When Change Feels Inauthentic

Someone who's taking the Big Change Program Test Drive commented that she dislikes having to use rules, lists, and checkboxes to manage her eating. It feels unnatural and inauthentic to her.

Why can't healthy eating be natural and effortless, the way it seems to be for all the other animals? Why is it necessary to impose rigid structures on our dietary behaviors?

Great question. And it got me thinking about the last time I felt unnatural and inauthentic. Here's what I wrote back:

As my friend Peter Bregman points out, the challenge with “authentic” is that we feel inauthentic when we try to change anything that's deep-seated. Let's say I'm gruff and dismissive with colleagues, and I hear about it in my performance review, so I try to be more caring and inclusive. That new way of being feels “inauthentic.”

stick-shiftI just learned how to drive manual transmission. I didn't like how incompetent I felt. How much I had to focus on clutch, what gear am I in, what are the RPMs, what's the slope I”m on, etc.

Compared to how naturally and effortlessly I drive automatic, it was exhausting – and I missed out on the wonderful scenery because I was concentrating so hard on an unnatural activity.

But once I got it – once I got through the “conscious incompetence” stage and mastered the stick shift – then I could enjoy driving again. Enjoy it even more, because stick shift is fun, and I can drive vehicles that were off limits to be before that.

Does that make sense?

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