Why Can’t I Change?

Many clients will ask me this question. They know they need to do something. They try, and for some reason they just cannot bring themselves to make the needed change. Why? From a logical standpoint, it would stand to reason that if they needed to do something to make their life better…they would do it! Why aren’t they doing it?

The casual observer will remark, “they really don’t want to change,” and in some way they are right…and wrong. Let me explain.

“Part of me….”

Have you ever heard yourself say, “part of me wants to go out tonight, but part of me just wants to stay home” or some variation of that theme? In fact, that is truer than you might think. We all have various aspects to our personality. Perhaps you are a mother and at the same time a daughter and an employee and jogger. If I could film you while you played with your daughter, I might see a different “side” of you as compared to you at work or when you are at a park jogging. You are the same person, but in fact this is a different aspect of who you are. The combination of all these various “parts” or aspects of your personality make up the person you think of as “you”.

Let’s say that you pick up the habit of smoking at age 17 years old. In order to develop the habit fully, you must commit it to a subconscious habit. First, you pick out the brand. You decide which hand to smoke with, whether to use a lighter or matches, how many to smoke, when to smoke (i.e, after eating, with coffee, etc.), and after a few years you have what you call a habit. If it was not for having 20 cigarettes in a pack, you might not know how many cigarettes you smoke since most of the time you are simply allowing subconscious process to take over. The “Smoker” part of you is in charge. This is a subconscious part.

Let’s say that 25 years pass, and you try to quit. You try “cold turkey” and are unsuccessful. You wonder why you cannot just stop. After all, it is bad for your health. It is expensive and socially unacceptable. Each time you try consciously you are unsuccessful.

If you were in hypnosis, and I was to ask your “Smoking” part to tell me why you smoke, you might tell me that it brings a feeling of independence or control that was derived when you first learned to smoke at age 17. So, when you have tried to quit in the past you have not found any substitute for replacing the feeling and since that part is only trained in one way (to bring you the feeling of independence through cigarette smoking) you fail to quit.

Rewriting the Program

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