Change. The Anxiety

 

I’ve been making changes. And dealing with the inevitable anxiety that change can bring.

It became clear over the last latter half of 2014 that I needed to upgrade my website and become more active in promoting my Hypnotherapy business. Whilst client flow was good and is mostly by referral, (many thanks everyone, it’s about as good a compliment as I could wish for), there are still a whole host of people I could help with their anxiety who just didn’t know I was here.

So I made the decision to upgrade the website, get my Facebook business page aligned with the business (it’s just been a forum for this blog until a few weeks ago) and generally increase my online profile. I even decided that it was time to begin that newsletter I’ve been considering.

As you’ll know from reading earlier posts, there have been one or two issues vying for my attention this year so it’s been a battle to find the time.

And the motivation.

One of the difficulties lies in actually making the move. Not just starting, (although it can be easier once the beginning has begun), but in carrying on through all those times when problems hit.

I hit that stage that many clients go through (often as part of the process of deciding to seek help) – the more I seriously thought about tackling the issue, making the change, the more my unconscious response was; ‘now is not the right time’ or ‘it’ll never work’ / ‘it’s too big’/ ‘you’ll never do it’.

Leave it as it is. You can carry on as you are. Don’t do it. Invoke anxiety.

As a Cognitive Hypnotherapist, it’s fascinating to know what games my mind is playing. I can sit back and watch it run it’s programs in my head whilst I wait & decide what to do about it. (Usually: occasionally it catches me off guard and I have to follow my own advice in order to switch off the anxieties that sometimes turn up unannounced).

In whatever form, change is scary. When you’re in the right place, scary becomes exciting. When you’re in the right place.

Until then, change is scary.

It’s often easier to wait before making the change, a secret part of our minds hoping that the circumstance or desire to change will move on and we can carry on as before. Even if we know that change would benefit us, there’s still a part that would rather we carried on as we are.

But why? Surely if a change really is for the better, then we’d just find the motivation to do it. Wouldn’t we?

It turns out that mostly, we wouldn’t.

I see this with almost all clients who come to me for help. It is very rare that I’m the first port of call. It’s even rarer for a client to come to me who hasn’t spent months, years, or even a lifetime trying to deal with issues that just won’t go away on their own. So what is it that means change is a frightening prospect?

It’s all down to evolution and how the human brain seeks to keep us alive. Much as we’d like to think we’re in control of our actions, making sensible and considered decisions, most of what we actually do is decided on our behalf by our unconscious mind. It guides our behaviours and decisions with too highly effective tools: learned behaviour-sequences which we complete on autopilot and emotions, which as you know are very powerful influencers.

So what’s the benefit of avoiding change?

Well, if you think about it, learned patterns of behaviour and emotions have served us very well over the millennia. Human beings are highly adaptive creatures and populate pretty much every land on the planet. But this adaptability has come gently, spreading at walking pace across the globe from Africa.

It takes time and energy to learn how to live and stay alive in a particular environment. Time and energy are a precious resource. This is the crux of the matter. In evolutionary terms, it is better to live in an environment you know than take the risk of having to learn to live a different one.

Your unconscious mind is very wary of expending precious resources, just in case you’d be better off. It lets you know this by making you anxious, stressed, sad, worried, and fearful. It throws every trick it knows at you to sabotage the change.

So how can we overcome this natural desire to stay where we are?

Well, that’s the topic of this month’s Newsletter.

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  1. Pingback: Change: The Anxiety (reblog from my new website) | Posts of Hypnotic Suggestion

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