Episode 107: Your Brain’s Resistance to ChangeJun 07, 2021
We each have an infinite capacity to change and become, but our brain is not interested in that at all. In fact, our brain is super resistant to change. Your brain only wants to keep you alive in the easiest, more energy-efficient way possible. It is not interested in becoming anything. It just wants to stay the same.
As soon as we try to change and grow, in any area of our life, our brain offers all kinds of resistance to it. Today I’m sharing some of the brain’s primary tactics that it uses to keep us the same—so that you can be aware of your brain’s natural resistance, and not let that resistance keep you from creating all the things you really want.
Episode Tools and Questions
Today I talk about some of the brain’s primary tactics it uses to keep us the same. To keep us in the safest, least vulnerable place it thinks we could be. These are five of the ways our brains do this and they recently happened to me.
1. Our brains will say, "We don’t’ really need to do this. We don’t need it. We were getting along just fine. Whatever change we are going to make, whether it’s your exercise routine or your feelings in your marriage, it’s going to take work and discomfort, and its’ not going to be easy. And your brain is going to say, "We don’t’ need to do this. It’s not that bad. We’ve done it like this for years….it’s fine."
2. Our brains will say, "Well, who do you think you are?" Whenever we go to change something in our life, first our brain says well you don’t really need it, and then when that doesn’t work, it questions our right to have it.
3. The next tactic your brain will use when it comes to changing things is, "We can do it later. We don’t’ have to do it now." It doesn’t say we’re never going to do it because we would never allow that, but it says instead, "we can always do it later."
4. The next tactic our brains might offer to change is thoughts of scarcity. Scarcity of money, time, energy, or whatever resources you are going to have to invest in order to create the change you want.
5. Finally, the thing our brains will use to keep us from change is the thought that we have to do it right. That there is a right way. And we have to make sure we do it right. So we don’t’ waste all those precious resources we just invested.
Your brain is resistant to change. It doesn’t want you to change. It has entirely different goals than you. It’s going to tell you that you don’t need to, you aren’t that kind of person, you can do it later, you shouldn’t spend time and money and energy on it, and you might do it all wrong. But none of that is true.
Listen to today's episode to find out how to overcome these thoughts that your brain offers you to hold you back.
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Welcome to the 100% Awesome Podcast with April Price, you might not know it, but every result in your life is 100% because of the thought you think. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome!
Hello, podcast universe. Welcome to episode 107 of the 100% Awesome podcast. I'm April Price, and I am so happy to be here today. I just got back from a trip to Tampa where I got to meet with my coach, and about 30 other women entrepreneurs, women who are CEOs in their businesses. 30 other amazing women doing what they can to make the world a better place, make life sweeter, and joyful, and fulfilling for their clients. And it was an experience that made me feel so lucky to have my business. It made me so grateful to myself for being brave all that time, and for standing up to my brain when it told me, and actually when it continues to tell me that I can't do this. And it just also made me feel incredibly grateful to you, to have you out there listening, right? To have the chance to, like, take up space in your life, make a difference in your life, and to have the opportunity to help.
And for me, it is such a privilege. I am so grateful to be here, and to share the thoughts that have changed my life in the hopes that they will help you change yours. I just think like we are the luckiest. Like, yes, we have brains, and they can be challenging to manage, but they also are the thing making our human experience possible. And I think that makes us so lucky to have the chance to be human, to have the chance to try all of this, to have the chance to practice, to have the chance to learn and grow, to have the chance really to become in any way that we want to be. We are the luckiest, truly. And that kind of brings me to what I want to talk to you about today.
We do each have the infinite capacity to change, and become, but our brains are not interested in that pursuit at all. Our brain is just super resistant to change of any kind. Your brain is into survival, and after survival, it's into efficiency, and that's about it, right? It wants to keep you alive in the easiest, most energy efficient way possible. It is not interested in becoming anything, it wants to stay the same. It knows how to do what you're doing, and that is enough. It doesn't want to do anything else. And like I've noticed this at every stage in my business, right? At every new stage says, no, no, no, we do not want to do anything new that we could possibly fail at. We're good at what we're doing, let's just stay here, let's not do it differently. We're surviving, and that's enough. Just this past weekend, I made some decisions in my business when I was at this mastermind for what's next. And then my brain was just freaking out on me. It was not interested at all in the decisions that I want to make. And so, it just produced all kinds of fear, and anxiety, and insecurity, and inadequacy, to get me to not move forward, not make changes and just stay the same. And this is how it is for all of us in any area of our life. As soon as we want to change something, as soon as we want to grow, our brain offers all kinds of resistance to it.
