I would choose a thousand enemies over the uncertainty that my mind creates when I am looking to change my behaviour.
Put your hand up in the air; if you are aware that self-doubt lingers within each and every one of us? It’s that negative nagging. We have all heard the following in our minds. I can’t do it because …………. (Fill in your excuses here).
Other times it can be a physical manifestation created from doubt. So strong that it can make us feel weak just with the thought of change.
We face two challenges when it comes to altering behavior patterns. The new actions we want to instill into our life; and that evil enemy sitting on one side of our shoulder whispering doubt.
You are up against your old rival called Ego. To some it represents as the scared little child within and church goers refer to it as the devil; where temptation teases us to take the wrong path.
However, let’s not get stuck on the title and acknowledge that it exists. That way we get to work on how to silence this opponent. Choose your weapons against Ego – master these tools in order to create change.
Yell from the roof tops, “I will not be beaten by this enemy. There will be no surrender to this kind of self-talk”. Change is incredibly hard and near impossible at times. Especially if you are unaware of Ego’s power.Change is incredibly hard and near impossible at times. Especially if you are unaware of Ego’s power. Click To Tweet
A confident person; continually comes up against this negative self-talk or doubt; however they have a strong belief system and a proven track record highlighting successes.
Ego does not have a chance to loiter in their mind for long. They have tools, regardless of whether they are aware of it or not.
The Ego Confession.
It is at this point in the post a confession is in order. I am an addict. No this is not an Alcoholic Anonymous group, this is an example.
Smoking cigarettes is my vice. Proven time and time again that when I am not on top of my game, Ego is ready and waiting to throw a hundred different reasons as to why it is okay to drop the discipline and light up.
The first excuse is triggered when my mind is weak with anger, sadness or even being tired. Ego pops in and says, “Stop all this tension; you have every right to feel the way you do. A cigarette will relax you”. And it does for a couple of minutes and then disappointment takes over.
My shoulders are hunched over, my mind is berating me with shame and guilt because I have let myself down. Constantly reminding me of the commitment I made when I previously extinguished my last cigarette.
There is not one benefit to this poison. It’s nothing more than a dirty lazy habit. So I smoke my pouch and call it quits. And this is when Ego gets tricky.
Every six months I might indulge in alcohol; that is the limit of my drinking. However when I stop cigarettes; having a drink begins to consume my mind. I see every bar in the vicinity of my home. I did not even recognise these pubs before cigarettes were back in my life.
That is how sly and sneaky Ego is. The hidden agenda is not alcohol – it is when I drink – I see a beer in one hand and cigarette in the other. Once I have bought smokes I won’t recognise another pub because that is not my vice, the cigarettes are.
How can change become easier?
When you hear a reason not to do it – match it with a reason to do it. When you feel uncomfortable – either except it (it’s important to realise this moment will pass) or distract your mind (do one of your favourite hobbies).
When you feel as if you are slipping, do something that you love to ensure that you don’t. Just hold on! Even if only for the day.
Change is not for the light hearted! When your mind is up to no good, or out of character; it is time to question the motivation. We don’t have enemies as bad as Ego. (Suggestions for managing this period can be found in 7 Simple rules to live by for a happy life).Change is not for the light hearted! Click To Tweet
We have all felt frustrated when we have slipped and landed back on the old path. This is when we shake hands with Ego, who smiles at us so pleasantly all the while we feel a disappointment within ourselves.
Ego does not care for our feelings. Ego – opposes change, loves addiction, talks to us in the negative and plays on doubt. Yet presents as a real charmer.
When you want to give up gambling, alcohol, drugs, cakes, soda, sexual exploits, thieving, opportunity to lie; whatever your weak vice is (and don’t feel ashamed we all have flaws), the only hurdle is within you.
Say you have a weakness for cakes; every bakery comes into your view or the cake section at the supermarket illuminates as you walk on by. Everything on TV seems to represent cakes.
The day you start your diet, someone in the work place is celebrating; and cake is on offer. You attend this morning tea, armed with crackers, fruit or vegetables. Your determination is strong. A few people notice and congratulate you.
But we all have that friend who says, “How is one piece of cake going to make a difference”? All the while they are stuffing their face, bits of cake flying out of their mouth – showing off what you are not going to enjoy.
You stand staunch and continue your resistance. Wondering if you have lost 5 kilos just by saying no and holding onto your will power. It feels as if there should be some compensation.
The food you are chewing is now tasteless, the conversation around you has started to fade out, as you stare at the cake, which now consumes your every thought.
What do you do? Remove yourself from that area. There will plenty of time to catch up with your work mates. Acknowledge your will power and all the benefits this new health regime will bring in the coming days, weeks and months.
If you are an ex-gambler on your weak days – every single outlet that has a pokey machine stands out, just to lure you in. If you have given up alcohol, every bottle shop, pub or drive through will stand out.
However there is light at the end of the tunnel. This is a bad day, where Ego has come out to play. There is no telling when that dirty enemy will arrive because our lives are so full. These are the days where you have to be prepared for war. A back-up plan is required.
Remember that our good days are never the ones we have to work with. Because we are reaching for our goals and walking on a solid foundation. Strength, discipline and focus are in the house. Ego can’t be found anywhere. There is no room for self-doubt on these days.
So preparation is the key to overcoming our bad days. Set a date for change. This will allow your mind to absorb the coming actions.
In the mean time you can research the positive outcomes and understand all the benefits. Locating experts and reading up on the tips and tricks they use when they are not feeling on top of it all.
There is always going to be temptation in front of us. But once Ego recognises that you are at your weakest, that voice will steer you straight back on the path you have prepared and worked so hard to stay off.
Don’t underestimate Ego; doubt can be silenced and not have a voice for years. In a moment where the mind is not so strong, insecurity can arise. Like a sniper camouflaged in his environment ready to take a shot when the opportunity arises.
It only takes one bad day. Maybe you were sleep deprived the night before, things got worse after you woke. Food has run down your top. Your partner expects you to know his/her every move and asks where they put the keys to the car. You flare up asking if they need help with their toilet duties. There are many warnings already that something is not right. So get ready to apply your action plan.
Over to you. What are your tools for planning for change? Is ego a consideration? What do you refer to ego as? Let me know in the comments area.