Dr. Robert Kornfeld
It is extremely common for people to take stock of themselves, their diet, their finances, their relationships, etc. and make resolutions this time of year to change things. Been there. Done that. Yet, with the best of intentions, hardly anyone sticks to their commitments to improve whatever area of their life they wish to change. I’m not sure why the New Year, historically, became the barometer of what isn’t working and what needs to change, but it is and always has been in my lifetime.
We are all “creatures of habit”. Even when we know our habits may not be good for us, we continue those habits. Unfortunately, for most, that thought that we are not doing the best we can for ourselves is banished to a sub-conscious level so we don’t have to feel bad about things on a regular basis. This is one part of the reason most fail to stick to resolutions. We have self-programmed ourselves not to focus on our negative habits or circumstances. It becomes natural to force those feelings and thoughts away after doing it for so many years. This sub-conscious banishment also becomes a “habit”. It just happens automatically. Anytime something comes along to bring us into a state of consciousness, we have to step outside of our comfort zone to acknowledge whatever it is. Did I say comfort?
Somewhere in the history of modern civilization, society began to program people into thinking they should be “happy” and “successful” in order to enjoy life at it’s best. That’s a TALL order because it is not possible to be “happy” all the time nor “successful” all the time. By successful, I don’t necessarily mean only financially. I also mean in relationships, projects, desires, endeavors, etc. So, to fight against the feelings of “failure” in not being happy or successful all of the time, we find a comfort zone. One that doesn’t challenge us too much. One that doesn’t make us UNcomfortable. And one that we can present to the world that hides any feelings of inferiority or low self-esteem.
Your comfort zone can be your worst enemy. It keeps you stuck in the status quo. It rewards you with “comfort” for not trying to step out of your box and assures you that this is the best you deserve. So, there you have it. Look what you have to fight against to keep your resolutions. You have your sub-conscious thoughts working against you AND you have a deeply ingrained “comfort zone” that wants you to be satisfied with the life you have in spite of the fact that it may not be working for you.
New Year’s resolutions usually become the butt of jokes when you lose your way. Let’s be perfectly clear, if you make any New Year’s resolutions, you have already ventured into the world of consciousness! That is an important first step. But how do you keep it going? How do you make change that lasts, that changes your story, that delivers you closer to a life worth living? On the surface, it sounds simple. But to succeed, you must have desire, intention and commitment. Keep your consciousness about your resolution on a daily basis by journaling your intentions and making a plan for success. The plan starts with mini-goals. Instead of looking at the end result (which feels unattainable), look at all the small steps you need to take on a daily basis and complete them one at a time. That feedback of success will start to re-program your sub-conscious mind into a state of being success-oriented. Small goals are more easily accomplished and when you string these successes together, you are well on your way to your end goal.
The harder, more challenging issue is learning how to step outside of your own little comfort zone, your box that keeps you safe. We all build these boxes as we grow up. We may build them for different reasons, but we all do it. It could be low self-esteem, fear of failure, imposter syndrome, feelings of not being good enough, smart enough or good looking enough. We may feel unworthy of love or attention. The list goes on. The first, most important thing you need to do to successfully step out of your comfort zone is to dig deep and write about your box and why you are comfortable there, what it is that is keeping you stuck. Identifying your limiting beliefs is a critically important step toward making lasting changes. Once you have identified these issues, you will need to start re-programming those thoughts. Next to every one of your limiting beliefs, you need to write the exact opposite as if that is who you already are. For example, if one of the things you write down is that you don’t stick with things or self-start because you are afraid of failing, then you would write – I have no fear of failure. I understand that if something doesn’t work out for me, it is not because I am a failure. It is because the path I chose was the wrong one. I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and I deserve it. Realize the sub-conscious tape you’ve been playing is that you are a failure or you are afraid of failure. That is your comfort zone. Writing the counter statement takes you out of your comfort zone. It will feel foreign. It will feel uncomfortable. It will make you bristle when you write it. However, your present sub-conscious thoughts come from a lifetime of programming.
We all have the power to reprogram our sub-conscious thoughts. With repetition. By saying out loud all of the counter statements to your present beliefs about yourself, you are giving your brain a consistent message. And guess what? The brain believes everything you tell it. When you start telling it these things consistently, over and over, you start to function from a totally different paradigm. I know you’ve all heard about the power of positive thinking. Well, here it is.
These things you must do to foster change may temporarily make you feel lost. That is ok. It is normal. It is no different than moving to a new city and having no idea where you are. Little by little, as you navigate your new city, you get to learn the layout, the names of streets, highways, etc. Before long, you feel at home as you know where everything is and how to get there. With change, there is always a short period of feeling out of sorts. But you would never give up on learning the new city you now live in. It would not make sense. You would feel stuck. You wouldn’t be able to go anywhere. You would be missing out on what the city has to offer. And by not following these suggestions for change, you will likewise remain stuck in the life you have created. You will make no progress. You will miss out on the best that life has to offer.
The good news is, you do not have to go it alone. Life coaching is an art that takes you from Point A to Point B. You do not spend your time looking back at what didn’t work. You look forward to where you want to go. A life coach will be your best advocate for change and will help you to discover all the attributes you possess that you currently don’t see or acknowledge. Change is not easy. It is not a simple task. But it is the most gratifying experience that teaches you that the only thing holding you back are your own beliefs. And when those change, nothing holds you back! Good luck with your resolutions.
Dr. Robert Kornfeld is a life coach and holistic podiatrist based in NYC and Long Island. He is the Founder of Change Your Story Coaching (www.changeyourstorycoaching.com) and assists people on their journey to making their dream life happen. Sign up for his email list and get all of his timely and informative articles in your inbox. Are you ready to change your story? Change your life? Contact him today. For coaching, he can be contacted at [email protected]. He also practices functional medicine for chronic foot and ankle pain at The Chronic Foot Pain Center in NYC and Port Washington, L.I. (www.drrobertkornfeld.com). For foot and ankle medical problems, he can be contacted at [email protected].