To achieve a change in your life you first have to change your brain, to change your thoughts and way of thinking. Few are those who have not thought at some point in their lives: «What should I do to change my life». For some this means relief from the «bad» habits such as smoking, alcohol or sweets; for others it is a job that has become intolerable, a weak relationship, something vague that does not meet their needs and sometimes their entire life seems to need a change. Anyone who has tried to change a habit knows that it is not easy. Any change in the way we live is an adventure that requires a lot of strength, patience and persistence. They key for changing your life is in your brain. Those who can manage to change their brain they will manage to change their life.
Every life change is a sacrifice
Each change in your life, even if you want to do it, is a sacrifice, a separation, something that you leave behind. Even if you want to change something that tortures you, that devastates you or something that does not make you feel good, it is a piece of yourself, it is familiar, known, accessible, enjoyable and perhaps something that you love. However, what usually happens is that you believe-or want-to-believe that changing your life is not difficult. That is paradoxical.
Even if our personal experience teach us differently, even if we have tried many times and we have not achieved the change in our life, we always stretch our ears and listen with great interest any advertising that promises to relieve us easily, quickly and painlessly from our bad habits, any story that tells dramatic changes: About someone who lost 20 pounds in one month, about a person who managed to stop smoking from one day to the next, about someone who resigned from his work and set up in little time his successful business, for someone who got divorced after difficult years of marriage and recently found the great love of his life. Encouraged from such striking examples, we put ourselves ambitious targets for the next week – month – season -year. But we often forget them after a few weeks and we end up with a bitter taste of failure that stays deep within us.
Is therefore any effort to change your life doomed to fail? Things are not quite so, although those who have given special focus on changing lifestyle and habits keep a very careful and cautious attitude. There are events in our lives, such as an illness, an accident, which are very strong and they force us to make large and real changes to our lives. But this is the exception. As confirmed by the statistics, 25% of all major “change your life” projects are abandoned on average after 15 weeks. Very few are those who can manage with little effort, from one day to another, to abandon the «bad» habits, addictions and unpleasant situations. For the majority in order to succeed in such a process they must first change their thoughts, their way of thinking. Changing your brain is the major step in the overall change life process. You may not be able to achieve this the first time. Most people pass the same test again and again. Around five to six times is the usual number of failures until «the final round».
To change your brain and your life you need a lot of effort and hard work. This is something we are not aware of when we are considering a change in our lives. This is natural. Who wants to be stressed? Who is willing to suffer deprivation, negative emotions, anxiety, distress, seeking something that is supposed to be better? Even if we can imagine, hear, or hope that the change will be to our benefit, it does not cease to be something vague and uncertain.
The high expectations
The main reason why efforts to change your brain – change your life fail, according to experts is due to the “the false hope syndrome”. Usually people set high standards and have high expectations and the end result makes them think that they failed. For example «I lost only 17 pounds, and I intended to lose 25, I failed». In other cases we want to change many things simultaneously: «I took the decision to start a diet and quit smoking during the next vacation». There are also cases that we believe that a change will change our whole life, will do it better (“I will lose weight, and I will certainly find the love of my life”).
These high expectations do not allow us to be happy and enjoy the small successes and pleasures of life. It’s all in our brain. Instead of being disappointed and filling your brain with negative thoughts you should try and change your brain to use these little things to reward yourself, to take courage and continue. When we see that our dreams are not full field, then we are disappointed and abandon our efforts returning back to our old habits. And even though, the success stories about “life changes” are rare in real life, many people manage to do it. Is there a secret prescription that some people know and they succeed but others don’t?
Change your brain – Change your life – a process that takes time…
To be able to change your life you need to first realize that success and long-term change is a process that requires a lot of time and it is done in phases. This is the outcome of research by doctors and psychologists who researched the issue, particularly with people who wanted to change habits such as smoking, high alcohol consumption, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. Anyone who really wants to change something has to be armed with patience and perseverance and not looking for easy solutions. They key is changing your brain, your way of approaching life. There are no miracle pills or programs, but some internal processes that you must follow in order to reach the desired result.
Refusal. People in this phase believe that they are fine; while everyone around them sees that there is a problem. This may be due to genuine ignorance, if for example they do not realise how damaging is their attitude, or reaction, when others become pressing.
Awareness. People who are at this stage know they have problems and that they should do something to change their lives. They are still far from being really active. They weight the pros and cons of a change, and usually, at this stage they still find that the disadvantages from a life change are more than the advantages: «If I quit smoking, I will get fat», «if I divorce now, I won’t be able to cope financially». It is a difficult period because, while they feel the desire and the need for change, they feel unable to do so.
Preparation. This stage differs from the previous one is two main areas: The person is giving more attention on the solution of the problem and less attention to the problem as such, it is considering the future more than the past. It starts to think about the steps to follow for a real life change. For example, following a diet, which can be used with out disturbing the rest of the family meal, analyzing the advices for quitting smoking and creating an action plan to quit.