And so today, I want to talk to you about some of your brain's primary tactics, its favorite tactics that it's going to use to keep us the same, to keep us the safest, to keep us the least vulnerable, to keep us in the least danger of possibly failing, and to keep us from spending the least amount of energy possible. And so, I want to talk about these tactics today by using an example that is happening in my life for me right now. And as I talk about this, I want you to keep in mind that this is just a metaphor, okay? It's just an example that shows you how brains work when it comes to change of any kind. And while your life probably won't have this particular circumstance in it right now, at least I hope not, that you do still have a brain, and no matter what it is that you want to change in your life, your brain is going to offer you the same kinds of resistance. So, keep that in mind, okay? And as I talk, I want you to just think about something in your life that you want to change, and then notice if your brain has offered you any of these tactics to keep you from that change.
Okay, all right. So, as I said on a previous podcast, we recently had some water damage in our home, and that water damaged the wall, and a vanity in the bathroom, and a four foot square portion of our wood floor, maybe it's not even that big, maybe it's like two by two. Anyway, like all things considered, the damage to the floor isn't that big, except they can't match the wood that was damaged, which means they have to take out the entire wood floor through the whole house. Our wood floor goes to the entire house, and so it's like this big involved project. The wood has been glued down, so it has to be all torn up and it's going to involve all this dust, which will involve us moving out, and moving all the furniture out of the house for a couple of months. And so, since we're moving out, and everything is going to be torn up and all the plumbing, and the floors are being replaced in the house, I thought it might be a really good time to do a few other renovations in the house, things that I had been thinking about for a while.
And it's kind of like that book, if you give a mouse and cookie, like that children's book. Like if you give April new floors, then she's going to need new baseboards, and if you give her new baseboards, then she's going to need new tile in the bathroom. That's how this book goes, right? Maybe you've read it before. Anyway, I had this guy come out and look at the work, and estimate what it would cost to make these other changes while our house is being restored from this water damage. So, notice I was thinking about making some changes, changes in the house, and here is where my brain and its resistance to change showed up. So, the first thing I noticed was my brain saying we don't really need to do this, we don't need this, we are getting along just fine, we can just get by with things the way they've always been, okay? So, this is the first tactic that our brain uses to resist change, we don't need to do this. Whatever change we're going to make, whether it's the tile, or in your exercise routine, or your feelings, and your marriage, your brain is going to say, oh, that's going to take work, and discomfort, and it's not going to be easy.
And so, then your brain says, well, we don't need to do this, it's not that bad. We've been getting by for years, right? It's fine, right? So, for about three years, I have only had three burners on my stove that worked. And I just been like, oh, it's fine, it's been fine for three years, okay? And then last fall, two more burners went out. So, now we're down to one, okay? And still, even though I can only cook one thing at a time on that stove, and here we are with the perfect opportunity to renovate, my brain, still told me, Look, we don't really need it, we're getting by just fine. Like another version of this is that like we should just be happy, and content with the way things are. We should just be grateful that we have a stove at all. And we shouldn't want more than this, right? And what I want to point out to you is that you can be happy, and content with the way things are, and still change things. You can be happy, and content with your body, and still change things. You can be happy and content with your relationship, and still change things. You can be happy and content with yourself in any area of your life, and still change things. And I actually recommend it this way because then you don't have to be in a hurry for change.
So, so many times people say to me, well, if I'm happy, then why would I change it? And I say, just because you want to. Just because you want to cook more than one thing at a time. I don't have to hate my stove to want to be able to cook more. And you don't have to hate your life to be able to have more joy, and fulfillment in it. You can get by, of course you can. Your brain is right, and this is why this particular objection that your brain offers you is so effective. Because, of course, your brain is right. We don't need it, we don't need anything, we can survive without the changes we want to make. We can get by in living the life the way that we are. But you can also have more, you can also have what you want. You can also do more than just get by and survive. You can cook on all the burners, and create exactly what you want from your life, not because you need to, but just because you want to. And that is so powerful to remember. Wanting is enough. God gave you this life. I say you cook all the things you want to cook while you're here.
Okay, the next thing my brain tells me is who do you think you are? Whenever we go to change something in our life, first our brain will say, well, okay you don't really need that thing. And then when that doesn't work, it questions our right to have it. If we even deserve to have it, right? It questions our qualifications to have that thing, who do you think you are, and then your brain reminds you of all the things you aren't, and how you aren't the kind of person that can have that, or that deserves that. So, my brain did this to me recently in terms of the house, right? So, for example, I wanted to have a farmhouse sink in my kitchen for years, right? And remember, I said it was like if you give a mouse a cookie, and apparently if you give April a new stove, then she's going to want a farmhouse to go with it.
