EPISODE 88: “I keep trying to change my identity but I fall back into my old patterns. What causes this?”
If you’ve tried to change before and failed you’ll love this short episode. It’s not your fault, it’s your brain and you’re not getting the changes you want because you’re working against your brain’s natural function.
It’s epidemic…people trying to change yet they get little to no change in life and then they usually become more and more frustrated and just give up.
In this episode I talk about:
In this episode, I refer you back to a few others and then share the simple attitude you must embrace to create long term change in life.
1) Your reptilian brain loves predictability, 2)Your reptilian brain creates anxiety as a survival mechanism and, 3) Your old habits are simply that, habits.
You're listening to episode number 88 of the Transform Your Life from the Inside Out podcast. In this episode, obviously, it's a Monday Q&A episode and I answer Rafayat's question, and that question is this is, "I keep trying to change my identity, but I fall back into my old patterns, what causes this?"
Hi, I'm Jim Fortin, and you're about to start transforming your life from the inside out with this podcast. I'm widely considered the leader in subconscious transformation and I've coached super achievers all around the world for over 25 years. Here, you're going to find no rah rah motivation and no hype. Because this podcast is a combination of brain science, transformational psychology, and ancient wisdom all rolled into one to take your life to levels you've never thought possible. If you're wanting a lot more in life, for feel better, to heal, to have peace of mind to feel powerful and alive, and to bring more abundance and prosperity into your life, then this podcast is for you. Because you're going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your consciousness. And when you do that, anything you want then becomes possible for you. I'm glad you're here.
Diligence is the Key to Subconscious Reprogramming
Okay Rafayat great question. And of all the questions that are submitted, I did pick yours, because so many people try to create change, I've been there, and they fall back into their old patterns. The reality is, is that most people try to create change, but yet, or and, they try to create it in the way that the brain doesn't work. They're trying to create change psychologically- left brain analytical, and all change actually comes with our habits and our subconscious reprogramming and our identity and if we want to create change, we actually have to create new habits and we have to create a new subconscious identity.
So let me go here first. When you say that you keep trying to change your identity, my question is this, because I don't have the opportunity to speak with you personally, I don't know what that means. Now I know what it means, but I don't know what it means when you say you keep trying to change your identity. So there are so many things in that statement, meaning have you listened to earlier episodes, which I'll talk about in just a minute. Are you diligent? Are you consistent with what you're doing? Are you fighting yourself? Are you fighting your old habits will actually make them a lot harder to change? But like I said, I don't know what that means but I'm going to dig into this anyway because I know I can give some nuggets here to everyone listening that has tried to change before and failed.
So for Rafayat a question is, is did you listen to episode number 80? Now I recorded that, I think is episode number eight. It's one of the first episodes I recorded. But if I look at it on iTunes, it's number 8. And that episode is on subconscious reprogramming. Now, if you haven't listened to that episode or Episode Number 83, which is about habits, you're already throwing darts with a blindfold on. I mean, you've already missed the boat in terms of, I've laid out the foundation of identity, subconscious reprogramming, and habits in those episodes. Now, if you have listened to those episodes, my next question is, are you diligent with what you learned in those episodes? I mean, have you really, really tackled subconscious reprogramming? I mean, I recommended a book in the episode on subconscious reprogramming. It's called The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy. Have you read the book and have you read it multiple times? And, you know, are you applying the programming techniques that you're learning in that book? And then secondly, I've done a couple of episodes on habits. Have you applied what you have learned in that episode or those episodes as well? You know, Rafayat in your defense, what I want to say and that's why I talk so much about all this in the earlier episodes is how change happens and where the habits come from. So habits and patterns come from the reptilian part of your brain- three predominant parts of the brain. You have the prefrontal cortex, which is the thinking part of the brain. It's the part of your brain listening to me now and going "Yep, okay. Yep. What Jim is saying is makes sense." You have the mammalian brain, which is the middle brain, which is the limbic system, which is the emotional brain. And then you have the smallest and oldest part of the brain called the reptilian brain. That part of the brain is responsible for fight or flight and that part of the brain also houses the part of the brain that's responsible for your habits. Now, the reptilian part of the brain also is responsible for survival. And here is something that's really important for people to understand is that it works from the premise that every habit that you have, is survival necessary, meaning the reason the brain actually creates habits is, number one efficiency so that, you know when you learn how to ride a bike, you don't have to keep learning how to ride a bike every time you hop on a bicycle. But the brain also learns to you know, for survival for survival reasons. So I'm going to say it again. Every habit that you have, even if it's a habit you do not desire, when you have a habit, whatever habits you have, the reptilian part of the brain works from that habit is necessary for your survival.
