As the end of January approaches, it becomes more difficult for many of us to keep our New Year’s resolutions. Fearing change we may begin to make excuses to keep us repeating old patterns.
We all have egos that endeavor to maintain a sense of control and do everything possible to prevent us from breaking out of our comfort zones.
Although we understand that it is time to take action and make changes, we often experience a strong resistance. Our ego whispers, “don’t bother. It’s too much work. Things are fine the way they are.”
As we begin applying ourselves towards creating change (getting fit, losing weight, quitting an unhealthy habit, prioritizing family and friends, becoming organized, etc.), the trapped energy within our bodies and minds begins to stir. Things swept under the rug rise to the surface, making change to be a somewhat difficult experience. This is when the voice of discouragement and doubt can grow louder.
The ego’s most common strategy is resistance; saying we are too tired or too busy to deal with such things, that we can do more constructive or enjoyable tasks. Ego manifests as reasoning to celebrate our weight loss with a cookie, or as an injury that occurs just as our new workout has become routine.
Resistance is like breathing, even if we don’t think about it, it just happens. The ego is not evil; It is just trying its best to keep us safe. Making changes in our lives and taking steps towards self-improvement can be overwhelming. The ego, rooted in fear, much like an overly protective parent, prefers us not to take any chances that might cause us to feel hurt.
Which Map Are You Using to Reach Your Destination?
Be very clear on what intentions motivate you to achieve your goals. Your New Year resolutions could just be another ploy of the ego… For example, say you are at an unhealthy weight. The ego may have fooled you into believing that you need to change your weight to feel beautiful or accepted. Then as you stride to make changes, the ego does everything in its power, through doubt and temptation, to prevent you from following through. It has now succeeded trapping you so that you will never feel good enough just as you are. Never satisfied with how things are now.
However, if you realize that the unhealthy weight is a result of habits created while your soul was asleep, your journey is now about waking up and loving your soul, rather than just liking your body. As the soul awakens, the ego’s hold on you weakens. When we find love for the process more than for the goal, there is less space for ego.
Moving Forward is Learning to Stay.
We need not surrender to ego nor do we need to fight it. Coming up against ego will only cause it to act out. If we don’t learn to stick with the resistance, the slightest incident will be a trigger and we will run.
We crave breakthroughs and get discouraged when we don’t see dramatic results fast. The excuses start pouring in: we are too tired, or too busy to cook ourselves healthy meals, or move our bodies. Find ways to enjoy the process, to waken the soul.
We must ask ourselves, “According to my decisions now, what will the results be in a year or two?” Giving into the resistance will bring more of the pain we are trying to overcome. Such a realization might inspire us to work through the discomfort. Avoiding it will keep it there year after year.