By Dr George Blair-West
Continued from part 1 of this article…..
You see, the beliefs that hold you back don’t do so just to frustrate you. They are there for an important reason. Using special techniques to access my patients’ unconscious worlds I have come to appreciate just how strong this glass ceiling can be.
So, what’s going on? Why would our mind not want us to achieve our slimmer, healthier self? There are different reasons, but the underlying theme is often protection, staying safe. To understand this I need to give you a quick lesson on your unconscious mind. Your unconscious mind’s job, first and foremost, is to keep you safe. Unfortunately, it only operates in the here and now. Not only does an extra slice of cake not kill us in the here and now, it makes us feel good. Which introduces the second job of your unconscious – once you’re safe, seek and enjoy pleasure.
Your unconscious mind is just the human equivalent of the survival instinct in all animals – it’s not at all sophisticated. As you can see, your unconscious mind has a lot to answer for. Indeed, if it did look to the long term, and could see that extra weight meant poorer health (i.e. it is not keeping us safe at all) we would not have an obesity problem of the magnitude we have.
FAILURE FEAR STOPS US FROM STARTING – SUCCESS STRESS STOPS US FROM FINISHING
Protective beliefs mean my patients come up with insights about what is holding them back like, ‘If I lose weight and become more attractive, I’m not sure how I will cope with the attention.’ Other responses relate to achieving e.g. ‘If I can do this, what else could I do? How will my life change? My mind wants me to stay safe in my box.’ Remember the first and foremost job of your unconscious? Keeping you safe.
While the fear and humiliation of failing (‘failure fear’) often prevents us from starting, it’s fear of success (‘success stress’) that often stops us from finishing. Success stress is built on our protective beliefs.
Do not risk your sanity, your valuable time or your money embarking on a weight loss program without first attending to the Mindset you are going to bring to the task. Not only is Mindset a critical part of success, the other big ‘M’ – Motivation – is built on top of your Mindset, so take the time to get it sorted before you embark on your weight loss journey.
– Dr George Blair-West is a medical doctor, psychiatrist and award-winning author. His first book was the bestselling Weight Loss for Food Lovers: Understanding our minds and why we sabotage our weight loss. You can find more on his latest work into Mindset and Motivation at weightlossforfoodlovers.com