The thinking part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex is like "no, no more sugar and no more Diet Coke. No more lying on the couch. No more Ho-Ho's and Ding Dongs and Cheetos and no more smoking. That is bad." That's all analytical thought. But if those things are habit, the reptilian part of the brain which is responsible for sustaining habit works from whatever habits you have. I'm wanting to make sure you keep that habit because you need that habit for survival. You also have habits of self-talk, what you say to yourself all day long. Now, if you're like most people, what you've said to yourself all day today is what you said to yourself all day yesterday, and the week before and the month before and the year before. your self talk is simply habits. And the self-talk also comes from your identity and your stories, which are all unconscious as well. So you have habits of self-talk. You have habits of behavior. You have habits of belief, and you have habits of identity. I mean, whatever identity that you have unconsciously, and I'm going to use the word unconsciously and subconsciously interchangeably as I do, because people use different words even though they mean different things. Whatever identity you have, subconsciously, you've learned that through habituation. You had some experience many years ago. You made a meaning about it, you talk to yourself about the meaning. You tell yourself a story, and then you habitually tell yourself that story over and over and over and over.
So I want to cover a couple of very important points that will directly answer your question. Let's look at the oldest part of the brain, the reptilian part of the brain. That part of the brain also works from predictability. Now, every one of you listening, you know, if I were to ask you, "do you like predictability?" Whether or not you're telling a truth, I don't know. But most of you would say, "yes, I, I do like things to be predictable." Now, I found some obscure research back from the 1970s, at the University of Texas. It was in a textbook that I had, I cannot find it anymore, but this was demonstrated in research back at UT in the 70s, so what 45 years ago or so, is that the reptilian part of the brain works from predictability, which is believed to be a vestige of evolution. And when I say, predictability and a vestige of evolution, many, many years ago, if you were going to leave a cave, when we were hunters and gatherers, and if you were going to search for food, and you left the cave, you wanted some idea of how predictable it was going to be when you go out and you hunt for food, because without the predictability that you would come back safely, you would never leave the cave. So predictability keeps us safe. That's one of the reasons to answer directly why you keep falling back into your old patterns is because that part of the brain works from predictability.
And to give you a great example here, and this has all been research demonstrated. And I'm not going to go too deeply here. But let's say for example, I'm going to use a woman but it can be a man or woman. I've seen abuse on both sides and against both genders. But let's say that a woman leaves a relationship and we know that it's an abusive relationship. She's, you know, a friend, a family member, whatever. And she finally gets out of the relationship. And then what people say is, "Oh, it's so amazing that, you know, Jane got away from John because John was so abusive, and now Jane is free." And then before you know it, she's back in a relationship again with a guy like John. The reason why is that is a predictable relationship to her, even though it's not healthy and she doesn't like it, it's predictable for her. That's part of her self-identity, but because it's predictable for her, it's safe for her even though analytically it's not safe and healthy for her.
Your reptilian part of the brain, and I keep saying the oldest part of the brain just to make sure you guys understand. The reptilian part of the brain does not like change, because change is not predictable. So your prefrontal cortex, your thinking part of the brain, the part of the brain listening now definitely wants change. I mean, you want to actually become a nonsmoker and fit into size six pants or 30 inch waist blue jeans or a new job or a new home or a new car or a new relationship or whatever. You analytically want change, but your brain-based habits, that part of the brain does not want change. And that part of the brain is more powerful. The emotional part of the brain and the reptilian part of the brain are more powerful than the thinking part of the brain.
