Habits that hold you back
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
When life lacks meaning and purpose, when we run on automatic, negative pilot, it is no surprise that
key areas of life become unsuccessful – from health and well-being, to finances and relationships.
Pursuing a life of purpose is the key to an authentic, fulfilling life. Positive habits of believing,
thinking, and acting are essential. How do your habits support you?
Sometimes we need to begin at what’s not working, what’s holding us back, what’s draining our energy.
Being constantly attached to cell phones and laptops, and spending your days pursuing a life based on
what others think of you or believe you “should” be doing, will simply take you away from what fires
your soul. It is not your life but someone else’s that you are leading. And it becomes habitual.
So is it T-Factor time, (Time for a change to owned responsibility) is it time for some honest reflection,
is it time to sort out what you need less of and aspire to have more of? Is it time to identify what are
your ineffective habits - negative beliefs that hold you b ack, negative thinking that brings you down, and
negative behaviours and actions that lead to where you are and not where you'd like to be.
If life is not successful
Don't stay here
The quiet reflection necessary to uncover your inner truths can seem unnatural or uncomfortable. To most it is certainly unfamiliar. But, in order to find your life of meaning, health, and well-being, you have to spend time alone, thinking about your thinking and how habitual it hasbecome. Only you can do this work. Are you willing? We all have 24 hours in a day and can decide how best to create the space for this important work.
Here we present habitual ways we stay stuck, and what we could do about it.
Bad habits lead us to unsuccessful outcomes
Imagine each of us every night is topped up with one hundred units of energy
to use wisely on the day we wake up.
But the day arrives and we stumble into it, unplanned and mostly unthinking,
it takes over, and we simply react, through habit; we always do as we’ve always
done. We think the same thoughts in the new day as we did the previous day.
Our level of consciousness, our awareness is low. Then we are surprised that
nothing changes, we keep getting the same results.
If you keep taking pain killers without addressing what causes the pain, you will
keep getting pain and keep taking ever-more pain killers and in time they will
become less effective because your body has become habituated to them and then
potentially they do more harm than good.
So here are some hard hitting truths.
Do you spend time doing things right
… but not necessarily the right things?
I have found this with well meaning parents who seek to do everything 100% well for their children without realising that sometimes the right thing is to let the child learn, make a mistake, fail, fall, and take some tough feedback from life. Then when the kids don't "shape up” the parent gets upset – but they are only upset at the fact that their own expectation, which they firmly held on to, has not been met.
The same with health. You may diligently buy good fresh food, prepare a sumptuous meal with great attention to detail, thinking you are doing all the right things, but totally miss that it is not the right food for you. The foods may be too high in sugar, in insulin, or ar carcinogenic or cause inflammation.
Are you lazy?
Apologies if I offend; I ask that for effect. So my apologies if you are the most hard working person ever. But …
Oh yes. Ouch! I’ve seen this time after time, in myself and in my clients. If self-growth and development requires hard graft, we would rather stay with the familiar and slouch on the couch. We can read books or websites with wonderful ideas as to how to deal with our limiting beliefs but these resources cannot do the work for us. Always, we must convert knowledge to action - WE have to do the work! But many people just can’t be bothered. Or they start out, expect immediate results, and don’t get it that like a planted seed, with nurture and care, it will grow and blossom in its own natural time. But in their impatience people quit too soon. Patience takes effort!
I have many clients and friends with medical conditions that could be ameliorated through eg a change in lifestyle or change in diet but they almost defiantly insist they will stay with the conventional medical model, despite all the evidence shows it isn't working. But to change requires effort - effort to research the changes needed, effort to learn new ways, effort to commit and stay with the new programmes. It's really not that they are choosing the medical model because they have thought about it, subconsciously they really just can't be bothered. And they develop the habit of constantly visiting with their doctor, using his or her time, resources, getting prescriptions they either never take or that do not work because habitually the root cause is never assessed.
Physical miracles are few and we need to give up needing the quick-fix, the instantaneous result, the rapid healing, there's only the conventional model, mentality. We need to be open to taking time and making the effort to developing new habits.
If you are seeking a miracle, perhaps, first, put effort into creating a miraculous shift in the way you think, how you think, and what you think about.
