Yes, last week I got spooked. Now before you go off wondering if I was watching a re-run of The Grudge (That did scare me by the way), no I wasn’t. I rarely watch horror movies these days.
No, what caused the fright was last week I made a major decision that has inflicted colossal change in my life. I stepped out of my minds ‘familiar zone’. In fact, you could say I took one giant leap out and far, far away from it. And it was scary. As scary as hell.
(NB: You may know the familiar zone as the comfort zone. I prefer to call it the familiar zone for reasons I shall explain in the rest of this blog)
You see the mind resists change, either consciously or unconsciously. It likes to keep things as they are now; it likes to keep your life familiar. It will even resist change when you know that the change you are making is for the better. And sometimes that resistance will be made loud and sometimes, you could say, violently.
The last 4 years of my life had become familiar; very familiar. So as soon as I made my decision and took my ship into what my mind believes is unknown and uncharted waters, it felt strange. It felt weird. It was actually frightening.
I was thinking how the decision would impact my life. Would I be able to ‘survive’? How would I live? Could I make it?
Fortunately for me, I was expecting these uneasy feelings, created by the doubting thoughts of my mind which merely wanted me to renegue on my decision and go back to how I was, to how I had been living for the previous 4 years. It wanted everything to remain cosy, snug and familiar. I recognised these feelings and thoughts for what they really were. Resistance to my change and subsequent, short and mid-term growth.
Never under-estimate the power or creativity of your unconscious minds efforts to resist change. Even when that change is for the better
Also, fortunately for me, not only I have been able to recognise these thoughts and feelings when they arise, I have managed to control them. I have come to know that those negative whispers are only opinions. They don’t have to be real, if I choose to replace them. I mean the actual word ‘survival’ sprung to my mind. You see what that one word implies, survival? My unconscious threw that one in just for good measure.
So after 3 to 5 minutes, it felt longer than that but it actually wasn’t, I changed my thoughts and got another opinion on the decision I had made from another, more positive voice inside my head. And then things began to look differently. I became more optimistic. Eventually, I realised that this major change could be well worth my while. And I also quickly reminded myself, that 4 years earlier, I had also made a major change and that was a great choice that worked out exceptionally well.
And it was scary then too, at first. But it worked out for the better. And isn’t life like that on the whole? Doesn’t it always work out for you in the end?
So if you are going through, or thinking of making any real major changes in your life, remember that the mind will resist. It can come up with some wild ways to get you to stay and remain the same. It likes things to be familiar. You were safe yesterday and you will be safe tomorrow, if you keep things as they are now. That is how the unconscious mind thinks. It is why people don’t change even when they know that a change is the best thing for them. It is why, if they don’t fully internalise major changes, that years later the unconscious mind can revert people back to a former, more familiar state (I am being very, very brief there).
And your unconscious mind can be very creative in finding ways to keep you as you are now; to keep everything nice and familiar. To force you to return to familiar territory and what it thinks are calmer, safer seas.
Be prepared for some fearful feelings or thoughts. But choose not to dwell on them. Ask yourself what could be really positive about the change and focus on that.
Remind yourself that not only will you be safe tomorrow, but if the change involves growth, and that can include leaving a destructive relationship for example, you will actually be safer.
And that everything in the end will work out well.