Today is a good day to point out the elephant in the room. We have to address this; otherwise, it’s just more of the same. Otherwise, we stay as we are or as we were. We have to address this; otherwise, the momentum we need to move forward is interrupted by our personal roadblocks. We have to address this or the effort it takes to move ahead will never begin. And then we’re stuck.
We’re caught in the stillness of our thoughts and the blockages of our excuses. But why? Why does this happen? I mean, we know we want to feel good. We want to be healthy. And there are times when we know we want to change. If we find ourselves uncomfortable, of course we want to feel better.
We want to improve. We want to get up and get moving. Maybe we set a date for ourselves. We give us a starting point and say, “That’s it. I’m starting tomorrow!”
But what happens when tomorrow comes? What happens if tomorrow comes and there’s no momentum or energy. The elephant is still in the room and the blockages are still blocking you.
What has to happen?
What has to be the catalyst in order to create change?
Perhaps these are simple questions with compacted answers. Nevertheless, without answering them or without addressing the elephants in the room the tasks we set go unaddressed. The blocks that prevent personal momentum remain unmoved. Again, the question comes back to why?
What has to happen?
Of course, inspiration goes a long way. Motivation is nothing without a strong fuel source. But yet, without constant fuel or without something to be our “Prime mover,” or motivator, how can we begin?
The struggle is real. The toughest part of transformation is to get going and stay moving. The challenge is to find our personal range and move at an honest speed. We have to set a realistic pace to protect us from burnout or discouragement. In whichever form this may be; we have to avoid the kryptonite that weakens us and allows the elephants back in the room.
Now is the good time to take an honest look at what keeps us stuck. For example, let’s look at something common. We can look at food choices. We can look at our nutrition and the ideas of comfort food.
Did you see it?
Did you see those two words?
Maybe we should take a second and break down the words right here and now:
Comfort Food –
Verb – 1) to soothe, to console, reassure, to make physically or emotionally comfortable.
Noun – 2) relief in affliction, consolation solace; a person or thing that gives consolation and/or a cause that or matter that brings on a sense of relief or satisfaction.
Noun – A nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, and promote growth. Nourishment; as in to nourish, to sustain and supply with what is necessary to promote health and growth; as in to nourish, to cherish, to strengthen and build.
All of the above are desirable, which is where the connection becomes apparent. We want to comfort ourselves. We want peace and ease. We want to feel good; however, the steps towards an improved nutrition are made to feel better. So, where is the disconnect?
Where is the block here that prevents people from changing their diet? And again, this is only a simple example. And for the record, this is an example that I can relate to as well, which is why I use this. This is not for the nutrition profession but more, this is for the person looking to understand the basic dynamics of personal change.
This is not for the diet critics or the opinions of others. No, this is to simplify what creates the divide between us and our challenge to meet our transformational goals.
It’s not the food itself. No, it is our connection and the way we assign our thoughts towards this connection. So put simply, the challenge is our connection to our trained ideas of comfort. There is a need to understand the discomfort here too.
If we choose a new direction, where will our comfort come from next?
It is important to mention that everyone has their own personal route to change. Habits might relate to others, but personal growth is always personal. We all have our own unique makeup . We are all chemically unique as well. However, with this being said; the main idea which at our core is similar: The human mind only wants comfort.
It was said best in this quote from Socrates:
“If you don’t get what you want, you suffer. If you get what you don’t want you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold onto it forever. Your mind is the predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free from pain, free of the obligation of life and death. But change is a law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”
This sums us up perfectly. We want peace. We want ease. We want comfort and to be nourished and satisfied. In fact, we want this so badly that our fears create concerns. Our concerns suggest that comfort will never happen; therefore, we work from a position of habit. We remain stuck because although some habits do not promote long-term rewards, in the short-term, at least there is relief. This can be attached to food, substances, drinking, or any self-serving, quick fix that results in only short-term gains but long-term losses.
In the short-term, there is a moment of satisfaction. We understand this. In the moment of instant gratification, there is a connection, which the mind interprets and understands. This is our way to be soothed, consoled, reassured and both physically and emotionally comfortable. So how do we break away?