At this stage it is important to give your self as many incentives as possible. Be very specific; imagine the benefits you will receive. The stage hides a danger: the euphoria of preparation can lead to the real change been forgotten. Be careful, make sure that your brain remains active and always try to think how you can achieve the change in your life practically not only theoretically.
Action Plan and perseverance
To make the next step from the pleasant stage of preparation to actually making a change, it is necessary to have a precise «action plan». The more well-thought and researched plan the greater is the chances of success. It is therefore very important to have a good preparation before entering the actual stage where you will implement the change in your life.
The next stage is that of resistance and perseverance. The main difficulty is the pressure from other people, the stability of our appreciation and of course the anxiety and stress that emotionally are forcing us to go back to the old, familiar life. These are all unavoidable, so one should not feel frustrated and give up if there are a few drawbacks in the change process. Changing your brain is not an easy process, most people do not succeed at first, but they succeed after 4-5 failed attempts.
The last stage is that of stabilization, which for many people is a way of life. The change in our habits, our self is a process that may never end permanently. Alcoholics for example must avoid alcohol for a lifetime, if they do not want to start drinking again. What is certain, at whatever stage you manage to get, is that change is a difficult adventure, during which you leave something known for something unknown; you meteor between two situations, and this should make you tender and lenient with yourself.
Besides the internal phases that you will inevitably follow in order to change your brain and your life, there are also some practical and easy ways that can help you teach your brain to welcome a life change and think positively about success.
Be optimistic that you will be able to change your life
You need to make the extra effort and change your brain -your perception- about yourself and imagine yourself as a successful person. How to be successful in life is about keeping this strong image in your brain, and do not allow it to fade. Over time, this perception will evolve in your brain and will be stimulated. Do not try to challenge the reality of this intellectual image because it will be dangerous. Your brain will also try to fill in the gaps. Always have in your brain the image of success regardless of any drawbacks or unfortunate events.
Each time that a negative thought concerning your powers and abilities invades your brain, try to change your thoughts and bring to your mind something positive.
Fight and overcome your fears
When building the image of success in your brain do not take into account any possible obstacles, instead try to minimize them. Any difficulties must be analyzed be treated efficiently and eliminated. Try not giving them more power and meaning than they really have. Often fear exaggerates the difficulties and «hides» their true dimension.
Visualize your success
Think of your brain as an image playback unit. These images are generated from your thoughts. They either give us hope, power and creativity or they make us frighten and reluctant to make the next big step and change our lives.
When you are thinking negatively, your brain will create negative thoughts and you will end up with negative reactions. The opposite is the effect of positive thinking and positive thoughts. Positive thinking stimulates our brain to produce positive thoughts and images. To start thinking positive you have to create these positive images in your brain and take advantage of the inspiration and creativity they will create.
Nobody is perfect
This is one of the most important advices. Do not be impressed by other people and certainly do not try to copy them. The only one that can be effective in your life is yourself. Have in mind that that irrespective of how dynamic and successful some people look, they for sure have the same lack of self-confidence and fear as you do.
Analyze your thoughts
Analyse your thoughts. Find out what is causing you the feelings of inferiority and fear. It is possible that these feelings of inferiority have their roots from childhood. In such case it is better to get professional advice from a specialist in order to understand why you feel and behave in a particular way. To change your brain you first need to change your thoughts.
Believe in your skills
Try to understand your skills and things that you are good at and then increase that by 10%. This does not imply that you will become selfish. Instead, you must believe in your own forces and ways in order to be able to change your life. Only when you believe in your self you will be able to change your brain and your life.
Adopt a positive way of thinking
The first step is to change your brain and start thinking positive. The second step is to translate these positive thoughts into creative thinking. Positive thinking alone will not help you, creative thinking will. Creative thinking is about planning and setting goals for the present and future. You can start from simple hacks, everyday things that are part of your daily schedule. Doing this will help you get organised not only physically but also mentally and will let you eventually meet your goals.
Allocate some time for your own personal development
Get active and start transforming your thoughts into actions. Allocate some time from your busy daily schedule for your own self-improvement. Try and find ways to simplify and facilitate your daily obligations, which would result in savings of your valuable time that is needed for your personal development. Give priority in solving the problems of everyday life and then use your creativity and energy to change your life. Focus first on your personal relationships both in your work, family and friends.
Start dreaming about your new life
The power of the brain is enormous. With dreaming alone it can magically take you to places that can make you happy. Use this power of your brain to relax and get inspired for your new life. Do not stop dreaming!
Start dreaming about what you would like to achieve in your life, your relationships and your career. Think about it intensely with as many details as you can. This process will make you feel better and will give you the incentives to reach your goals. Try and do this every day thinking and dreaming, again and again and again!
So, it should be clear by now that if you can change your brain you can change your life. Get rid of the fears, the negative thoughts. Turn your possible failures into success and boost your self-confidence. Make your negative thoughts positive and your will also be more acceptable in your environment. Take control of your brain today and eventually you will be able to change your life, and live the life that you dreamed about for so long. Fight all the evil thoughts from their root and stop them from reaching the surface.
Changing your life is in your hands…or rather is in your brain!
image source: daniersr