Whether starting a New Year, or just starting up/starting over, there is nothing more frustrating than realizing you are dealing once again with a situation that you thought, you swore, and you were absolutely certain you had dealt with already, even more than once! It can be enough to make you use language not suitable for all ages while you gnash your teeth and clench your fists. Let’s face it, life has enough ups and downs, and when you are stressed out because you seem to be caught in some kind of loop, the downs can feel that much lower.
Ok, maybe it’s not quite so dramatic for you, but you get my point. Please take solace in the fact that you are not alone. This happens to all of us and it happens more often than any of us would like. Rather than attempt to make any part of this wrong, we’ve all done enough of that already; it’s my goal to transform the way you and I look at this challenges that continues to show up over and over again. I believe that if we can change how we feel about this happening, then real, permanent change becomes possible.
Let’s first understand that you and I are creatures of habits and patterns; that is human nature. And some of these habits serve us. At their core, habits are there because of a belief we have that makes that habit true for us. Because of this belief, a series of choices are made. Those choices have reinforced said belief, providing evidence over and over again that what is believed is the truth, until it literally becomes so. After the belief has been reinforced multiple times, over time, we become absolutely certain that it is the way it is. Thus, a habit is not only born, but also strengthened. Unfortunately, as this belief roots within us, we literally lose track of where the belief itself came from. In essence, we are on autopilot.
As an entrepreneur and a woman dealing with every aspect of life, habits influence everything from your relationships to the level of business you are capable of achieving. For many, financial health can be secured or denied by a simple habit that is buried so deeply you don’t even know it’s there. This is how important it is to understand what your habits are, why they are there, and how they developed to begin with.
Good habits are those that serve you. Getting up on time, showing up for your family, and taking care of them. Setting objectives for your business and putting in the effort vs. making excuses, and/or getting yourself to yoga, or walking daily vs. staying sedentary. There are good habits and you want to keep them. That seems obvious, right? However, sometimes – more often than you might think, we let good habits go when the bad ones get in the way.
When it comes to identifying and defining your bad habits, I think it’s only fair to state that bad habits are only bad because they are judged to be so. And because most of the time, as things unfold, you don’t care for the results and you end up feeling bad about yourself. Reframing the idea of “bad” however is the first step to loosening the grip this could have on your life. Acceptance without categorizing is recommended. I have discovered that using a benign expression like “interesting” can allow for less of an emotional attachment to the good, or the bad habits.
To begin to create shifts in your habits, paying attention to how you feel is extremely important. A simple rule (excuse the expression) to follow is that ‘if it doesn’t feel good, that’s an indicator that you are off track to some degree.’ Also, it shows you what you might want to pay attention to, and perhaps consider doing a deep dive over, a term I like to use indicating the need for inner work. Let’s not mistake simple and easy, however, as they are not related. I’m asking you to pay attention to how you feel in a world where what you think is deemed far more important.
Here is how it works, stated as clearly as I can. When it comes to your feelings: when you feel good, great, you are on track, keep doing what you are doing. When you feel less than good than the degree you feel “bad,” is the degree to which you are off track and perhaps not in the highest alignment with things that bring you happiness, success, and prosperity.
When you discover you are in a place you’d rather not be or have taken a left turn without thinking about it, it’s because of a habit repeating, yet again. It’s important to remember not to freak out, or otherwise be angry with yourself. Disengage for any dramatic response as quickly as possible. Through the act of loving forgiving and accepting yourself exactly as you are, the fallout, which at times can be dire, is not only lessened, sometimes it can be avoided entirely.
Once you’ve managed to remain calm, observe the situation the same way you would watch a movie from the front row. You can see everything that’s happening, but with a little bit of space between you and the screen. This gives you the ability to see things with greater clarity. As you do this, make a habit of asking yourself, “what’s really going on here?” If you choose to take a deeper dive and follow the path to the belief system that is supporting the habit, then you will want to continue to explore its source when you have felt this way before.
Most important, whether you address this at the moment, or you take time to seek out the source of it, it’s not just about what’s going on. It’s about a rather odd question, which is, “What does this say about me?” I realize that what may be happening involves other people, situations, circumstances and perhaps even seemingly random happenings, but I assure you, it all comes back to your beliefs and the resulting habits.
By sharing this with you I realize you may feel as though I’m pointing a finger at you. I promise you I’m not. What I’m attempting to do is position you firmly in the driver’s seat of your life vs. the patterns and habits, fueled by beliefs, that don’t serve you. It’s not always fun to be one hundred percent responsible and accountable of all things happening in and around you, yet the moment you do, everything becomes possible!
When you ultimately discover what lies at the root of the habit that does not serve you, you have the power to determine whether or not what that habit says about you is true or not. Once you have decided you’d rather not support it, and continue to see it replay in your life and/or business, you have the right to decide what you would prefer to replace it with. Awareness is key. Knowing how you are feeling is essential to that awareness.
Always remember, we are all creatures of habit and patterns, but this doesn’t mean we have to become stuck in old habits repeating themselves over and over again. We don’t have to become stuck in any place or space in our lives. The secret, however, is understanding the source of the habit will give you the freedom to choose what you prefer and build a better habit. Habits do not just disappear. They can, however, be replaced with new and better ones ensuring your best possible outcome.