Are You Linking Change with Pain?
If you say things to yourself like "no pain, no gain" or "nothing worth having ever comes easily", you are creating an association between your goals and suffering.
As a consequence, you likely find reaching your goals to be a struggle as you hold beliefs that require you to choose between reaching your goals and living your life in a way that feels good.
What kind of a choice is that?
One of my very first life-coaching clients ever was a woman named Michelle. Michelle was in her 40s and unhappy with the way she looked and the way that she felt about her body.
Michelle wanted to be coached on developing a healthy relationship with food and finding ways to move her body that she actually enjoyed.
As she is telling me about what she typically eats in a day, she says, "I know you're going to ask me to give up bread" and promptly burst into tears.
The funny thing was, Michelle was just telling me about herself and what she was hoping to achieve in our work together—we hadn't even started talking about strategies and solutions. I most definitely had not told her that I expected her to eliminate or even limit her bread intake.
Michelle was actually giving me her own solution, it just happened to be accompanied by a lot of *resistance*. Michelle believed that the only path to her success involved cutting out bread and she created a whole story surrounding that idea.
The interesting thing to me was her intense emotional response. The thought of cutting back on bread was triggering an avalanche of tears and suffering. Michelle's belief that this was going to be a very painful experience for her was strong.
"Change is never painful, only the resistance to change is painful" ~Anonymous
Does this apply to you?
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?
I see this happen a lot!
Is it possible that your fears aren't really based in reality?
How would you approach change differently if you knew it could be a positive experience? What would shift if you let go of ideas like "no pain, no gain" and "nothing worth having ever comes easily?"
These are important questions to ask yourself and are a part of the process of becoming more aware of how your thoughts and beliefs affect your behaviors. Faulty thinking and erroneous beliefs are the cause of suffering rather than the process of change itself.