News & Updates
October 31, 2020
It’s Halloween today, so naturally, I want to talk about fear.
To be more specific, I want to talk about the fear of change, about why some of resist making positive changes in our lives, and how simply swapping a few simple words can help us to let go of that resistance once and for all.
As a solution-focused hypnotherapist, I’m all about working with people to make positive changes and overcome whatever may be holding them back in life.
Yet sometimes, the one thing holding us back is a fear of change itself.
Intellectually, we know they know that it’s in our best interests to make whatever positive change we’re thinking of making, but if we’re still holding onto the idea that we benefit in some way from some habit or behaviour, we’re going to be very resistant to giving that up.
We’ll see it as a loss, as letting go of something that helps us or keeps us safe in some way.
A great example of this is smoking.
Intellect vs. Caveman Mind
When we’re operating from our intellectual conscious mind, we know that smoking isn’t doing us any favours. We know that it’s causing us all kinds of physical damage, that it’s costing us a small fortune, and that we’d be better off without it.
However, if we’ve conditioned ourselves to believe that we need cigarettes to deal with stress, then the primitive caveman mind won’t want to give them up.
And why would it?
Even though logically we know that smoking doesn’t actually relieve stress but actually increases it, our caveman mind has come to learn that when we’re stressed, we need cigarettes, that they’re useful to us.
So why would it want to give up that crutch?
How Changing the Words We Use Changes the Way We See Things
Think about it:
If you had mobility issues and relied on an actual crutch to walk into town, then somebody threatened to take that cutch away, you might get a little fearful.
You might say things like:
If you take this crutch away, I’ll have to walk into town without it and that will be hard.
It’s the same thing when we think about quitting smoking.
As soon as we start planning a quit, our inner-caveman gets a bit of a panic on.
It says things like:
If I quit smoking [if you take way my crutch] I will have to go through stressful situations without smoking.
When we say things like that, no wonder it’s scary. No wonder we’re reluctant to quit. No wonder we resist even though our intellectual mind knows it’s the right move.
After all, we’re telling ourselves that we’re giving up something that is helpful to us and that if we give that up, then things are going to be hard.
So what can we do to let go of that fear and resistance?
Well, we can start by changing just a few simple words which ultimately help us to reframe the way we look at this change.
First, let’s change ‘if‘ to ‘when‘.’
Immediately, that changes the way we think about making this change. It’s no longer something we’re debating. It’s something we’re certain we’re going to do.
Changing ‘if’ to ‘when’ also removes all doubt. If suggests you may not succeed. When is certain that you will succeed.
There are a few other words to change, and these are perhaps more important.
Next, let’s change, ‘I will have to‘ into ‘I will be able to.‘
Look at what a difference that makes:
If I quit smoking I will have to deal with stressful situations without smoking.
Fearful. Doubtful. Everything is going to be hard.
When I quit smoking I will be able to deal with stressful situations.
Much better, right? Confident. Successful. Everything is going to easy, or at least manageable.
It may seem like a small thing, but when we start changing the words we use it can make a huge difference to the way we think and to the stories we tell ourselves. In turn, those new stories can help us to et go of that resistance and make those big, positive changes.
Whether you want to quit smoking, deal with a phobia, or overcome whatever’s holding you back, contact me via my website to book your free initial consultation and let’s talk about how solution-focused hypnotherapy can help you make those big positive changes in your life.
Until then, have a very happy Halloween.