Setting a Goal
When we envision a goal, chant about it, and embark on it, we don’t usually know what it will require of us. We are excited.
Reality Sets In
It’s when we start to take action, that the reality of what it is going to take sets in. We discover what we are going to have to do, the ways we might have to change, the ways we will have to grow. This is the point where true change can occur and we can begin to forge a new, expanded identity.
It’s also the sticking point where we encounter our resistance to change. All of our lives we’ve learned from the people and society around us. They’ve told us what’s right and wrong, how to do things, our capabilities, what our roles are, who we are, our place in the world, and what our limits are.
These beliefs will be challenged when you take on a goal. And it’s not comfortable.
This discomfort is the beginning of change, so celebrate it.
Have You Abandoned a Goal Due to Discomfort?
We develop self-doubt and find ways to talk ourselves out of our goal so we can remain in our comfort zone. Discomfort is a normal part of the process but I suspect that many goals are dropped at this point because when we focus on our doubts, we find reasons to justify them, and we abandon the goal.
This is when it’s time to really gear in with your chanting. It will raise your life condition and give you ideas on the changes necessary.
As a former counselor for twenty-five years, dealing with behavioral change, there are many things from my former profession which can also help us achieve our goals and gain benefit. The first is understanding how the conscious and subconscious minds work.
The Conscious Mind
The conscious mind is the part of the mind we are aware of everyday. We use it to plan, set goals and run our lives. It’s like the 20% of an iceberg we see on the surface of the water.
The conscious mind is our cybernetic guidance system. Before you take an action the conscious mind sets up an image. If you don’t consciously create one, then it will unconsciously create one based on early conditioning, which may undercut what you are trying to achieve.
The Subconscious Mind
The subconscious mind lives below our awareness. It is subterranean, like the 80% of the iceberg below water. It controls automatic behaviors, like breathing,and digestion and behaviors which have become automatic.
Behaviors become automatic through repetitious training, doing something or hearing something over and over. When given the right stimulus, automatic behaviors lock in without our even thinking about it. Initially a behavior is conscious but after many repetitions it becomes unconscious and we do it automatically. This is how we develop the habits which support us or hinder us as we move toward a goal.
For example, think of how you learned to walk, play a sport, or drive a car. Think of the many times your parents told you not to waste money when you didn’t want to finish your meal. In response you learned to automatically clean the plate. Your subconscious mind has developed many, many such habits, which define the person you are in the present.
When we set a goal that old conditioning and the new opportunity clash.
The unconscious mind is protecting you from change. But your conscious mind knows it is time for change.
Harnessing Your Subconscious to Work For You
Let’s say you are starting a business that is going to require you to consistently contact people. You goal is to become financially free. When you encounter the reality of the work, you realize that you have been inconsistently with follow through in the past. For you to build this business you are going to have to develop the habit of consistency.
Building the necessary behavioral changes to support your goal is a challenge. You start out to do what you need to do in the business, but old habits die hard. The old habit is to stay in bed, not get up at 7AM to call people on the other coast. You talk yourself out of getting up and your business goes downhill. You take on the challenge and make a determination to call two people a day, five days a week. Now your self-talk needs to change. From “I’m just going to stay in bed this one day.” to “Making two calls today will move me towards my goal.” And you climb out of bed. The whole change feels difficult. The old habit was easy, the new one hard.
At this point you need to remind yourself that success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out, one small behavioral change repeated until it becomes unconscious. When thathappens your unconscious mind acts without you even having to think about it. Before, your unconscious had you act on a habit that pulled you away from your vision, staying in bed. Now through repetition you have created a habit that pulls you toward your vision, getting up and making your calls. What is hard at the beginning becomes easy in the end.
A Personal Example
I had a vision to become fit. Going to the gym was a struggle that lasted for over a year. I had to make myself accountable to a trainer to make me open that gym door. At some point going to the gym four days a week became a way of life and I looked forward to it. The habit of working out had become automatic. The struggle was over, and my new habit supported my new, expanded identity of being a fit person.
6 Steps to Making the Personal Changes Needed to Reach Your Goal
1. Chant for your new goal.
2. Make a determination it is going to happen no matter what.
3. Celebrate when your reluctance to move forward arrives. Remind yourself it is normal and the beginning of change, of doing your human revolution.
4. Chant about it and thru self-reflection identify a small behavioral or attitudinal change needed.
5. Follow through with that small change over and over.
6. When it becomes automatic, note that what was hard has become easy. Remind yourself this will happen with the next change. Keep on keeping on.