life.
I can’t tell you how often I would say, “I am going to start a diet to lose weight on Monday.” And that was it. That was my plan.
My whole plan was to move the number on the scale. Maybe I would shop for diet foods. Maybe I would even prep some meals for the week. But there was never any real solutions for facing the resistance my mind was going to give me when cutting calories and carbs and chocolate.
And, I would fail. Because the cravings and the emotional needs would get in my face and say, “You can have just one cookie… a scoop of ice cream won’t hurt… you can get back on the diet tomorrow… a cheat day is fine…”
It wasn’t fine. It was failure – not a failure in who I was, but in my lack of strategy in facing the discomfort and resistance to the changes I was trying to make.
I know you have felt like a failure at times. Especially when you are unsuccessful in changing things to better your life. It’s not you. It’s not who you are. You are not a failure. You just need to know the tools that are vital to being successful at preparing to make a change.
This year on New Year’s I told myself I was going to become a healthier person. I knew that the strategy of the past (which was to not have a strategy) was not going to get me where I wanted to go. I spent many days looking at my lack of success and trying to find ways I could have gotten beyond the hurdles that were presented. I went through all my goal planning materials and wondered what step was missing.
I mean, I knew what I wanted – to lose weight.
I knew what I needed to do to lose weight – cut the crap out of my diet.
And yet time after time this goal plan was not enough to get me where I wanted.
Then it came to me one day in meditation – the solution. I hadn’t missed a step – I just wasn’t putting focus on the right problem for my goal. I was not working on the right problem and so I couldn’t come up with the right solution.
My goal should not have been to lose weight or eat healthier. My goal needed to be how to get through the cravings, emotional eating, and resistance that my mind would throw at me while changing my diet. These hurdles were the real things stopping me from being successful. Without SELF-AWARENESS of my weaknesses and subconscious motivators (I call these things ICEBERGS and will explain below,) I had been creating plans to change that had no chance of succeeding.
Old habits, limited thinking, emotional needs – these are very powerful motivators in your life that hide in your subconscious. They control your life and you don’t even know they exist. How can you successfully change your life, create new habits, or live healthier if you aren’t aware of the things that are really driving you?
When I started my New Year’s resolutions this year I finally had a real plan for success. I had a strategy for dealing with the subconscious resistance and blocks that would pop up. And it’s worked really well so far! I’ve navigated sugar and carb cravings successfully. I’ve handled the emotional cravings too. I’ve lost weight. I’ve lifted the brain fog I was experiencing. My physical health issues have improved. I’m feeling more alive than I have in a long time.
I feel successful! And I’m using this same self-awareness plan to support changes in other areas of my life! This isn’t just good ideas for weight-loss. It works with my daily work schedule, my self-care routine, my study habits, my writing, and really just changing my life in all areas!
And I want to share with you these five things I’ve worked on to help me get where I am. The great thing about these steps is that you can work them right in to the goal planning system you already use. These are things to do BEFORE your normal goal planning and things to do to SUPPORT your plan for change and growth. Keep using whatever goal planning system you love. Don’t throw away your planner or think you have to start all over again. Just add these few steps in to the process you already use.
I hope these steps help you as you go out this summer and try to be the best version of yourself!
A Short Lesson on ICEBERGS
Below is the iceberg graphic we are familiar with from psychology class. Everything above the water is our conscious mind – our 5 senses and what we are actively thinking about. And everything below the surface are things we are not conscious of and things that hide away and are not easily accessed. This lower part is called the subconscious.
The subconscious holds your “life archive.” You hold forgotten memories there, and traumatic events you needed to forget. There are stored emotions from life events and beliefs that you were given by your parents as a child. The negative self-talk you said to yourself has been stored there too. Triggers, automatic responses, limiting beliefs – all found in this part of your mind.
The subconscious controls most of your life – the decisions you make, the way you respond to events, and the strong beliefs you carry and which dictate how you see the world all come from this area of your mind that you cannot easily access.
But, you can access it with work. That work is called SELF-AWARENESS.
The subconscious archives are full of things that cause resistance and blocks to the changes you try to make in your life. Self-awareness is important because if you don’t know your triggers, your limiting beliefs, or the reasons you respond to the life the way you do, then these things become like icebergs that pop up in your life and sink you – just like the Titanic.
The 5 Reasons You are not Succeeding below is all about self-awareness and spotting your icebergs in advance so you can create the plan for getting past them.
1. Failing to Leave Your Comfort Zone
Self-awareness is a practice in getting uncomfortable. If it were easy to look at our icebergs, they wouldn’t be icebergs. They would be fruity beverages floating by for you to sample at your leisure. Your subconscious is a cold, hostile, defensive, hidden world that would like very much to stay that way. Your mind doesn’t want to be healed or changed. It’s just doing what you’ve told it to do when you hid your emotions and wounds and beliefs there. To become self-aware means you have to leave the comfort of your conscious world behind and see the things your mind has been trying to keep you from seeing. Looking in the mirror and acknowledging areas where we aren’t perfect is not easy. It’s hard. It’s uncomfortable. We run away from looking at the truth in our subconscious and then the truth appears to us like icebergs from out of nowhere.
