Making life changes isn't always easy.
There are a number of different internal "thresholds" that will keep you from expanding and changing in a lasting way. These thresholds will be different for different people, and so part of the process is finding out what makes something really work for you.
When we're younger, we usually imitate the people around us, and as a result, learn to pick up different habits and skills. As we grow older, we become much more discerning or "thinking-oriented" and tend to trust less in our immediate sensations and feelings.
Because of this, we learn to gloss over our feelings, and not be completely honest about what is going on for us.
At times we may even find it difficult to know and discern what we’re feeling. Left with a lot of inner voices telling us what we’re supposed to do and not to do, we find it challenging to trust our inner guidance, or even hear the deeper simple messages from within ourselves.
You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. ~ Mike Murdock
So what makes lifestyle changes stick?
1. Learn to "feel" yourself.
For starters, learn to connect back to your immediate sensations and feelings. Even if this sounds strange, it is less important what those feelings are in the beginning, but more important to simply feel yourself. Acknowledge how you feel!
Know that there WILL be feelings that you will not like, or have not felt with ease. But don’t give up; it’s part of a natural clearing process.
In time, your own guidance system gets activated again, and you can use your felt senses and immediate emotions to give yourself information, guidance, and intuition about what’s happening and where you’re going next.
Every time you connect with yourself, you’re making room for new growth, letting yourself become more permeable to new solutions.
2. Let go of the inner critic.
The way we stay out of the 'change zone' is by listening to our inner critical voices and internal dialogue about what we can't and shouldn't do. We need to learn to connect to our inner wisdom in a direct and immediate way, so that we can replace our inner critics with voices that give us clarity, focus, and love.
3. Surrender to the unknown.
When we have strict beliefs about how to change and what should happen in a step-by-step manner, we’re closing the door to what is actually possible. Let yourself surrender a little bit into the unknown territory of inner change.
Give yourself a chance to discover your own processes, rather than constantly trying to control and know everything without some exploration and openness.
4. Begin to take small steps.
Change is natural, organic, and easy if we don't overcomplicate it. Start with a single step. Believe in yourself, and remember that the moment you decide you want to change is already a first step to doing something in service of a larger purpose.
Trust that the positive energy you give out will come back to you, and life will come towards you with helpful insights.
5. Give up the idea of knowing it all.
It will be much easier for you to change, if you accept the idea that you don't know everything, and that there is always room for learning and growth. Consider some time to step out of your own way, and let a new piece of information enter your awareness and impact you.
Let yourself really become open to some new learning. Give up the idea that you have to control every element of the process, and let yourself learn something that isn’t part of your familiar values and sense of self.
Why does this work? Because it expands your definition of who you are, and lets you learn something that can significantly transform yourself.
6. Let yourself be drawn to what you love.
If you’re approaching change only from a mental perspective, it won’t be enough to fuel your search for change. What’s much more important is to have an engagement of the heart, an honest sincere love for knowing more truly who you are.
This alone can take you further than many techniques, and will keep you going when things become challenging or seem impossible. When there’s a true engagement of the heart, not only are you fulfilling your purpose, you’re also serving humanity in a deep and helpful way.
7. Focus on your values.
When a lifestyle change is not connected to the values behind it, it won’t be implemented very well. Be conscious of your values, and ask yourself “Why is this change important for me?”
Answering this question will help you get in touch with the underlying values, like harmony, balance, openness, inner wisdom, love, or peace.
So what are the thresholds that keep us from changing significantly and keeping the change?
- The inner critic or judge: it keeps us in a familiar zone and will keep the status quo at all costs
- Our identification with a familiar sense of who we need to be or think we are
- Our ignorance of our immediate inner knowing and guidance
- Our preoccupation with resolving the past and solving the future
- A deep unconscious inertia making us believe that we have all the time in the world
Implementing the above will significantly allow you to move forward and keep opening up to possibilities of inner change. You'll start to see this change not as a "must," but as a natural, organic process of your own unfolding—a recognition of the deeper levels of your own nature.
There has been no better time, than now, to make changes, and the access to teachings, books, tools and methodologies makes it easier than ever to get started. Let go of baggage that burdens you, and know that we have never been broken or fully lost.