This is a reason people try to, you know, do new things and before they know it, they are right back in their old habits again. Next another reason, this was discovered also in this obscure research at UT back in the 70s. It's a concept they call disintegration anxiety. And what that means is, is that when you start to create change, and you start to see results, remember the reptilian brain works from it doesn't like change. So a defense mechanism to keep you from changing is that the brain, reptilian part of the brain, when you start getting change and creating change the reptilian part of the brain will actually give you anxiety to stop you from trying to change your behavior. This is why so many of you, you start doing things and you start making progress in some way in life and you start getting anxious. And then what you do is because you're anxious and anxiety is painful for us, what you do is you go back to the old habit. Why? Because when you go back to the old habit, what happens is the anxiety stops, because the reptilian part of the brain stops giving you anxiety. So the anxiety stops and even though you're in your old behavior and old habits, which are not your analytical preference, ah, guess what, there's no anxiety. So as long as you do not change, then you don't have the anxiety. But when you try to change and you start getting results, the reptilian part of the brain kicks in and gives you anxiety to prevent you from changing. Now, how do you get through that? Simple, and this is where most people stop. Now, as I said, let's go back to now how do you get through this? Now? How do you get through this? Well, what happens is when most of us create change, and we start experiencing the anxiety, we go back to our old ways, again, because there's no anxiety there. What we must do is continue whatever processes we're doing to move through the anxiety because the anxiety's going to want to pull you backwards again, anxiety is pain. People actually want to avoid pain and move to pleasure. And guess what, people will go back to the pleasure of not having anxiety, even though it keeps it keeps them in their old ways.
So let me give you a metaphor here. When you're flying, and you hit turbulence, and I think probably every single person listening to this podcast is flown before. When you fly and you hit turbulence, what the pilot will do is say, "you know what, we're going to punch through this. Everyone buckle up, we're going to a higher altitude." And that's what you have to do when disintegration anxiety kicks in, is you got to buckle up and continue to do what you're doing moving forward. Otherwise, anxiety will push you back down to a lower altitude again. And there, you know, I'm not going to go too far in this episode, but for me, I just move my attention, which you guys have heard me talk about a lot is move your attention because you are where your attention is. So if your attention is on your anxiety, guess what your anxiety gets stronger, and then you're excited. it repels you from moving forward and pushes you backwards again.
I'm going to make this really simple. So you're asking how come when you try to change your identity, you go back to your old habits? I want to toss it out here also, and this is the double-edged sword for us is, what is your identity relative to change? Are you a person that has an identity that believes that it's difficult to change? If you have an identity and you believe that it's difficult to change, then no matter what you do, it's going to be difficult to change. Why? Because in your identity, you have a belief system and habits that it's difficult to change. Now, that sounds exhausting, right? I mean, I get it completely. We've all been there. This is why I'm so adamant about saying that we don't get what we want in life. We get our habits and why I'm so adamant about promoting subconscious reprogramming, self-hypnosis, hypnosis because it's all medically proven, scientifically proven to help you create change in life. Let me add they're all so, let me get on a soapbox for just a moment. I know people that will say, "Well, I can't afford to go to a hypnotist." Well, really, you can't afford to go to a hypnotist, whatever they charge anywhere from, you know, $150 bucks, $75 a session maybe, to, I know a hypnotist, one of my students I think she charges $1,000 to session. Here's the reality, you can buy hypnosis audios online for $9 this day and age. Get on Amazon and look for books on self-hypnosis, subconscious reprogramming, and you won't find a whole lot on subconscious reprogramming, but you will on self hypnosis, plain and simple. I'm going to give you a little swift kick here, is you've got resources available everywhere including, which is free, youtube. I bet you there are probably 1 million videos on YouTube having to do with self-hypnosis.