Change is uncomfortable. Just ask the caterpillar what she thinks about comfort as she is melting into goo so she can become a butterfly. Discomfort is necessary so we can grow.
2. Lacking Clarity of Vision
Sometimes we just don’t know what we really want. Other times we focus on the wrong thing – like me not planning for icebergs.
To create a clear vision you have to know where you want to be (your goal)- why you want it (your motivation)- and what has been keeping you from reaching it (your icebergs.) You must look at your icebergs in order to create a clear vision. Healing subconscious blocks must be part of the plan along the way. Clarity of vision is one of those really great GPS systems that tell you about road work ahead – it helps you to get where you are going without so many road blocks.
3. Doubting Your Self-Worth and Abilities
Self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and negative self-talk are dream killers. These are all ways in which icebergs pop up to sabotage the changes you are trying to make. If you don’t know you have these icebergs, or if it is too uncomfortable for you to acknowledge that at times you feel like you are not good enough, then when those thoughts and feelings pop up you won’t be ready to deal with them.
It’s ok to have self-doubt. Feel it. See it. Love it. Heal it. Otherwise it creates resistance to your success.
4. Misunderstanding Self-Responsibility
You hear the word responsibility and you immediately think chores or being in trouble, right? I want you to know that self-responsibility is more about compassion than it is about doing chores or “taking responsibility” after you’ve done something wrong.
Self-responsibility is definitely about taking care of what you should be taking care of in your life. It’s also about not doing for others that which they could be doing for themselves. (Don’t be an enabler.)
Where this concept is misunderstood is that it’s thought of as “rules” to live by – something that must be done. When the truth is that self-responsibility means you have compassion and kindness for other people. You kindly take care of your stuff so others are not responsible for you. You compassionately don’t enable someone to keep making bad choices so that have the right to grow to become the best they can be for themselves. You rise up to be the leader of your own life.
When you are making a change in your life you might expect others to change to help you change. Or you expect others to accommodate your changes, or even do the work to help you make your changes. Self-responsibility means you become the leader in your life. You take control of the only person you can control and that is you.
When I stopped eating sugar in January, I had to be okay with the fact that my husband was going to bring Oreo cookies in the house. I had to be responsible for my own choices and controlling my own cravings and impulses. I had to be the leader in my life and not allow my husband’s choices to lead me. This was a compassionate act for him (because he didn’t get in to trouble for bring in junk food), but also showed compassion for my own growth and discipline. (BTW, 6 months later he is using honey in his tea instead of white sugar – that’s leadership!)
When you understand the real intention behind self-responsibility is to have compassion for yourself and for others, it cuts out excuses and blame and creates the atmosphere of discipline required to create new habits.
5. Clutter Blocks to Higher Vibrations
If you know about energy healing at all then you know about personal energy vibration. The theory is that you have a personal energy frequency that is like a setting on an old fashioned radio tuner. You vibrate at a specific level just like your favorite radio station has a specific spot on the dial. Unlike the radio station, you can change your frequency through changing your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
This is why we have the age of “positive thoughts” upon us. When you think a positive thought you raise your vibe. When you raise your vibe you feel better and life seems better. You want your frequency to be higher. Lower feels bad and your view on life is bad there. Higher is good.
The success vibration is pretty high on the scale – about halfway up the dial at 500. (the scale goes up to 1000) At the 500 frequency you are able to get beyond some of the icebergs I’ve mentioned here, but there are a few things that can still muck up your vibe.
Let’s talk about the Clutter.
Clutter is chaos and brings down your vibrations. Physical clutter, people clutter, mental clutter are huge blocks in being able to raise your frequency higher.
Physical clutter is about your physical environment – your house, your office space, your car. If these things are chaotic in your life then they will get in the way of your success. Chaos causes stress and frustration. It’s good to start a new journey with a clean fresh space.
People clutter can also be a messy situation. These are folks who drain you of your positive energy. They bring drama all the time. Gossip, complaining, negativity – especially if they are involved in areas of your life where you are trying to grow and change, are going to create icebergs for you. Sometimes these people resent your growth and change and try to pull you back in to old habits and ways. You’ve either got to address the negativity with them or take a break while you are working on yourself. (This is also taking the lead in your life!)
Mental clutter is all about your mental health and negative self-talk. Issues like anxiety, depression and other disorders can present a challenge to change and growth. Negative self-talk and negative self-image definitely lower your vibes. But, if you are aware of these issues then you can seek support and guidance with them. Therapy or life coaching can be great and there is nothing wrong with doing everything you can to be your best. It can be uncomfortable to admit you need mental health support, but acknowledging it and seeking support means it doesn’t become iceberg for you.
I hope these help the next time you are making plans to change something in your life. If you want to know more about self-awareness and where to begin a process of self-discovery, I have a 5-Day Challenge on our academy that dives in to becoming more self-aware. It’s a fun challenge using a safari theme and you learn a lot about yourself in the process. There is not cost for the challenge at this time. Check it out. Safari 5-Day Self-Wisdom Challenge