So anyway, I almost did not dare say this thing aloud, right? Like, I want a farmhouse. Think I mean, who do I think I am? Joanna Gaines, right? Like, I watched my brain think like I'm not the kind of person who has a farm house. Think, like what what the heck does that even mean? How can you be qualified as a person to have a farmhouse sink? Let me tell you, you can't, but my brain offered it to me anyway. Who do you think you are with your working stove, and your farmhouse? Right? The audacity like you just aren't that kind of a person. Now, obviously, this is a really stupid argument for my brain to think when it comes to sinks, right? But you will notice it in all kinds of ways in your life when you go to change something. It'll say like you aren't the kind of person who doesn't yell at her kids. Who do you think you are putting on exercise clothes? Like you aren't the kind of person that works out. Who do you think you are setting goals, and believing new things about yourself? Like you aren't the kind of person that follows through, or the person that has discipline, right? Like just put away your delusions of grandeur, and farmhouse sinks, and come back to reality. That's not who you are. This is how our brain works, right?
And this insidious little thought, who do you think you are? You aren't the kind of person that can do this, or have that, or be this. This thought is preventing you from so much change in your life, and not because it's true, but just because your brain doesn't want to change, and wants to be energy efficient. Like I said before, it's just because your brain doesn't want to do the work of change, not because you actually aren't qualified, or allowed to make the change. You are allowed, and qualified to be anything you want. To be the kind of person that does anything you want. And you don't have to believe your brain ever when it says that this isn't for you.
Okay, I'm getting fired up. Ah brains! Oh my gosh.
Okay, so the next tactic your brain will use when it comes to changing things is, we can do it later. We don't have to do it now, we can do it later. Like it doesn't ever say we're never going to do this thing because we would never allow that, right? But it says instead, we can always just do it later. So, once we got the estimate for the renovation, I notice my brain saying, well, maybe we don't have to do all of this, right? Like we could just save some of it, and do it later, right? Like somebody is going to come in, and move all the furniture out of the house so they can tear up the floors. And the plumbers have to, like, open up all the drywall so that they can repave the entire house. And my brain is like, we should probably wait till later. We should wait for another day to redo the stove in the sink, and the bathroom tile, like later will definitely be better.
Like, your brain is not saying no, it's not saying we're never going to redo the kitchen. We're just going to do it later, right? Which makes no sense. What do I gain by waiting? What do I gain by doing it later as opposed to now? Nothing. It will not be less expensive later. It will not be more convenient later. It will not be anything except later. But this is what our brains do when we are faced with the discomfort of change. It wants to put it off till later. It's like, oh, that sounds hard, so for sure we're going to do it, I'm not saying we're never going to do it, right? I'm not saying we're never going to lose weight, or we're never going to build our business, or we're never going to work on our book, or change our relationship. I'm just saying we're going to do it later. We can do it later, it will be better later, but it won't, it will only be later. And why wait to feel better? Like if you're going to feel better in the future when you make the changes that you want to make, why wait for that? Why wait to feel better later? Notice that thing that you would really like to change, how long have you wanted to change it? How long have you thought about something different, a different result in your life, and your brain is still offering you that later would be better.
So, for me, I've been thinking about renovating the house for about a year and a half. I've been thinking about redoing the bathrooms actually since we moved in four years ago. And here is an opportunity, and my brain is saying, well, we could always do it later. Whatever it is that you want to change, or create in your life, now is the time. It doesn't get easier, it doesn't get less expensive. And by that I mean that there is always the price of discomfort that we have to pay to get the life we want. And the price of discomfort does not go down later, it just gets put off but so do our dreams, so do the changes we want to make, so does the life that we want to live. It all comes later, and it doesn't need to it will always be hard and that doesn't change later. This is just the tactic of your brain to keep you from the discomfort that comes with change, whether it's now or later.
Okay, the next tactic that your brain might offer you to change is scarcity. Scarcity of money, of time, of energy, scarcity of any resource that you're going to have to invest in order to create the change you want. Okay, so in this case, it's really easy to see, right? The changes I want to make in the House are going to cost money. And when I told David the estimate, he said, do you really want to spend that much money? And this only irritated me because my brain had already given me the exact same thought, right? The exact same objection, do you really want to invest that much in this change? Is that really worth it now? I think there are a couple of ways to look at this.
