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6 Feb

Why is Change so Difficult?

Change is difficult because we are the way we are for good reason. Some people seem to find life easy, yet for others it’s a constant struggle. You may find it difficult or impossible to assert yourself, or even ask for legitimate needs. When you have this problem with an intimate partner then you will have a difficult relationship; when you have it with a manager then you will have an unsatisfying job; when you have it with a store assistant, then your shopping trips will be fearful experiences.

You may find that almost every aspect of life and living fills you with anxious moments. Meeting new people may be fraught because of your internal dialogue and self-monitoring. Whatever it is, you will want it to be different from the way it is. You may have sought help and ended up medicated or counselled. You may have gone it alone and sought help from your local library, bookshop, or Amazon. You may have found moments of relief only to discover that it was short-lived and life soon returned to the normality of suffering. So you start again, more help, better medication, more books. You enjoy a few more moments of brightness filled with courage and confidence – only to find them dissipating like tendrils of mist as the sun rises. Then you find yourself back in the bright light of a reality you don’t fully understand, and definitely don’t seem to fit in.

One of the things I encounter in my work is that people have generally tried everything else before they come to see me. This highlights the seemingly endless searching of so many desiring change. It suggests strongly that deep down there is a knowing that peace and joy exist and are available.

We are tenacious in our search for peace and a joyful experience of living.

But it is difficult and the reason it is so difficult is because it’s the very same reason that makes humans such a successful species. We learn from experience and never, ever, ever, forget – at a cellular level – those things in our lives that frightened, threatened, terrified, or just made us jump. The bee sting as a young child that becomes a panic stricken phobia whenever a bzzz is heard 50 years later; the being punished in school for something you were innocent of that leaves you with a lifelong fear of authority; the being told you are useless and will never amount to anything over and over again that leaves you incapable of success at anything; whatever it was that happened it stung and left its mark.

Our survival success is based around this. We have evolved to favour false positives. This is reacting to signs of danger even when there is no real danger present. This is a much safer stance than ignoring potential threats. This is why our early life experiences have such a powerful effect on our ease and confidence as adults. We may not consciously remember the activating experience, but it is buried deep in our subconscious. We can react to almost anything that has even the vaguest connection with a past source of pain.

So a behaviour, like perfectionism, becomes normal and, despite the difficulties it causes, is maintained – not from a desire to be perfect – but to avoid the emotional pain that not being good enough drew forth. This is even though the critic is no longer in their lives, or may even have passed away.

I have found so many patients live their lives to please parents who are no longer alive.

If you are seeking a more permanent change then know that because it works with your subconscious, which is where the problem lies, hypnosis and self-hypnosis are valuable tools. I would encourage you to explore them.


Of course you could always just check out my book Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis on Amazon.

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