Where in your life are you not showing up for you, not committing to action, being lazy?
What are you resisting and what lies underneath that resistance?
Ambition and success are sabotaged by laziness. could that be you?
Is ignorance really bliss? Ignorance is not knowing what we don’t know!
So many of us operate on flimsy information; we operate on what we “think” and our thinking is mostly flawed and seldom based, when it comes to health and well-being, on the fullest of information. Our heads are full of misinformation and myths and habitua ways of responding we call our reasoned thoughts. So often I have had clients who have rejected an idea without even being open to hearing about it or exploring it to find out the relevant information.
You owe it to yourself and your well-being to make decisions based on good quality information, even if that means not being lazy and spending time to acquire it, to checking and double checking. And that process may also be a new habit for you.
Would you rather blame others?
Rather than take responsibility for our lives, we blame others. “It’s the kids that prevent me from having time for myself.” “I’m so busy at work.” “I don’t have time because I am on so many committees.” Ask – who creates this dynamic in life? It is you. And it comes mostly from habitual thoughts but we fail to see it as a habitual patterned way of thinking. Notice your patterns of thinking and aim to weed out and replace the ones that are working against you.
Do you avoid asking the hard questions? (Let al one listen to the tough answers?)
So often our life lacks the right answers - because we do not have the habit of asking the right questions.
So often we fail to ask searching questions because we are reluctant to find the answers. The truth scares us.
But asking questions is often more important than the answers they bring! Writing out your questions and thoughts reinforces them in your subconscious and conscious mind and allows your sub-conscious mind to go to work on solution finding whilst you go about other business, especially when sleeping.
Asking questions of the Divine is especially productive. God, Lord, Spirit, Source - show me what this is about? Show me what you would have me know, how you would have me change, how Love would have me serve. But statistics tell us we have lost the habit of communing with the Divine, the god of our understanding, our Higher power. And Einstein reminds us that we will never solve a problem by thinkning at the same level of consciousness with which we created it. Again, the message, we need a new way, a new habit of thinking
Honest, authentic, self-exploration and reflection, self-examination, is key to taking ourselves out of the life we don’t want into the one we do. But this is not about a mind-analysis; it is also about “allowing” awareness, allowing information to come to mind rather than searching for it. The left hemisphere of your brain does the former, seek and analyse, the right, the latter, be open and creative to new ideas. So you need develop a new habit, of finding moments of time when you can relax and just be. Remember, you decide how you spend your 24 hours each day!
Your process will take many forms, but as a starting point, sit with yourself — alone — and ask the following questions and allow the answers to come, in the moment or even later when you are preoccupied with something else. Commit to taking the logical, rational mind out of this process and focus on your heart’s desires, your intuitive brain. Be sure to write what you receive. Being patient and allowing this new habit, way of being almost, takes time.
It’s highly advisable to get out in nature to do this exercise; nature can help put things into perspective, as well as inspire and relax.
What are your passions in life?
Initially nothing may come in response and that’s okay. Remember, asking the question is key – answers come later.
What ignites you or stokes the fire in your belly? It could be music, acts of kindness, advocating for social justice, dance, art, philosophical debates, creating social change, fighting for the underdog, sports, colour and shapes, gardening, or writing - to name but a few.
If there were no limits, no constraints, and you held no limiting beliefs, how might you redesign your life? What would you want to experience in life? Be in life? See in life? Serve through life? If not here - then where?
How will you begin NOW? What small steps can you take right now that will bring you closer to your ideal life? (Delaying until tomorrow is another sabotaging habit.)
Once you discover what activities and goals invigorate you, incorporate them into your life on a daily or weekly basis and keep repeating and strengthening them. As Dr Joe Dispenza says, to bed in the new habit we have to keep repeating our new thoughts, new beliefs, and new behaviours.
If a new, clean, fresh, unprocessed diet makes you feel more vigorous, clearer of mind, focussed, and energetic – build on it; make it the new habit. This may involve, too, developing new habits of writing our shopping lists, how you shop, how your prepare food, and how informed and up-to-date you are on wisdom nutrition.
Are you sitting on a gold mine and haven’t noticed?
