Written by Jac Lockington
Holistic Life & Financial Coach
We constantly hear about being resilient to change! Changes are usually made by others,
such as our policy makers, employers, service providers and while they might ‘rip our
nighties’ at the time, we invariably succumb and quickly forget.
But what about changes we make for ourselves… you know the hard ones, the ones you’ve
been thinking about for ages and for some reason keep putting off? When you begin
thinking about making a change, do you feel overwhelmed or just plain scared?
You are in good company, a lot of us lack courage to make positive changes!
Our brain is like a conservative investment fund - you get a return, but nothing like you
could get with a little more risk!
Our ‘want’ to change thoughts are pushed back by our brain’s ‘need’ to be secure thoughts
which naturally oppose each other. Our subconscious brain is designed to keep us alive and
out of harms way and it will do ANYTHING to keep us in our familiar place. It’s more
powerful than any computer - and it NEVER switches off! So, during your waking hours you
can be contemplating change while your subconscious is sabotaging those ideas while you
are asleep and unaware!
Courage begins in our Conscious Brain!
Courage is required for anything new to us and for things previously tried that didn’t end
well. Although we mostly run on auto pilot, do you remember how you felt the first time
you went to school, drove a car, started work, or had your first date? I was terrified before I
mastered any of those situations! When you do things successfully, your subconscious files
those experiences in the “Safe” box. It has hundreds of different boxes and has recorded
everything that has happened since you were born. Now, when you want to do something,
your subconscious searches those boxes until it finds a similar experience and then either
approves or disapproves. If it doesn’t find a similar one, it MUST be too scary to do!
Subconscious Brain :
“You know what happened the last time you
did that… the same will happen
Childhood memories affect todays decisions!
Let’s say, you had a bad experience at the dental clinic when you were a child. Your
subconscious saved that to the ‘Scary’ box, so even though you are an adult, the mere
thought of the dentist has your subconscious waving the ‘Scary’ flag while evoking the
original feelings you had back then! Yes, not only does it store memories, it also stores
I had a meeting with a Tarantula in Australia. I was 8 years old; it was the size of a dinner
plate and was blocking my only escape route - the bedroom door! Beyond petrified, I was
insanely trying to climb the farthest wall to escape…. what was I thinking? Was I going to
punch through the ceiling? The point was I wasn’t thinking consciously, the fight, flight or
freeze part of my brain had taken control!
For the following 16 years, every time I saw a spider, no matter how small, adrenaline would
surge through my body, I couldn’t breathe and I ran. My subconscious was waving the
‘Scary’ flag and even though this spider was tiny, my brain didn’t care, and I felt the same
fear grip me. The embarrassing situations this caused make me smile now but running out
of toilets with my pants down or balancing on the back of a friend’s sofa while her husband
removed an innocent arachnid destroyed my dignity!
Courage to Tame the Beast- YOU can do it!
Although our subconscious brain is stubborn, we can force it to accept ‘updates’. By
working with a professional, my phobia was cured in 10 minutes flat by retraining my brain.
I was tested though. The following week, they were everywhere. Under my daughter’s
quilt, in my car and one even appeared in the shower! Nope, nothing, no running,
screaming or loss of consciousness ensued….. I even had the courage to look at their little
faces. My life was changed!
Back to the dentist scenario, we need to question whether the TRUTH and BELIEF we
experienced as a child is still relevant today.
Questions to consider:
Desire- Define what you want to change and why:
might doubt ourselves after a minor setback. Your support team could be a mixture of
friends, family and maybe a professional mentor who genuinely understands what it means
for you to achieve this.
Action - Are you READY to commit to this now? If you are, then read on….
Then, if you have achieved that in 3 months, what would you need to achieve in 6
weeks? Keep going until you have weekly actions to get you to your goal!
Courage needs a booster shot regularly, so catch ups with your support team are useful. Doesn’t need to be flash, just 30 minutes over a coffee! It’s easy to slip into negative thinking when you hit a speed bump. Remember it’s just your subconscious trying to keep you safe and stop you being hurt. We can reduce this negative self- talk by using the “Catch, Challenge, Change” process, which was developed by Vicki Thondley, Director of Mind Body Food Institute in Australia.
It always seems impossible until it's done."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jac is a Holistic Life and Financial Coach and a Community Facilitator for a Bullying Prevention Programme delivered to local schools in Cromwell.
Jac is a mum of two and grandma to four and insists she is younger than that sounds! She loves completing research projects just for fun and as a former Mental Health Advocate, keeps up with the latest research on mental wellbeing.
In her spare time, Jac loves exploring Central Otago on the many trails available on her EBike, catching up with friends and ‘supervising’ her husband in the garden!
A Pep Talk is a vigorous, emotional talk intended to lift the spirits of yourself or someone else; and arouse positive feelings of happiness, enthusiasm, confidence, and determination to succeed.... PEPTALK as an organisation empowers people by delivering evidence-based knowledge and tools that build mental wellbeing and protect against mental illness, in engaging ways that are accessible, digestible, and actionable.