Secondary Benefits
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Secondary Benefits

Why is it sometimes so difficult for us to make changes in our lives, even positive ones that we feel certain we want to make?  Things like losing weight, quitting bad habits, or leaving a job or relationship that simply isn't working would appear to be improvements that we certainly desire, but, often, even when we decide to make the shift, somehow something sabotages us.
Often there is what's known as a secondary benefit at play, a belief deeply buried in our subconscious mind that the thing we know consciously isn't good for us actually serves some beneficial purpose.
Let's say you want to lose weight and you make up your mind to stick to a healthier diet in addition to getting more exercise.  Perhaps you even join a gym, knowing that, if you're paying for it, surely you'll go at least a few times a week so you don't waste your money.  Maybe you find that, for a few days or weeks, you're able to stick with your plan, and it makes you feel really good about yourself.  But, then, things start getting in the way: it's too cold outside; you have something else to do; it doesn't seem like dieting is working very well, anyway, so you might as well eat what you want.
What the heck is going on?  You made the decision to do it.  You had a plan.  You stuck to it for some time.  Why is it failing now?
It's quite likely that your subconscious mind -- the area where things happen automatically and below the level of your awareness -- thinks being overweight serves some purpose for you.  Perhaps it's afraid that, if you lose the weight, you'll lose your identity.  Maybe it's thinking that if you're successful, then you'll have to deal with people being more attracted to you, and that would be uncomfortable for it.  It might even be afraid you'll starve to death.

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