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Where To Start? Understanding What’s Holding Us Back

By the end of this article,  you’ll understand why you’ve failed to make positive changes to your life in the past. I’ve no doubt that you’ve tried and I’ve no doubt that you’ve failed – or else why would you be here?

First thing’s first – where to start?

You want to make changes, but you’re not sure how. You’ve been trying to cope with a myriad of things, but it’s almost impossible. You seem to be running around a lot, but getting nothing done. And you’ve no time for yourself and …

You want it to be different.

Not only do you want it to be different, but you’re suffering (probably silently) because of it. This “suffering” could quite literally shorten your life.


At work, you are out on a limb. You’re not supported. You have so much to do. People dump their work on to you. Or you have a particularly horrible boss, or client. Perhaps you are put into nasty, sometimes down-right dangerous situations and – couldn’t you be doing something else? Something you enjoy?


At home, your husband or wife takes you for granted. Your children don’t do as they are asked. You have heavy bills to pay. Your elderly parents need more care. You’ve had a fall out with your neighbours. Your central heating has packed up. You need to go to the supermarket. You’re petrol tank is running on fumes. Wouldn’t it be nice to be in control? Go home and just – relax?


You are not as healthy as you could be. You smoke. You eat the wrong things. You are a bit on the heavy side. You get out of breath walking up two flights of stairs. You are always tired. You catch colds easily. Wouldn’t it be great just to feel good?

We are all “two people”.

By this I mean we are our “conscious” and our “sub-conscious”. We must think of both of these entities as separate from each other – it is only then that we can bring about a lasting change.

Intellect & Machine

These two people are called “intellect” and “machine” – and where our intellect leads our machine must follow, right?


Intellectually we know we have to make changes, but that isn’t going to happen unless we comprehend that the machine (our sub-conscious mind) doesn’t like change. In fact it resists change and it does so for a very good reason – it keeps us alive.

Silhouette of a lady's head with internal cogsEvery experience – everything we have ever done, has impacted on our sub-conscious. This machine has been, and is continually, being programmed from before birth. Your sub-conscious is the sum of YOU – your memories, your programmed habits, your skill-set, your phobias, your – all of which are NOT your actual intellect.

Your machine doesn’t want to change. It’s been doing fine now for however old you are, and it’s a proven system. It works. You are still here.

Imagine for a moment and for a laugh, that you were able to tweak your sub-conscious on a whim.  Say, you decided that you wanted to stop breathing.

Well, of course, anybody could stop breathing, but, if you were truly able to tweak your sub-conscious easily and permanently, you might lose consciousness and die before you could tell yourself to breath again.

Extreme – but I had to show you why it isn’t as easy as one would like to make changes to our sub-conscious minds. Your subconscious is a jobsworth in this respect and a good job too!

Sadly, it is a jobsworth in ALL other respects also. If you are going to change your life around, you need to know that you are going to have to make a sustained effort to ensure that your sub-conscious doesn’t trip you over.

You’ve decided to give up smoking. So halfway through the first morning, the strain of sustaining this decision is leaking into every second thought you have.

If you are a smoker, at this point, it wouldn’t take much for you to light up a cigarette, would it? Say, you’ve just dropped a jar of jam, how does your resolve stand up? I know that mine just said, “damn it, let’s have a cigarette.”

That’s your sub-conscious tripping you up at its slightest opportunity. Don’t worry though, because now that you are aware of what you are up against, the changes that you want to make to your life will be much easier to achieve.

To summarise.

  1. We are all two people.
  2. The intellect and the machine.
  3. If the intellect wants to make a change
  4. it’ll have to employ some mind-bending techniques
  5. to persuade the machine.

Now you know that you have to overcome the part of you that is “the machine”, you understand that to make a lasting change, you need to “persuade” it. Did you know it only takes 21 days to break a habit?

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