How many times do you think about changing something in your life, and your next thought is, “That will be hard”. 🖐 Today I’m going to share a little bit of science behind why change is so hard in midlife and how to make reaching your midlife goals easier.
By midlife, we have spent years walking through life telling ourselves the same stories, repeating the same thoughts like “That will be so hard.”
We have practiced thoughts like these so much that we believe they are facts.
We look to the past for what we can accomplish, whereas when we were younger, we typically didn’t look to the past for what we could accomplish in the future. We told ourselves things like, “That would be fun” or “I want to do that too”.
We imagined what it would be like to reach that goal, and we jumped in and did it.
The truth is we are 100% capable of change at any age.
Our brains are capable of what science calls neuroplasticity.
Neuroplacticity is what allows us to take on new thoughts and beliefs. It’s what allows us to change the wiring in our brains, even if we have been practicing the old thoughts and beliefs for half of our lives so we can create new results in our lives.
We think 60-70,000 thoughts each day and 90 percent of them are the same ones we thought the day before.
When we are repeating these same thoughts each day consciously or unconsciously, they will lead us to feeling the same feelings and taking the same actions or making the same choices every day.
This leads to the same behaviors, which lead to the same experiences, and the same experiences reinforce the same emotions and thoughts, and we get the same results.
This is how we develop not only our beliefs but our personalities and our personal realities. How we think, act, and feel creates our personality and our personal reality. Can you see how this has happened in your life?
For most people, when they want to make change, they try to make changes with their same personality.
It doesn’t work.
We can’t create something new and stay who we are.
It’s why change is so hard in midlife.
It’s why we have to do the work to become the person who has the result, and that starts at the level of our thinking.
We can’t create a relationship, a healthier body, a business, or any goal we want with the same thoughts we currently have.
I tell clients that if you already had the thinking and feelings of the version of you that has what you want, you would already have it, but we don’t in the beginning, and there is nothing wrong with that.
We simply have to do the work to rewire and create that new personality and that new personal reality.
Scientifically 95% of who we are by the time we reach 35 is just a set of memorized behaviors, automatic habits, emotional reactions, beliefs, and attitudes that are just a subconscious computer program in our brain making us who we are and creating what we currently have.
Let’s look at an example from my life. Several years ago, I wanted to create a new morning routine that would improve my health and help me lose weight.
My routine at the time was to wake up, have coffee, check email, turn on the news, or scroll Facebook. My actions were fueled by thoughts like:
I want to relax and enjoy my coffee in the morning.
I wonder what’s happening in the news.
I wonder what everyone is up to on Facebook.
I don’t want to give this up.
I like enjoying a cup of coffee and doing nothing before I start my day.
I better check email.
I didn’t realize these thoughts were stopping me in the beginning from creating the goal of a new routine.
Honestly, I didn’t even know I was thinking these things consciously because they were unconscious thoughts, and I never knew to question my mind. Few of us do.
I wasn’t aware these thoughts I was having and the feelings I felt when I thought them were creating the action of me staying the same.
I was creating the result of creating a personal reality I didn’t really want.
I was trying to create change from the same personality, and that simply doesn’t work.
If you want change, you have to start creating new thoughts and emotions. You have to start shaping a new personality that is more in alignment with the version of you that has the result.
So how do you start rewiring? How do you start creating new pathways of thought?
First, become aware of what you are thinking and feeling. Write down your goal at the top of a piece of paper and write down all your negative thinking and stories you have about it.
Notice the feelings these thoughts create. Notice what you think on default. Be curious if you want to keep the thoughts and feeling and if they are serving you. If not decide what you want to think instead.
Second, stop looking to the past for what is possible and start looking to the future. Imagine yourself when you have what you want.
What are you wearing?
How are you talking to yourself?
What are you saying?
What thoughts do you have that are different from what you are thinking now?
How are you feeling?
Write all of this down and practice it now.
Practice being that future version of you.
Check out my podcast Leveraging Your Future Self to Reach Your Big Goals and Dreams. I share three exercises to help you do this. You can listen here.
I have a lot more tools I share with my clients to help them create the change they want in midlife- to help them out of self-doubt and confusion and into that new version so they can reach that midlife goal and dream and live their next level life.
If you want support on creating your next level life schedule, a free mini session here
We’ll work on one thing you are struggling with, and you’ll get individual help from me.
I will give you at least one tool you can implement now to move you forward.
We can talk about how you can work with me if you are interested, and if not that’s totally fine, I just want you to take advantage of this free help.