I’ve often read in various sources that most of us use only about 10% of our potential; how they know that I don’t know but the notion resonates. I meet many people who have wonderful unique gifts, strengths and talents yet feel impoverished and hold themselves back from using such richness.
And that becomes their habit of how they relate to money. They deny their gifts and talents and so sabotage their potential for financial wealth.
So often our subconscious habitual limiting beliefs hold us back and sabotage our best of plans. We need to bring them into conscious awareness, perhaps by making time and space for contemplation and meditation, to allow what lies in the subconscious to come into conscious thinking.
We are potential beyond belief. When we know that, we can change so many habits.
Have you embraced your unique gifts and strengths?
Often we habitually think “I can’t” because we believe we have nothing to offer, are unskilled, don’t know how etc. But in reality until we start, we don’t know what we can or cannot do.
I once knew I had to set up a charity, I felt it like a passion. But for a few days I became aware I was telling myself, “I know nothing, I don’t have the skills, who am I to do this?” For about 72 hours those thoughts became my habitual thoughts and all they did was reinforce "I can't" and I almost sabotaged the whole project.
But once I committed, changed and repeated new thoughts of "I can" "I am able" "I see a successful organisation" my talents and strengths came to the fore and what I didn’t know, I found out. I had a post card on my desk which had the quote:-
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”
W H Murray
In short, when YOU commit, without doubt or hesitancy, the Universe kicks in to support you….whether the issue is achievement, health, success, business, relationships. Your part is to say "I can" and bring in new thought habits.
The key is to get started.
So what talents, gift, and strengths, do you bring to this world? What uniqueness sets you apart from others? Yes, there may be many managers, but how many with honesty, integrity, compassion, and heart? How might you use your richness, your mine’s jewels, for a greater good?
Celebrate your individuality and the all you have to offer. There's no one else who can do what you can do, or be what you can be.
Are you rudderless, lacking a personal sat-nav?
Most of us wander through life, taking each day as it comes, just reacting and responding habitually. We are seldom conscious, we are asleep. “This is how I’ve always done it.” So thinking and doing the same each day means we just get the same results.
Some may set New Year’s resolutions – then promptly fall back on old habits because they have not yet learned the processes needed for growing and maintaining the new. It's often said it takes roughly 21 - 28 days regular repeating to bed in a new habit.
Few set personal goals for life and life’s segments – health, relationships, finances, spirituality, movement, development etc.That habit is a surefire way to non-success.
So, set sail with a new routine.
No one gets from point A to point B in a straight line — zigs and zags are the norm, not the exception. After all a ship’s captain or airline pilot would never dream of just showing up and hoping for the best; they’d have a detailed route plan to get from A to B, resources they’d need, obstacles they might face, storms they might weather, and including what to do in emergencies to pull them back on course.
The first manned Apollo mission to the moon (Apollo 8) was almost aborted because the engineers could not solve the problem of how to keep the rocket on course. Their best efforts meant it would only be on course, on target, 20% of the time. Being off course 80% of the time is not a comfortable idea. The breakthrough came when the NASA engineers changed the way they looked at the problem. Instead of trying hard to stay on course all the time, they focused on developing technology that allowed them to make constant small course corrections. Throughout its flight it was indeed off course 80% of the time, but they kept bringing it back on course and hit their target within 12 feet on their first attempt to put a man on the moon.
And that is what we must do; we will sin, ie go off target, but we need to find ways daily to come back on course.
Planning for the day should begin the night before…. You are likely to be in a better mental frame and this will also aid better sleeping and rest. This may require getting used to a new habit.
Begin your day by getting centred, by meditating, setting strong intentions not just for outcomes but for how you will feel when these have been achieved, visualising your day ahead working out successfully, preferably in segments, and tuning in to your Divine connection , through prayer if it is your way, to seek Divine inspiration and guidance, positivity and protection.
Include positive mantras and success affirmations
Some examples could be:
Today, I move through each project with ease and accomplishment
Today I live in balance
Today, I take time to be grateful for every achievement
Today I adopt an “I can” approach to life
Today I feel joy in each moment of now
Today everything I touch and do turns to success
Today I emit positive vibrations to all
Today I treat everyone I meet with love and respect.
Write down your intentions to reinforce and make them more powerful.
Do you sabotage yourself?
