As humans, we are confronted daily by problems—new, old, and ongoing. We beat ourselves up, we complain, we try to change, but many times we find ourselves still struggling. Happiness becomes an illusive figure somewhere in the distance.As a coach who helps people make changes and move forward when people call me up, they usually have some kind of challenge or issue that is in their way. For instance:
- They are tired of sabotaging their own efforts to lose weight, stop smoking, or exercise.
- They don’t want to keep worrying about money.
- They want to do something different and get out of the boring job.
- They are tired of feeling anxious about their future, or health, or the world.
- They want to change something in their relationship with a partner, children, friends, etc.
- They don’t want to feel so self-conscious or insecure.
- They don’t want to feel so stressed or unhappy all the time.
Creating Your Antidote
People come to me hoping that tools such as coaching and EFT tapping will help rid them of those old persistent beliefs and behaviors that keep them stuck. And these tools really can help them move out of their current patterns. But beyond moving them away from what they don’t want, a crucial element that is usually missing is a clear picture of what they do want.
We are all experts at focusing on the problem and what we need to do to get rid of it. I have noticed over the years that people know a lot less about what they want things to actually be like than they do about what they want to get rid of. It’s important to consider both ends of this equation in order for successful change to happen.
In coaching, I ask a simple question of people, “What do you want instead, and how will that look and feel?” This may sound like an obvious question, but in practice, it can be quite a struggle when directly confronted with it. If you are so focused on what you don’t want then conjuring up a picture of what you want instead can take some work. If you have been stuck in a mental pattern for years, it doesn’t just naturally come to you how to imagine it’s opposite. Many times, we don’t even have the belief that the opposite is even possible.
If you have rarely experienced the feeling of confidence and security in who you are for instance, then it will take some work to develop that image so you actually know what you are replacing your “problems” with.
It’s just as important to nurture a vision of what you really want as it is to get rid of an old behavior or problem you don’t want.
Having a clear picture also helps to motivate us and inspire us from the inside out. This is the opposite of many of our outdated techniques of imposing external demands on ourselves through struggle and self-depreciation. It’s important to spend time thinking of your own personal antidotes for the thoughts and behaviors you want to get rid of and then creating mental images of how those new thoughts and behaviors would play out in everyday life.
This idea is not only the main rule in the laws of attraction, but it is being proven to have scientific backing in the latest brain research. In his book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, Dr. Joe Dispenza goes into detail on how these mental exercises actually change the structure of our brains.
“Just by contemplating a new way of being, you would begin firing your brain in new ways and making a new mind. That’s mental rehearsal in action…your brain will begin to work in new ways. By beginning to mentally rehearse new ways of being, you start rewiring yourself neurologically to a new mind—and the more you can ‘re-mind’ yourself, the more you’ll change your brain and your life.”
Do you REALLY know what you want?
A good example of how our past conditioning has not given us the tools to naturally know what we want is a client I worked with named Marion. She had one relationship after another that never seemed to last. In doing EFT, we discovered that not only had she grown up with the belief that “relationships don’t last” because she was devastated as a young child by the experience of her parent’s divorce, but she firmly believed this to be a fact in her current life. Her personal experience with current relationships seemed to validate her belief, as well as everyone she knew appeared to be in the same boat—short term or unhappy relationships.
When I asked her to imagine what a healthy long-term relationship looked like, she was stuck. She had never actually experienced it herself. We tapped on being open to a new perspective, and we worked on her old belief—was it really true? A small crack was made in her belief system and it allowed in a new perspective.
Gradually, she began to notice people she knew who had great relationships! These were all around her yet her old belief didn’t really allow her to notice them before. Once she could open to the possibility of a new way of looking, she was able to experience and see things that she had missed before. This then gave her a concrete example of what it would look and feel like to actually be in a long-term relationship that was healthy. It gave her a place to start to envision her antidote for her old belief.
You cannot completely change your old ways of thinking and of being unless you are very clear on what you want to replace them with. EFT and other modalities are great ways to not only eliminate old patterns and beliefs but also to build new neural pathways by practicing being and doing what you want to create. It starts with being open to and then defining a new vision of what is possible for you.
Would you like some help with creating your vision of what you do want? Check out Wendy’s Manifesting Your Inspired Life Vision