Have you ever made a massive change in your life and the first week of it felt IMPOSSIBLE? You just wanted to run, hide, get someone to look after you and, for a little while, pretend the world didn’t exist? Well, I just went through that. I want to tell you about it and, on the way, teach you why change is so uncomfortable and why we should fall in love with it anyway.
Your brain is made up of billions of brain cells (or neurons) that interpret, transmit and store everything that you have ever experienced. If something new happens, neurons make new connections with other neurons. When you have a concrete schedule and tend to do the same thing every day, your brain creates neural pathways to make those actions as easy and efficient as possible. The pathway just activates without you having to consciously control it. This is what Joe Dispenza calls ‘the memorized self’ because every action you take is a memorized process that you repeat.
Your brain will always take the path of least resistance. So, if there is a gorgeous, well-established neural pathway available, it will be very difficult to encourage yourself not to take it. This is because following this path uses less energy (than making a new one since the prefrontal cortex of the brain doesn’t need to be activated. The prefrontal cortex is a region of the brain that contributes to cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, and social behavior.
Back in London, my brain had plenty of strongly established neural pathways to use. I could see that I was running on autopilot and was enjoying the simplicity of life that came with it. However, the day finally came when I had to board that one-way flight out of convenience and straight into the unknown… or spend the rest of my days living as my ‘ memorized self’. I packed my bags and am now living in sunny Mexico! It’s a paradise and bursting with opportunities for adventure. But every day, for the first week that I was here, without fail, I woke up distraught and cried for at least 2 hours.
How could my brain betray me like this?!
Well… everything in my life had changed and my brain was stressed the f*ck out.
When change occurs, the prefrontal cortex is activated in order to navigate the new environment. This uses an incredible amount of energy and absorbs all of your decision-making power. With this energy leakage, my brain was so tired and started perceiving the change as a threat. I was overly stressed, my cortisol was sky high and I wanted to break down because it all seemed beyond my capacity. I was feeling anxious and frustrated because I could only think about how difficult the situation was.
This was a massive refresh for my body and my mind. The week of extreme uncomfortableness unlocked something within me and reminded me why I love change so much. It’s actually so exciting because the uncomfortableness of change is a sign that we’re doing something right! With every surge of intense change, we are finding new ways to live, releasing ourselves from our ego, being our own inspiration, and opening space for creativity.
Here are some of my favorite tricks to start loving change:
- Reframe change as a challenge, rather than an inconvenience. This will change the stress response to eustress (a positive form of stress where we feel more optimistic).
- Remember that any pain is simply a sign from your body that it’s uncomfortable. Tune into your body to remind it that it's safe and cared for.
- Everything that has been given to you is a gift. Change is an opportunity from the universe because you’re ready. Invite this ‘level-up’ into your life because you’ve been manifesting it.
- Effort and consistency will get you out of any challenge you're facing. Work on a plan filled with easy, manageable steps, and stay connected to your reasoning behind actioning this change.
- Take time to grieve what you’ve lost.
- This too shall pass. Ride the wave.
You may find that it’s too hard to activate this change out of fear, lack of faith, being too caught up in your old routine, or being debilitated by failure.
I have some concepts to help with this too:
- You are stronger than your fear. Fears are conditioned beliefs designed to limit your power, absorb your energy and prevent you from being your full self. Fight against the system and show up as your bravest self.
- The universe is always supporting you. Whatever you do, it’s going to be okay. You get to choose how you view your challenges.
- Keep your reasons for change at the forefront of your mind. I like to think of this like the film ‘50 First Dates’. Drew Barrymore’s character has to watch a video of herself every morning to remember who she is. We must do the same. Read your goals aloud every morning and affirm the person that you want to be.
- Every day you’re going to fail. Remove the negative connotations this word has in your mind. Failure is inevitable with success. The more you fail, the more you succeed. You are not a failure. Everything you’re doing is absolutely perfect for your soul’s journey, just keep going curiously.
Have any questions? Find me on Instagram and Tiktok: @anastasiaoceano. You’ll also see how nicely I’ve settled into Mexican life ;)
If you’ve resonated with this article, I am so excited to let you know that I am taking on new clients. It may seem like a huge leap between where and who you are now, to your dream life… but that is where I come in. I am a fully qualified mind, body, and soul coach. Together, we will get to know your inner saboteur intimately, understand your triggers, work with your obstacles, and align you with your higher self. All you need to do for this epic transformation is book a 1-on-1-coaching call here.