First of all, no. Okay, no, I don't know. No, I really don't want to spend that much money, at least my brain doesn't. My brain works like all brains on a primitive level. Out is bad, in is good. Money out is bad and money in is good, right? And that's all my ancient primitive brain knows. Resources out is bad, and scary, and leaves you vulnerable. And so, whenever I go to spend any of those resources, it freaks out, and creates all kinds of fear for me. But also, yes, yes, I do want to spend this money, because I want change and this particular change requires that much money. And if I want these changes, then I want to spend this money. And that's good to know.
Let me show you another example of this using something besides money so that you can apply it to the change that you want. When I have a weight loss goal, or a muscle building goal, there is a price involved. Do I really want to spend the time, and energy, and sometimes money to reach that goal? Do I really want to spend the time in the gym, or the time planning my meals? Do I really want to spend the money on my gym membership, or on my coach? Do I really want to feel deprived, or hungry, or tired? My brain says no. Do you really want to, no. I don't really want to spend my money, or time, or energy, right? Or the negative emotion, but I do want the change. And so, I have to tell myself the truth. If I want these changes, then yes. Yes, I do. I do want to spend the time, and energy, and money, and experience whatever negative emotion it requires so that I can get that change. And this is what you have to ask yourself, not do I want to spend this resource, but do I want this change, and am I willing to pay the price required to get it?
You don't have to want to spend the resource, your brain doesn't want to. It doesn't want to spend the time, and energy, and money on it. It doesn't want to feel bad, which is going to be required. And you don't have to want to either, but if you want to have the change, you have to be willing to pay the price, willing to spend the time, or energy, or money, or feel the feelings it requires in order to get it. So, when David or my brain says, do you really want to spend the money? My answer is yes, because I want the change, and I'm willing to pay the price to get it. And it's the same for you for whatever change you want to make. Your brain is always going to be concerned about your resources. It's always going to be concerned about running out of time, or money, or energy. That is its job. But if you want changes, you don't have to let those concerns, or those fears stop you. Like I see this so much when it comes to coaching.
So many people want to change the results they're getting in their lives, and they understand that to do that, they need to change their thoughts. They need to go to the source of the problem. But when it comes to spending money on coaching, their brain says, do you really want to spend resources on that? Do you really want to spend the money? And it produces fear that they might run out, or they might not have what they need, and they might make a mistake with their money, or spend their money on something that doesn't work, or that they should be able to figure out on their own. What I want you to know is that your brain can be scared, and it can worry about the resources, and that is not a problem. That is its job. Out is bad and in is good. That's its job. And you can still be willing to move forward, and use your time, and money, and energy to get what you want. That is how I have created all the things that I want in my life, they require a cost, and resources that my brain didn't want to pay, but it doesn't matter. When my brain is scared, I always ask myself if I knew everything was going to be okay, would I do it? And my brain is like, well, yeah, but you don't know that everything's going to be okay. You don't know the future.
But I do, because I decide in every circumstance. I decide whether or not it's okay with my brain, with my thoughts, right? The circumstance doesn't decide, I do. And I can always choose to be okay no matter what. It's not like bad things could happen to me, and I have to be prepared for it, like things happen, and the way I think makes it good, or bad. And I'm always in charge of that experience. And in that way I am prepared for anything to happen and I will always be okay. When it comes to the changes you want, your brain might be saying that you don't have the time, or the money, or the energy for it, and you can do it anyway.
Okay, number five, the last tactic that I want to talk about that brain used to keep us from change is the thought that we have to do it right. That there is a right way, and then we have to make sure that we do it right so that we don't end up wasting those resources that we just talked about, right? So, again, let me demonstrate this with the house project. So, I worked my way through all the objections of my brain, and we don't need to, we don't deserve to, we can do it later, we don't want to spend the time, and money, and energy that it's going to require. And then my brain offered me this one. Maybe you're going to do it wrong. What if we don't do it right? What if we pick the wrong paint color, or the wrong paint sheen, or the wrong flooring, or the wrong stuff? What if we end up hating farmhouse sinks? What if we do all this, and we go through all this trouble, and we make all this effort, and we do it wrong, and we hate it. And when it comes to change in any area, right? This is a favorite objection of all of our brains.
