Why unlearning is harder than learning
Have you happened to notice that unlearning your habitual behavioural patterns (especially the self-defeating ones) is harder than you anticipated?
There is a reason for it. Our inner "wiring" starts early in life. The way we respond in a conflict or a stressful situation, the underlying beliefs that run in the back of our minds, the coping mechanisms we develop, and our repeated emotional states - these all create engrained and well established pathways in our bodies.
Additionally, we know from science that our skills, learning patterns, and habitual behavioural responses are not in individual nerve cells or even connections amongst the nerve cells.
Dr. Norman Doidge, a Canadian born psychiatrist believes that learning and skills are encoded in the cumulative electrical wave patterns that are the result of all neurons firing together.
Music is a perfect analogy for creating patterns.
Think of these electrical patterns as a symphony, with our cells being the musicians that play the piece. So even if you thought you have no musical talent, you are a musician after all. We all are!
When we play the same symphonies over and over again, we can play them in the middle of the night, immediately upon waking, and we may even dream about them. Changing the way we've played them is challenging. That's why "unlearning" is hard.
What's most important is that change and transformation is within your reach. When you are willing to undergo this transformation, you will change how you think, feel and perceive life around you. Your health improves, your relationships shift, and your capacity for empathy and compassion deepens.
What's essential during this transformational process?
Patience, consistent daily reinforcement, an intention to become a conscious musical creator of your own new "symphonies", are all required.
There are many ways you can make the change happen. The best way I know of is guidance from someone who has been through the process. After all, the most successful people in the world have coaches.
Most importantly, no matter how small the steps that you choose to take are, take them now.