The momentum . . .
That’s the bitch because this is where fear sneaks in to create the roadblocks. This is where our mind goes to places of judgement. This is where doubt settles. This is where discouragement sets up a tripwire. — And if we trip or fall, this is where the fear talks back. The reason for this is our emotional worry believes that without our special “Go-to” formula, that we have depended on for our entire life (or longer,) where will we find our sense of immediate satisfaction? Where will we get our new brand of instant gratification?
Who will we be if not the person we’ve always been? This is an honest question that holds people back. How will I protect myself? How will I find comfort? What do I do if I try and find that my difficulties are enough to push me back into being stuck?
Transformational change, personal recoveries, and improvements are not a threat to our comfort. This is not to change from our past. There is no threat. Instead, our path and our goals are simply this: we are updating our thinking.
The idea is not to remove comfort but instead, we have to ensure comfort. We need to create a new reward system; therefore, whether the change is based around food and nutrition or other habitual reassurances, we can comfort the inner-child (so-to-speak) by offering a pacifier, which is all we want.
I am proud of this analogy —
This is something I created for one of my Sunday morning empowerment classes. We were talking about the gateway drug. Some said this was alcohol. Some said marijuana. And I asked, “But why not aspirin? Why not food? Why not take it back to when we were little and we felt sick.
I offered the example of when my Mother used to dissolve baby aspirin in a teaspoon. She would do this with some water so that I could swallow it.
Why isn’t this a gateway drug?
Is aspirin not a drug?
Isn’t a drug a substance used to create comfort or promote mental or physical well-being?
Isn’t the intention to feel better?
Isn’t the idea to use something external to feel better?
And then if this is the case, why is the pacifier not mentioned?
When an infant cries, we place a pacifier in the infant’s mouth. We don’t always know why the child is crying. We might have an opinion but yet, since the infant does not have the language to explain itself, —or since a baby lacks the voice its needs; the baby cries. Therefore, we place the pacifier in the child’s mouth. We do this to create a sense of peace. Hence, we have literally been taught and trained since birth to use an external source to solve an internal discomfort.
We always go back to comfort. We want to be comfortable; as in like we were in the womb where there was no discomfort or demands. Everything we needed was supplied at will. We were born from instant gratification. We want to fit, be okay and we want to be comfortable, accepted, wanted, desired and relieved of complications. But this is life we are talking about here. Not the mother’s womb. Life comes with complications and like Socrates said, no amount of pretending can alter this fact.
The one thing someone told me that literally changed my life was this: “You don’t have to stay that way.”
I was struggling. I had habits that were hurting me.
“You don’t have to keep doing them,” he told me.
I never mention names but this time, the name is worth mentioning. I learned this from a man named Bob Runge.
In order to gain momentum in any transformation, we need to address our fuel source. We have to identify what will turn the key to our ignition and more to the point, we have to understand what this key is.
First, the key to our ignition is the permission to move forward. We have to permit ourselves the flaws and imperfections. We have to allow for unforeseen dilemmas and allow ourselves the clunkiness of complication. We have to remove the threats of failure, which lead us towards old preventive blocks.
We have to overcome obstacles by allowing ourselves the permission to create opportunity without fear or intimidation of “pass or fail” mentalities. And secondly, we have to address our problematic concerns by granting us the ability to turn problems into possibilities to improve.
By the way, this idea is not new. In the end, all we are looking for is to feel better, in which case, we need to offer our brain the opportunity to find a new chemical change. We have to find a replacement and distraction to keep us from going back to old routines and sources of comfort.
The toughest part of personal change is changing your belief system. This is where the connections are. This is where the roadblocks come from and where the intimidation festers. This is how judgement causes distractions and discourages our efforts.
Change comes in parts. To each their own, of course but the math is simple; change part of our behavior, change our thinking, and change our belief system and thus we find ourselves absolutely and 100% an entirely new person.
All we need now is the permission to get started.
That’s the key to the ignition.