Put another way – you are your own worst enemy, you get in your own way, your thinking is negative, your subconscious beliefs are limiting, you make excuses, if it requires effort you can’t be bothered, you feel it’s best to stay with what you know, the familiar, even if it isn’t working in your best interests.
Some examples of negative self-talk, often mostly sub-conscious, ie it has come to be a habitual way of talking to yourself, go something like this: -
It is what it is - there's nothing to be done. (What, absolutely nothing?)
I’m not worthy – I have nothing to offer, what can little me do etc (That's the habit of victim thinking)
I don’t deserve – who am I to succeed, to achieve, to be prosperous, successful, abundant?
I don’t have time – the ability, the confidence, I’m shy, you're much more clever than I am etc
Do you protest too much that you know it all? That no-one knows better than you? That you always have to be right?
This usually means you deny you have a spiritual, intuitive, creative side as if life is to be lived only by the body and brain or through logical and egoic, “little me” processes.
You are a whole human being. You are a spark of divinity. There is nowhere the divine is not. Why would it be in some and not others, regardless of your beliefs?
You need to use all your inner resources, not just a tiny part of your thinking brain. This means opening up to your intuition, your inner guide, your spirit, your Soul. And it is NOT about religion. But it is hugely about changing habits of belief, faith, Love, and of doing.
At present you probably aren’t listening to that still, faint voice within that is more powerful than any sat nav you can buy.
You need to take time each day to just be in silence and allow yourself to listen to it. You don’t sit there and say, “Right I’m listening.” And seconds later say, “I am not hearing you!” because you are expecting to hear in an audible way.
That faint voice speaks in myriad ways – through sudden insights, nudges, synchronistic moments, an idea suddenly comes to mind and you “just know” it feels right, it “speaks” in brevity – no long sentences or loads of information.
When you hear and heed the desires of your soul, begin to design your ideal life around them.
Ignoring them will lead to frustration and bitterness and continued lack of health, prosperity, success and so forth.
Admit - you are not in control! You can never know it all! Remind yourself each day ... "Above all, let it be Thy will, not mine."
But what keeps these negative habits running?
Our patterns (habits) of negative, grumpy thinking are not what we were born with. They are habits we form based on old, well-practised, oft repeated thoughtstill they become automatic cognitive (ie ways of thinking) routines. And we think them hundreds of times a day, mostly unconsciously.
These patterns are motivated (usually ineffectively) by the goal or need to escape or avoid distressing feelings or problematic life situations.
They persist because we have over the years developed a kind-of mental, software programme which was installed by at least seven years old and now drives us sub-consciously and is characterised by a number of features.
We live on “automatic pilot” (we react automatically, through knee-jerk reactions, rather than with awareness and informed, conscious choice).
We relate to our experiences by thinking about them (rather than contemplating, sensing, feeling the experience – we try to think it through and working it out, analysing till paralysing!).
We dwell in the past, running things over and over or fearing over the future (rather than being fully in the present moment, coming into a state of empowerment from which to make wise decisions).
We try to avoid, escape, or get rid of unpleasant experience (rather than lean into it, approach it with curiosity or an intention to learn from it instead of judging it).
We quickly need things to be different from how they are (rather than allowing them to be just as they are). If you palliate your pain, numb it and dumb it, you will not learn from it. All pain is a messenger.
We believe what we think is the truth of an experience (whereas it is only your take and your thoughts! EG Two friends are looking out and observing the wind blowing and rain falling. One says, “I’m not going out in that. It’s dreadful. We’ll get horribly wet.” The other says, “Lets dress up, head out and feel the wind on our faces, and scatter the swirling leaves. Let’s grab our umbrellas!” One sees horrible and wet the other an opportunity for adventure.
Would you like to step out of and stay out of these negative thought cycles?
The good news is, you can
Make divine connection a priority. Be in silence, pray, meditate, surrender your concern. Seek inspiration and guidance.
Love the situation and ask what Love would have you do? How would things be different if you saw your situation through Love and not small-self, ego?
Inform yourself, consider your options, and only then make a deliberate choice
Be willing to step into the feeling and experience and sense what it is trying to teach you, what is your gut sense, what is your intuition saying, what are you scared of?
