We fear to change , because we have no control on the outcome and we are not fully aware of the outcome if we do not change , even thous it is a life threatening event . For example , Studies reveal that when heart disease patients who had undergone traumatic bypass surgery were told if they did not adjust their lifestyle they would die, or at best undergo the life-saving procedure again, only 9% modified their behavior .
Fear is the emotion that gets in the way.
Mount Eliza Business School found that over 70% of change initiatives fail because of people resistance – not because they weren’t good business ideas, and this conclusion is driven by sound analysis, systems and facts.
Changing a habit or having a new behaviour such as going to the gym takes need more than effort and focused attention. This is because you will feel physiologically uncomfortable and literally painful to over-ride the old habits.Imagine this , all the while you wake up at 8am , and suddenly you need to wake up at 6am for a job . It sounds simple , but not easy .
Therefore people often avoid change or find it hard to maintain commitment. Is like all the while you are brushing your teeth with left hand , and now you are asked to change to right hand .
Neuroscience the ‘walk towards, run away’ theory , says that in order to make a new habit or behavior part of our life , it needs to be minimize threat and maximize reward .
For example , when you feel threatened (in the sense of feeling stress , highly not comfortable )due to the sudden early morning gym session every morning , we might attend one or 2 times of the gym session , and then not going anymore .
Human being will tend to avoid what seems threatening, rather than embrace it.
The opposite happens when the reward system is activated. When you decided to treat yourself a great meal for every 3 times you successfully attend a gym class , you will tend to have a more successful rate of making gym session part of your habit .
When you have a positive emotions , our brains release dopamine and feel better and we are therefore likely to repeat the behaviour.
Willpower, focused attention and mindful action are good tools to push through resistance and rewire habitual patterns. This process of intentionally changing our brain circuits is called ‘self-directed neuroplasticity’. It is not enough to practice every so often.
Imagine you are driving to a new place in klang valley using waze .At first you will find it slight discomfort because you are not familiar with that place .
When you drive to the same place every single day , you will be able to go to that place without using waze after couple of days .Because you are already know how to go that place . And now it is easy for you . Our neurons work in the same way. The more we drive down one particular path the easier it becomes .
In order to plant a new habit or routine into your life ,for example building a gym habit , I will personally encourage you build things up step by step , work slow and work smart ,and you will win the race.
For example , commit 2 days ,that you know you 100% able to attend the gym session .Reward yourself weekly for that great effort .
Then slowly build up the gym frequency .It is no point to rush going 7 days on the first week , and not going to gym at all after that. Being healthy and fit is a life long task.
So work slow and work smart. Talk to you soon.