Tuesday, January 13, 2015

7 obstacles stopping you to start something new (aka why we don't like change)

When you have more resolve than doubts and fears, nothing can really stop you from striving.  This post is not about strengthening your resolve, but to explore the antagonist that is in the way.  Here are 7 obstacles that are stopping you from doing what you initially wanted:

1. Your unconscious mind wants out 

This new endeavor is not something that you're used to doing, meaning that you're out of your comfort zone.  As you wander out of your comfort zone and into an uncharted territory, you don't really know where you stand and where you're heading to.  Your unconscious mind sees these uncertainties as dangers and threats, so it would constantly send signal of distress to you to nag you back to activities that it's more familiar with.  Plus, if the experience resembles something bad in the past, that would also alarm your unconscious mind.  It'd surely let you know with a strong feeling of disgust.

2. Your habitual body wants out too

You may think you're consciously in control of your body, but it's actually conditioned day in and day out by your unconscious mind (creating the many habits you follow daily).  Meaning that you're not only fighting emotional signals, but your physical body as well.  As you (the conscious mind) sends signals to your body, your unconscious mind sends counter signals to your body.  That's why the more you force yourself to do something, the more internal resistance pops up.  Often, your body just shuts down from all these mixed messages.

3. Justifications (The thoughts)

When you feel resistance and don't know where it comes from, your intellectual mind comes in and try to explain it away rationally.  This is extremely delusional as it not only cover the true cause up, but also leads you to believe that you cannot move on until the imagined cause is resolved.  We do it for all kinds of decision.  We get a subtle emotional drive, then we think of a "rational" reason to explain why we feel that way.

It's like having a corrupted media group inside of us spreading propaganda.  The truth is we seldom act based on rational reasons alone, often these "reasons" are merely products from the intellectual mind to justify our actions.  When the reason is no longer applicable, the intellectual mind can easily come up with countless other valid reasons to once again justify our feelings and actions.  Our minds are extremely intellectual and it can take a long time to exhaust all of the reasons and excuses until we even see, let alone accepting, the true cause, it's also entirely possible that it may never happen.

4. Unrealistic goal and expectation 

The intellectual mind at work again.  As you're working on the project, things may not go as smoothly as initially planned.  The original goal seems so far away, it might as well be impossible.  As it's impossible to reach our expectation, why not just forget it and do something that meets your expectation?  That's very typical when you're doing something unfamiliar, you get discouraged as you realize the real deal is so much more than what you've expected.  So you just walk away in disgust.

5. You’re afraid of failing.  

Not achieving something is one thing, failing after giving your all is a completely different matter.  With the latter, you have go face to face with yourself along its flaws and incompetents.  Imagine what your ego and pride would react from that.  To avoid that hit, you simply find a suitable excuse and give up.  Blame it on the society, family, or whatever.  After all, you could’t fail something that you didn’t put much effort into. 

6. You're too distracted to focus on the task

There's a limit to how much you can handle.  If you can't take care of the basic stuff, how can you focus on a new task?  Even pent-up stress and worries from the past, no matter how repressed they are, take a toll on you.  You have to take care of yourself and have closure on the past in order to have all of your energy reserve at your service.  The energy you need to handle all the other stuff is the energy you lose to do what you really want.

7. It's hell a lot painful and you don't like it

This is the obstacle of all obstacles.  It's the true reason why the 6 things above are obstacles to begin with and why we're so oblivious of them.  It's because we don't want to face pain, we resent pain, thus we avoid them.  How do we do that?  By not facing our selves and the obstacle-filled reality.  We suppress, justify, use pleasures to numb our senses, entertainment to numb our minds.  Any trick that our highly intellectual mind can think of, we use it to cover our eyes to not see our selves and reality in hopes that we don't have to suffer.  However, not only did we failed to avoid pain and suffering, we lose something precious in the process.  We lose life...  No longer feeling the aliveness that we once had during childhood, we spend our whole lives avoiding life itself.

Here's the list of obstacles that are stopping us from starting something new, how many are we willing face and overcome today?

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