Want to build a business, how do you do that right? You want to start a podcast what is the right way to do that? Do you want to change how you interact with your husband, or your children? What is the right thing to say? Or do you want to exercise, or eat right, or manage your time, what's the right way? Our brain is constantly saying, I don't want to do this wrong, and waste my time, and effort, and money, and wanting to do it right just paralyzes us. It keeps us not changing, because we're too scared that we're going to change in the wrong way, or do it wrong, or at least do it ineffectively. I want you to know that when it comes to change, what you do doesn't matter as much as what you think. Whatever you do, whatever decisions you make to get change in your life, what matters is how you think about those decisions. Like the paint color doesn't matter nearly as much as what I think about the paint color, and I'm in charge of that. So let me give you a little example of this from my business.
So last weekend, like I said, I was up my master mind with my coach, and I decided that I was going to make some changes in my business, right? And like even right now, I sense how scared my brain is to say this out loud to you, okay? It is very scared that I'm doing it wrong. This might not be the right decision, and here I am about to say it out loud, I guess. Anyway, for about the last five months, I have started my group coaching program. I have seen how amazing the results are for my clients, it's just amazing how fast their brains are changing. And so I just know that small group coaching is like the very best way to change your brain, okay? It's a place where you can get a ton of personalized coaching, and then you get that added leverage of seeing other people be coached, and that, like, loosens up your own thinking so much faster. So anyway, this past weekend I decided, like, I'm going to move my whole business to group coaching. I think it's better for my clients, and I just think it's like the very best vehicle for them. And this morning when I woke up, my brain was like, well, it's all downhill from here, right? You just sunk your business, right? It was totally the wrong decision. This is what my brain was telling me. But my decision literally doesn't matter in the success of my business, right? That decision itself won't make or break my business.
The way I think about that decision is what will create success, or failure in my business. If I choose to believe my brain and think I just sunk my business, that's what I'm going to create. But if I choose to think that this is the very best thing I could do for my clients, and for my business, then that is what I create. And it is the same for you, no matter what decisions you make to change your life, the way you think about those decisions is what matters. You can't do it wrong, or right, because how you think about those changes makes them wrong or right. So, if we are looking for the right way, notice how in so many ways we're just looking for positive feelings, and so much of change doesn't involve positive feeling, okay? I hate to tell you. The other day I heard Brooke Castilo say like living the life of your dream sounds so pretty. She said, it sounds like unicorns, and rainbows, and daisies, and dreams. But it's not like that. Living the life of your dreams is hard, and takes change, and your brain resists that every bit of the way. Your brain doesn't want to change. So, it produces negative emotion in the face of that change. So, we can't just rely on positive emotion to tell us that we're doing it right. We have to rely on ourselves, and the way we think to make it right, to make the changes we want right, to make the choices that we have to make to get the life we want right.
That is your job. And the changes that you make can't do that job for you. Your brain is resistant to change, it doesn't want you to change, it has entirely different goals than you. It's going to tell you that you don't need to. That you aren't the kind of person that can have that. That you can do it later. That you shouldn't spend your time, and money, and energy on it. And that you might do it wrong anyway. But I want you to know that none of that matters. You might not need to, but you can. Every person is entitled to change, and now is the best time to have the life that you want. It is worth investing your resources in. And the only thing that matters is what you think about the changes you are making.
As I have thought about my house the last couple of weeks, and how much life I spend in it, how many hours of mortality I spend in this house, I have thought about how interesting it is that my brain says that I can't have it the way that I want it. And I think the same thing is true about our lives. We are living in our lives. We are spending the hours of mortality here in our lives. And why does our brain say we can't have it the way we want it? Of course you can, it's your life, and you can design it exactly the way you want it, if you are willing to overcome the resistance of your brain. And of course, I think the best way to overcome that resistance in any area of your life is to have a coach, because my job as your coach is to just get your brain out of the way.
Your brain is the only thing in the way. And when we can get it out of the way, you can be the person you want to be, and have the life you want to have. I would love to be your coach. My next group starts in ten days, on June 1st. And I think it's the very best way to love what you have, and change, and create anything else you want. If you want to try it, you want to see what it's like to coach with me. You could sign-up for a free call at pprilpricecoaching.com or there's also a link in the show notes. Don't let your brain's resistance get in the way of the change you want. It is your life, you live in your life every minute of every day. And I think it should be the way you want it to be. And that, my friends, is 100% Awesome. I love you for listening and I'll see you next week!
The next round of my group coaching program made four more starts soon, and I think you should be a part of it. Your brain was program for survival, but you were made for more than that. You were made for more love and more accomplishment and more joy right now. And I can show you the simple way to get all of that. Join me in Made for More where we will spend the next six-months coaching and reprogramming your brain so that you can get the most out of this life. And the next go to aprilpricecoaching.com to sign up for a free coaching consultation and see how changing your thoughts can change everything else.
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