So a simple answer, why you keep going back to your old patterns is because your old patterns are simply a habit. And another it's a conundrum like well how do I get out of it? Well, I just told you subconscious reprogramming. Okay, and also go back and listen to the two episodes that I'd mentioned earlier episode I think 83 and episode number 80. On habits and subconscious reprogramming. I also want to point out a gentle tip here is that you learned to be who you are. Whatever identity you have, whatever habits, you learn through consistency and repetition. When you learn to read, you learn through consistency and repetition. When you learn to walk, you learn through consistency and repetition. Every thing that you actually now do in your life habitually, you learn to do that thing through consistency and repetition. And this is how we create habits. And this is also how we create new habits, whether it be new habits of thought, new habits of behavior, new habits of identity, whatever it is, we do it through gentle consistency. The brain may pull you back, but this is where we continue to push through. What I want to emphasize here before I wrap up this episode and stay with me because I want to mention a training coming tomorrow. Consistency and attitude are vital when it comes to creating change in life. What I want to share also and I've coached so many people around the world for so many years at so many levels, is most people give it a half, a quarter, a 10th of an attempt to create change in their life. And the way you create change, as I just said, is through consistency and repetition. So a question that I have for you is, are you being consistent even though your reptilian brains going to try to pull you backwards? That's why you stay the course. That's why you buckle in. Are you being consistent? Then secondly, what is your attitude? Because your attitude is going to be vital and you creating change. So what are your thoughts and what are your beliefs and what is your attitude when you slip back into your old patterns?
What most people do is they actually what I call relapse and collapse. You relapse into the old problem and then you collapse back into the old problem. What I do is I move my attention. Now you might have heard me say that. That's one of the things I say more than anything in this podcast is where is your attention? So if you relapse and you collapse back into an old habit, where is your attention about your level of success? Because what many people will say is they will personalize it which I talked about, on the you know, in the episode on habits, is you will personalize your habits you will make them about yourself. Meaning, "oh, I am not, meaning I as a person, I am not good at XYZ. I can't do this. I always fail. I always go back to my old patterns. I always go back to my old behaviors. I'm so bad. I have no willpower." Well, you're personalizing a habit and a habit is nothing more than a habit. So to answer your question, why do you keep falling back into your old patterns? Number one is the reptilian brain likes predictability. Number two, the reptilian brains going to give you anxiety to keep you back in your old habits. And number three, it is simply a habit.
All right, it's interesting the way that things happen in the universe, but before I tell you about the next episode, mark your calendar. This is a Monday episode and on Tuesday, January 21, which is tomorrow, I'm going to be doing a training at 3pm Central Standard Time. And that whole training literally is about how I literally do what I do have the success that I have, and I do not set goals. I do not set personal goals because see, well actually just go to jimfortin.com, go to the show links get registered. I'm going to share with you how I create what I create, the abundance that I create, the life, everything that I create, and I do not set personal goals. That training is no charge. Jimfortin.com, go to the show notes, click the link and I will catch YOU on that training at 3pm Central Standard Time tomorrow.
Now when I was saying the universe, how it's interesting that it works, is I have a content calendar that my marketing team gives to me. And it's so interesting that I just, like I don't know what the next episodes are til I look at it like, you know, the week before. So this episode, I'm like, okay, what's next episode? Then I look at my content calendar. And it's so apropos that episode number 89 coming up is the title is "Your Weaknesses Aren't Trapping You. Your indoctrination and Habits are." So again, it's so synchronicitous the way the universe works, and we're talking about habits here and then I look at the next episode, and it's all about your habits are not about you. Your habits are not about your weaknesses, your habits are about your indoctrination, and whatever you have habitually at the reptilian brain level. Okay, thanks for listening and I will catch you, again please, whatever you do, get registered for the training tomorrow, there's no charge. And if you haven't been with me for any amount of time, and even if you have, I will give you a different perspective on why goal setting doesn't work and research proves it. Because see, tomorrow pretty much is, like we're in the third week of January. And research demonstrates that 92% of you have already fallen off from your goals and your New Year's resolutions. Therefore, goal setting and resolutions do not work, because people don't set goals and resolutions in the way that your brain works. So whatever you do, go to Jimfortin.com, click the show notes, get registered, and I'll catch you over on that call tomorrow. And I'll catch you on another episode. Okay, take care and do what you can to make it a great day today bye bye.
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