So, the other day I was studying for some new training that I am going through that requires me to better understand the physics of movement or biomechanics. And as I was studying my mind does what it so often does, which is to link together ideas from different areas of study or life and make correlations. For instance, I may be studying the health of a cell within a human body and relate it to the idea that each person functions as an individual cell within the mass organism of humanity…
See, weird stuff like that.
Anyways, as I was studying the idea of inertia relative to how our muscles move our body, my mind side-tracked and started thinking about readiness for change. Resistance to change is something that I am constantly working through with clients.
The words that popped in my head as I was reading about inertial forces were “emotional inertia”. Now it turns out (big surprise) that it was not an original idea but nevertheless I decided to explore the concept myself. So here is my definition or theory of emotional inertia:
“The degree of resistance to change of an individual’s emotional body is directly proportional to the mass of unreleased emotions.”
The transtheoretical model for making change has 5 stages to it: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. But it’s the ‘action’ stage I feel most people get stuck with and the reason for this I think is because of this emotional inertia.
Emotions drive us to action and propel us in a direction. But when we have amassed and held onto lots of heavy emotions we become stagnant and unable to make change.
I feel that there are primarily 2 ways that we can proactively overcome this emotional inertia.
Reduce your emotional mass – identify and release the strongest emotions around your given topic thereby freeing you to flow into the change you wish to see.
Identify a dream that is greater than your emotional inertia – the positive emotions associated with a higher purpose will work to dissolve and reduce your emotional inertia and pull you towards your goal.