I am going to briefly discuss the inner friction you may endure when making personal changes to yourself. I’m talking about the personal changes that involve the restructuring of your attitude and beliefs. If you are attempting to make significant changes to your beliefs for the first time in your life then you will experience extreme turbulence. This is because, at the beginning of your journey, you may be dealing with a lot of issues from your past that you have repressed without resolving. Although you put these issues behind you, they are still influential in your present reality. Therefore, expect significant resistance from your subconscious mind during your very first “go-around.” As you progress in life and continue to make changes, you will be dealing with less turbulence because you will have already resolved the major issues during your first attempts to change your mental circuitry.
Unresolved issues are like open applications on your computer. If you don't completely shut down a program, it will continuously run in the background and compromise the performance of the computer. You won’t notice the computer slowing down at first, but as time progresses and more programs are left open, the compromised performance will become more apparent. If you attempt to open a new program when too many programs are running in the background, the chief operating system will alert you to close some of the open programs in order to provide the required processing power.
Much like operating a P.C., the first time you attempt to make changes, you may notice a lot of old issues resurfacing to request your attention. These issues need to be dealt with or “closed” so you can proceed with the new “program” you wish to run. Surfaced issues are your mind’s way of alerting you that the changes you want to make conflicts with old beliefs that are still running in the background. Your mind will surface any old beliefs that contradict your new installed-beliefs because it needs you to pick one and close the other.
Another reason why you will be dealing with inner conflict is because the mind hates change. Making changes in your routine is a threat to the survival mechanism in your primitive brain called the amygdala. It figures it has survived this long, doing what it was doing, and any change is a possible threat to its life. You may feel this conflict on a lower animalistic level, which is why it will not make sense to you logically.
Keep in mind that the negative experiences I list should only last a few weeks. During that time you may want to lay low and take it easy. These are some of the occurrences you should expect:
You may experience guilt, which is the conflict between the heart and mind. You might find yourself having consistent feelings like you did something wrong, but you can't pinpoint what it is. It might even escalate to you worrying that you're going to be punished for doing something wrong, but you still can't pinpoint what you did wrong, let alone why you're going to be punished and who is going to punish you. If this is your situation then the less you do, the less you'll have to second-guess yourself. Lay low until the negative feelings reside.
Very similar to guilt and a possible result of guilt is anxiety. Just like guilt, this may be a feeling that something terrible is going to happen to you. In general, it's a feeling of fear and worry. This can come as a sharp pain in the chest, followed by a rapid heartbeat and loss of breath that will wake you from your sleep. You may find yourself not wanting to do anything, but instead, wanting to stay home or anywhere you feel safe. Anxiety can surface in different ways at different times. The primary symptom of anxiety is an intense worry. Again, lay low until it resides. Also, be aware of what may be triggering your anxiety as it will be a clue on the issues you need to address.
You may experience nightmares, or dreams that are disturbing to you. On a similar note, you may find yourself being bombarded with thoughts and emotions that you aren't usually bombarded with. Mostly, these are issues that are surfacing because they need to be dealt with before you can behold the new beliefs you are trying to behold.
You might suddenly remember a situation when someone wronged you which makes you feel anger or rage. As these types of memories and emotions surface, you need to reevaluate the situation then forgive yourself for letting it happen. You need to realize you are older and wiser now and didn't know any better at the time. The best way to deal with these kinds of thoughts is to identify how you allowed the situation to be, then work on those areas so you never allow a situation like that into your experiences again. If you don’t take this approach, it will be an ongoing internal loop of anger that can't be resolved because closure is impossible in this type of situation. The only thing you can do about a situation like this is to make sure you do what you have to do, from now on, to ensure it won't happen again. You can only have power over your actions and reactions, so only stay where you have the ability to be proactive.
Confusion is common whenever undergoing changes in your life because your mind is rewiring itself while also trying to function like normal. Going back to the computer analogy, you are simultaneously starting new programs that contradict the old ones, and we aren't as easily programmable as a personal computer. We can’t just delete unwanted programs, but instead, have to override unwanted programs with new ones. That said, during this process, you will have too many programs running at once which will cause slow speeds and lag in your mind. This, in turn, will cause you to experience mental exhaustion which creates physical exhaustion. You may not have the energy you usually have, or would like to have. However, keep in mind that this will only last a couple of weeks, so hang in there.
You may find yourself in a state of deep depression. This depression can derive from your realizing you are going to have to leave cherished comforts behind. Sometimes, the changes you attempt will separate you from friends and loved ones. Sometimes moving on means to move away from the old ways as they no longer can support your new experiences. This can be your moving away from a location, or your moving away from others.
This brings me to the obvious of needing more sleep because this is when the brain can recuperate, and it will require much recuperation during this process. When you are awake, you may feel a bit overwhelmed which will create confusion and a lack of motivation to do anything. You will want nothing more than to be blissfully zoned out because that will be the most comfortable way to be while the rewiring process takes place.
Remember that everything I listed should only last a few weeks. Eventually, your mind will give in and reorganize old beliefs to suit your new intentions and goals. This is, of course, after it rebelliously kicks and screams for a little bit because it doesn't like to change, hence the reason for the bad thoughts and nightmares. Any new way of living and thinking is a bit traumatic for the brain.
Thanks for the detailed post .
I agree that the process can be very difficult. There were times when I thought that life was much better before knowing all this. And what’s shocking is that very few teachers talk discuss it. I really think that there could be a smarter and easier way to deal with it though . I wish I had a very wise personal coach to walk me through it. But I have also observed that the people who fight their struggles alone are stronger and more insightful.
In my case this phase lasted way longer than a few weeks . I guess that was because I assumed it would be super easy and I kept making superficial attempts like vision board etc before doing the inner work. Half knowledge is dangerous indeed.
I think that we must be able to maintain a good balance . Meaning - we must not get too lost in the past or the details or the technique. There is no need to resolve all issues completely. Happiness doesn’t demand a lot of work.