Cease ruminating in the past, constantly analysing, or fantasising the future “what iffing – what if this goes wrong, what if people don’t like me, what if I fail”etc etc Come back into present time – now this is the situation, what is the best possible solution I have at this time?
Stop palliating or denying your experience or putting sellotape over it. Ask yourself, “I wonder what this is really about? What need I do now?
Give yourself a reality check – so you’ve said on our wet weather day, “This is really horrible.” But is it? Horrible?
Face the situation, embrace it for what it is, then choose with what you might replace it and then how you might do it
Remind yourself “My thoughts are not facts necessarily based in truth!”
Do I know in truth that this is so (that this is a horrible day!)
Double check – is it absolutely true (that the day itself is horrible – or is it just wet and windy? But horrible?
How does this thought (it is horrible) make me feel and what is it stopping me from doing?
What would things be like, how different could things be, if I didn’t hold this thought (that the day is horrible?) In this case you could dress up appropriately, go out have some fun, you could join in the adventure, you could share with a friend, you may make their day!
Allocate some personal time for reflection and growth work.
This is designed to free you from the shackles that bind you to a life of less than and move towards a world of more than.
You’ll need a pen and paper, or you can do this on an appropriate electronic device.
Take ten minutes at least to allow to come to your awareness answers to the following questions:-
What excuses are you making for your current state of life?
Who do you blame for your poor health, poor circumstances, lack of success?
Is it true they caused that?
Where are you being lazy?
Where are you making decisions based on really not being informed, not knowing?
What holds you back?
What is your part in creating that?
Eg “Not having enough money” is not the real answer. The real answer lies somewhere in the decisions you make about money, your attitude to it, the quality of your thinking around money, how you earn it, how you manage it.
The real answer is not, “My poor health.” Sure, at a given point it may be holding you back but the questions are rather – who created the poor state of health, how did you contribute to it (you may not be 100% responsible.) Sure you may have “caught” a virus, but did you in any way contribute to weakening your immune system that meant it could not fight off the invader?
What are some of your negative, limiting beliefs?
Take an area of your life eg health, money, relationships, leisure etc and right down what is wrong or lacking in that area.
Now be brutally honest – what beliefs do you hold, have been conditioned into you perhaps since childhood, that maintain that negative situation?
For example: -
I’ll never amount to anything?
What’s the point of even trying?
Nothing ever changes.
It’s all a waste of time.
Life is for losers.
I can’t because xxx and note the excuses. Challenge, “Is that really true that I can’t because xxx?”
I can’t heal myself, I’m not a financial expert, I’m no good at relationships
It’s all down to my parents
It’s up to the government, my doctor, the authorities to solve that
It’s not my fault.
Above all develop a new habit of being more aware and better informed
Don’t wait; start now and commit to building the habit of being more aware – of what’s going on around you and within you.
Set an intention to become aware of how you automatically react to different things in your life.
For example, how do you react when your phone rings, (do you panic, do you ignore and disrespect others in your presence and automatically answer the call, do you notice who is calling and make an informed choice as to whether or not to pick up etc?)
How do you react when travelling, by train, by car, at an airport, what are your stressors, how aware are you of them, how do you use your awareness to plan ahead?
How aware are you of fear? What’s that about? How can you learn from fear?
And how aware are you of love – its presence or absence? Do you withhold love? Do you make it conditional?
How aware are you of cause and effect in your relationships, how your behaviour triggers reactions, good or not so good, in others? How do your attitudes seep through? Do you talk at or talk with people? What is the effect?
How do you react to anger or fear in someone else? How do you react to your own anger or fear?
How aware are you of the messages your body is sending you? How do you read signs and symptoms? Do you ignore or act on them?
How consciously do you create health and well-being or do you just let things happen?
Become a witness to your own life. Pay attention to how you do things. How conscious are you when you shop? How mindfully do you eat?
The awareness habit means you regularly need to
STOP and PAY ATTENTION
as well moment by moment and notice the feedback the Universe is giving you that you need to make some changes.
Take off ...
life enhancing beliefs
The Smart Habit Guide: 37 Small Life Changes
Websites / videos
Dr Joe Dispenza
How we form habits
and the effects of
This is quite a deep but well-explained video. Prepare to listen closely.