FYI | Day 8 – Resistance is Futile!

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For Your Inspiration! (FYI!) Month 2011 – This article was part of an exciting and challenging month dedicated to discovering passions, setting goals, learning success strategies, and sharing thoughts to ponder throughout the day!  If you’d like to find out what this month was all about, check out FYI Month 2011 for more information!

FYI: For-Your-Inspiration Month!

In a Galaxy Far Far Away…

Remember the old Star Trek movies when the Borg would shout ‘Resistance is Futile’? Well, I think they are on to something.  Resisting is futile!  Let me explain…

When we have something in our life we’d like to change we go about it by fighting off the temptations and the rewards from the action.  We’ve all felt the difficulties from changing a behavior or habit, and many times, we relapse only to have to start all over again.  Isn’t it ironic that when we try to quit something, opportunities for failure appear all around us?

For example, if you are trying to quit drinking coffee, you start to see Starbucks on every corner?  (Wait, are they on every corner now?)  Or, you are going to quit drinking and all your friends want to suddenly go out with you?  Perhaps you’d like to quit eating sweets but the holidays are just around the corner?

The short and sweet message for today is this:

If you resist, it persists!

When we focus on how difficult the process is going to be, we give attention to it and our brain fights back.  The brain doesn’t realize that the reason we are thinking about it is because we don’t want it!  We have cravings because our brain thinks we need it (you programmed it this way!), and when we start thinking about it, it intensifies our desire for it!  Thoughts are powerful!

The more you resist, the more it persists.  Can you think of ways to change a habit or behavior without waging war against it?  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just release it and never look back?

Change Directions

Nobody enjoys the pain that comes from changing a habit or behavior.  We have trained our brain to function a certain way and expect a response similar to ones that occurred in the past, and just like a spring; when we push against it, the brain pushes back.  An alternative to this is to not fight it, and instead change the direction of the energy by focusing on the positive advantages from the new behavior. When we do this, we naturally change our behavior to match our desire with less ‘brain strain’.

Want to eat less sweets?  Don’t think about sweets by reminding yourself you can’t eat them, instead imagine a healthier you and how great it will feel when you get there and the sweets don’t look as appetizing.  Want to limit or stop drinking?  Don’t dwell on denying yourself booze, think of the smile you are putting on your liver’s face as well as the increased energy in the mornings.  Easier said than done, but the more you practice this way of thinking, the easier it gets.

If your thoughts start to divert to your cravings, try to consciously change your focus onto the positive rewards you receive from the new change. Don’t dwell on not doing it because you still give it undeserved attention.

Your Task

What are you currently fighting with that you can’t let go?  What are you giving attention to that doesn’t deserve it.  Ask yourself, could you release this?  Could you change your focus onto the benefits?  When?

Start with one habit or behavior you’d like to change or improve this year, and write it down on one piece of paper.  Then, on another piece of paper, write out all the positive benefits you receive from it.  Lastly, tear the first paper up and throw it away… you don’t need that one anymore.

Why even write down something on the first paper?  This may sound out there for some, but studies have shown that when you physically carry out and visualize an action, your brain has more of an emotional response to the process of throwing it out.

Try it!

This post was written by

Greg has written 69 articles on Student of Me.

Greg is the creator and primary writer for Student of Me. He probably spends way too much time on the computer writing, researching, programming, and working on his photography. He loves escaping from screen-time to travel, ride his motorcycle, experience the outdoors and spend time with loved ones. You can contact him at greg (at) studentofme.com!

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