Have you ever experienced self-sabotage? You may have felt, “It’s as if a part of me wants to and a part of me doesn’t,” or it’s as if the devil is on one shoulder and an angel is on the other and you find yourself caught between the two.
If you’ve struggled with the same goal or challenge over and over, it’s because a deeper part of your mind doesn’t want the change. When these automatic programs are working against our conscious goals, what we experience is self-sabotage.
By using the language of the unconscious mind and working with your deeper awareness, you can engage your deeper mind to work for you rather than against you.
I was teaching a healthy lifestyle class and it was week four. As my students filed in, I started class with the question, “So what are you doing for exercise?” I got blank stares. “It’s week four now, you know you are supposed to be adding in exercise.” More silence.
Suddenly, one of the ladies blurted out, “If we liked to exercise we wouldn’t be here!” My NLP ears perked up and I asked, “Okay, so when you think of exercise what comes to mind?” The ladies took turns: “Sweaty!” “Stinky!” “Hard!” “Yuck!”
Because of their history with exercise, these ladies had negative feelings attached to the concept of exercise. Our unconscious mind scans through the history, both positive and negative, and sums it up with a feeling. If we have negative feelings connected to an activity, we are less motivated to do it. Our unconscious mind usually speaks to us through feelings. It’s also active when we are sleeping and often uses symbolism, imagery, and metaphor while we sleep.
We can update the automatic programs our unconscious mind operates by speaking its own language: using images, pictures, symbols, and feelings more than words and logic. This is why guided visualizations work so well: we are speaking to our unconscious mind using its own language.
The next time you experience procrastination or self sabotage, start giving yourself positive mental pictures about what you’d rather be doing, the actions that you want to take, or even how you’d like to feel. As you picture it in your mind, it speaks volumes to your unconscious mind and you can get it working with you rather than against you!
The tools of applied psychology are expanding quickly and we no longer need to spend years struggling to create personal change. It’s easier than ever to update old habits and patterns and take charge of your health so you can enjoy living your best life!
This is an excerpt from my book, Lighten Up Train your Brain to Lose Weight, see more details here: www.lightenup.me/book