Here is a truth for all of us. We all want to change ourselves for better and want it to be easy. But change is not easy. If we want the change to be simple and easy, we need to have an understanding of what needs to be changed and how to do it. We can change our personal reality (our experiences in the world) from within, if we know what we are doing.
What is change? Most answers I hear relates to an observable behavioural change in our lives, which is the result of an internal shift. This is where it gets interesting. What is shifting? Change is breaking the chemical addiction the body has due to conditioned ways of thinking.
We have on average 60,000 thoughts a day with 90-95% of these being the same thoughts, that we had the day before. This means we are a product of our own habitual thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
Research has shown that by the age of 35 years, we will evolve to being a set of memorized behaviors, emotional reactions, unconscious attitudes and beliefs and perceptions that operate on a sub-conscious level.
We are therefore driven by a set of habits, which are a redundant set of thoughts acquired through repetition. The result of our conditioning is our neuro-circuitry, neuro-chemistry, genetic expression and our biology stays equal to our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. We have hardwired our brains to define our identity and that is what we call our Personality.
When we have a thought, our brain creates chemicals associated with that thought which is an emotion. This is how our bodies, learn to behave accordingly to our patterns of thought.We think about a person, we can quickly find an emotion to link to that individual, we bring an experience with that person into our minds; the emotional feeling in our bodies is almost visceral. We can feel the thoughts.
Our bodies become addicted and crave the emotional chemicals. When we change, we step into an uncomfortable place. The chemical balance is different and our bodies seek the familiar. This is the space where, change is happening and is also the space where our bodies send signals to our brain asking for the chemicals.
This shows up in the form of the negative voices in our heads (our inner critics) that say things like: ‘Let’s start tomorrow’ or ‘It was good the way it was.This is what we are up against and this is why change can be so difficult. Where is the light at the end of the tunnel?Whatever we seek to change, we are moving away from a current state to a desired state. Our desire is to convert possibility in to reality and by this we mean change our personal reality. This is where we are required to change our personality.
If our personality is a result of our internal processes then this is where we start. It seems as simple as changing our thoughts and we can change everything. And it is…
Candel, a neuroscientist, discovered that when we learn something new, our brains increase neural connections from 1300 to 2600. We physically change our brain structure. Another insight from the field of neuroscience is the saying: ‘Neurons that fire together, wire together.’
This means as we think something new, we are changing our brains. The big question is: “What are we going to do with it?”
In the coaching session what happened in our brains? We learn a tool for self-management and a tool for questioning. The result is our brain circuitry doubled. If we don’t do something with this then the circuitry gets pruned and the learning is lost. Our brains structure reverts to what it knows and nothing changes.
6. Convert Knowledge
We need to convert knowledge (in our minds) into experience (in our bodies) and experience into wisdom (our new way of being). We need to convert our thinking (learning from the coaching session) into doing (actively practicing the new tools) and this then becomes our way of being (automatic habitual ways of being).
We need to be able to repeat the experience from the coaching session again and again until our bodies and our minds (our brain in action) are in sync. This is called mastery and our new automatic way of being is that we get curious and ask questions versus being reactive and taking things personally.
The simple act of taking action on our new learning changes our personality. When we show up in our lives with a renewed personality, everything changes. Our personal reality is different and all it takes is change in thinking. The key is small steps over time and managing your way through the uncomfortable internal space of change.