Turning Fear into Fuel
As a coach, therapist, and personal trainer I have witnessed the *I-want-things-to-change-but-I-don't-want-to-change-things* phenomenon more times than I can count. It has helped me a lot to understand that it is always FEAR that lies underneath the resistance to change. We fear that we will have to give something up that is truly meaningful to us, forgetting that our desire to change is based on dissatisfaction with our current state. In other words, we are already in pain even if that pain lies below the level of our conscious awareness.
The *thing* that we are so afraid of giving up isn't actually bringing us anything of value. And yet we cling tightly to its familiarity.
Sometimes we stay in denial for a long time before the awareness of pain starts to seep in. Many years ago when I was was a binge eater, I distinctly remember having the thought "there is no joy in this" after overeating and feeling sick in both my mind and body. Once that thought appeared, denial became harder and harder.
I couldn't un-realize the realization that I was in pain.
I went through a similar process (also many years ago) when I decided to quit smoking. I would finish my cigarette and look at my yellowed fingernails and smell my smoker's scent and think "there is no joy in this". This thought, this recognition of pain, still shows up to let me know when I'm off-track in my habits or actions. It reminds me that I value real joy over fake joy; I value lasting contentment over the quick high and its inevitable crash.
Now it becomes a question of:
Do I want to experience the pain of staying the same, or do I want to experience the pain of growth?
Either way it's uncomfortable, yes, but one version of the discomfort keeps me stuck while the other frees me. Seeing the pain of discomfort as a means to freedom shifts the interpretation of pain from fear to fuel.
"Change is never painful, only the resistance to change is painful" ~Anonymous
Is the perceived pain of making the changes that you believe you need to make to reach your goals actually preventing your from reaching your goals? Are your fears causing you to self-sabotage?