Updated: Mar 8
Change has a very negative connotation for most people. We are creatures of comfort on a deep emotional level, and we automatically seek out what feels good now. We long for comfort, which usually comes from what we know, familiar to us. Once we can comfortably deal with and "know" all the "unknowns," we can "relax" – because your nervous system and your mind find and attach a meaning(s) to everything. Therefore, something new is always a confrontation between what will be in your mind.
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The unknown is always something that your mind and nervous system must "unravel" afresh, and this process feels uncomfortable on many levels. However, when something becomes comfortable, you get used to it by removing all the "unknowns," and your automatic behavior can take over again. Our nervous system works primarily by conditioning, and by repetition, we notice and assume consistent patterns. This system is there to serve us in helping us be more efficient and be able to do more, more efficiently. Your mind's design is to always look for the best way. We learn specific orders and sequences through repetition in which things happen, and we learn to recognize and respond according to these sequences. Every emotion you experience, for instance, is nothing but the result of a series of events and reactions triggered by your unconscious awareness that generates and creates the actual feeling, which is nothing but a sensation in your nervous system.
To change anything, you must, first, become aware of these patterns. It will help if you become aware of what goes on under the surface of your conscious awareness. It is not difficult, and everybody can do this. You need not understand everything about the human nervous system to use it. Be aware that a part of you responds and acts "automatically" based on your past experiences and associations. The challenge is to go from one pattern that does not serve you to one that does. You literally would have to change your mind in that you have to change the way you perceive yourself and your life. Doing things differently will feel uncomfortable at first. Still, you can rest assured that the "uncomfortable" will become "comfortable" as you start to form new associations and new patterns of association.
The process of making the "uncomfortable" comfortable or making the "unknown" known is the way we grow as human beings. What you are satisfied with represents your comfort zone, including all the comfortable experiences you can deal with daily. If you don't expand this "zone," then you won't expand yourself as a person. The need to grow and become more a person is all humans' deep emotional need. Without growth, you won't be happy. All growth, although it feels uncomfortable now, always feels immensely fulfilling in the long term, and it is this feeling that we all crave this feeling that we call "good." You can do something that feels comfortable and "good" now by staying with what you know, but true fulfillment comes from pushing beyond your comfort zone and creating a sense of pride in yourself. Growth means change, and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.
The truth is that all of life is constantly in the process of change. Nothing ever stays the same. It is the nature of all of life, including you. Even if you do nothing, life will still change. To progress, you must decide to initiate and create the change consciously. It would help if you deliberately put yourself in the uncomfortable place where you can grow, and as you do this, you progress. Progress is by choice, while change is automatic. You must consciously change and keep changing yourself to become the person you want to control your life.
All change starts with a change of mind. It would be best to start by changing your thoughts about want you want to change. In changing how you think about something, you immediately change your perception and feel about it. When you change the way you think, you change your behavior, which is how you progress. Constantly trying to change behavior will rarely create long-term and lasting change. Instead, change your mind, and the rest will follow! If you do not change, you won't grow, and you are not living if you fail.
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Dr. Pat Bracy