Today’s post is continuing on the theme of habits.
In my last post I spoke about how habits can hold your development back. I shared a story about weaning my son from his habit of dummy sucking, including how it was holding his development back, his struggle and how we stepped him through it. Click here to read my previous post.
Habits are uncomfortable to change, because they lack the familiarity that you’re used to. However you cant always keep doing it the same old way. Sometimes you need to find a new way … especially if you want to achieve goals. .
Changing Circumstances May Require New Habits
Just as Charlie didn’t have a choice about his dummy being removed, you too will face times where your choices have been taken away. You might not get to choose a change in circumstances, but you do have a choice as to how you handle that change in circumstances. When these times appear you can fight or you can embrace the opportunity. You can be a victim or victor. Weak or empowered. At each step you have choices.
Here are some of the basic changes my son went through when his circumstances changed, which meant he no longer had access to the old habit:
- Happily sucking his dummy for comfort
- Resisting a change he didn’t ask for it
- The discomfort and struggle of withdrawing from the old way
- Acting out his anger dissatisfaction, including oscillating between go away and come here
- Adjusting to not having it readily available (yet would willingly take it back in a heartbeat)
- A new normal; developing with residual attachment
How long before the attachment drops away altogether? … That remains to be seen – he still asks for it a few times most days.
Evolving Out of Old Habits
If you want to achieve your goals, then you need to evolve your ways of operating in alignment with your goals.
Just like Charlie, you have habits which help you to feel comfortable. Each one has been adopted at some point in time because the strategy as worked for you – it helped you to operate in a certain way or achieve a certain outcome you wanted. Then you repeated it and repeated it, utilising it routinely and automatically, without thinking.
At various points in your life you will find that your old habits are no longer serving you. For example they may be:
- Outdated – there may be more modern options available
- Having a detrimental effect which can’t be ignored (like my son’s dental bite problem). Or
- Preventing your progress, growth and achievement of new results.
Once you recognise this, have the courage to confront and evolve.
Habits Required for Success
Achieving new goals (or old goals which haven’t yet been achieved) requires you to find new wsays of doing things. You can’t expect to continue all your old habits, addictions and patterns and still expect to get new results.
Instead you’ll need to do things differently. You’ll need to learn new habits – ones which are aligned with your goals. You’ll need to adjust your mindset, emotions and actions. And it will take work to start the process, implement it and make it the new normal.
Changing Habits is Uncomfortable
Habits are comfortable – they have worked for you in the past so it gives you a level of certainty. And, you’ve repeated them off enough that they are automatic.
Change is uncomfortable because it lacks the familiarity your’re used to – your new pattern of action is different and doesn’t just flow automatically. Therefore it can feel unfamiliar, clunky and unnatural. You have to retrain yourself repeatedly until the new way becomes your normal was of operating, automatically.
Failing to get started in the first place, or stopping before it’s an ingrained habit will just reinforce the old habits – and you’ll continue to get the same old results.
Breaking Through Old Habits
You can break through your old habits, addictions and patterns – and you must if you want to progress and achieve your goals and dreams.
3 Important Questions
Here’s 3 important questions to ask your self if your serious about breaking through so you can achieving more success:
- What important goal/s are you’re working on?
- What habits, addictions or patterns are slowing you down or blocking your progress?
- How are you going to change these limiting habits, addictions or patterns?
Breaking Through Old Habits
You can break through your old habits, addictions and patterns by:
- Clarifying the habits of thinking, feeling and actioning which require breakthrough
- Connecting with your motivations for breaking through
- Educating yourself on how to breakthrough
- Implementing the activities required to breakthrough
- Removing conscious and sub-conscious blocks to breaking through
Doing it yourself is one option. This option can be done by very rewarding. However it can also be a very long and arduous journey with a big learning curve, as you navigate all the unknown territory.
Speeding Up The Breakthrough Process
If you are struggling to get the breakthrough you want, or want to speed up the breakthrough process, then work with someone who already has the knowledge, experience and resources to
assist you. You’ll get the support you need to make progress towards your goals. In the long run you can save a lot of time, effort and often money
If you have some important goals to achieve and would like some help to break through your habits, so you can achieve different results, please contact me. I’d love to talk to you about what’s holding you back and how you can get your breakthrough.
Breaking through old habits, addictions and patterns is uncomfortable, however it’s an essential part of achieving your goals
What action step will you take today to improve your habits and advance your goals achievements?
Habits are something that affect all of us. They can support our development or they can hold us back. And that’s the focus of today’s blog post “Habits That Hold Back Your Development”
Lessons From A Dummy
Recently we’ve gone through the process of weaning Charlie from his “dummy” (or “pacifier”) habit. In the early days it was used as an occasional strategy, when he was in a heightened state of upset.
Concerned about the frequency some family members popped it into his mouth, I spoke to the pediatrician about it at a consultation on another matter. He said it was better for Charlie to use the dummy than his finger as that habit created dental problems. He also pointed out that fingers are always there and instantly accessible, while a dummy is much easier to remove at some point.
After weaning him off breast feeding he wanted it more. I saw that it was a partial replacement for what was no longer available to him. Then a few months later I was travelling with a friend and Charlie was in unfamiliar territory, so I let Charlie have it more as a form of comfort and familiarity. On returning home he started asking for it more and more and some family members obliged.
We then started making conscious effort to reduce access to the dummy because he was getting too attached to the habit. When we went out we’d get him to leave it in the car (he liked having it in the car). But at home he was insistent about having it a lot of the time. We then started putting it out of reach (he was able to get it himself off lower surfaces) periodically during the day.
Recently I took him to the dentist for his first checkup. I was told that his bite had become crooked because of his dummy habit, particularly on one side(because he sucked the dummy more on that side). She said that it was still developing, and that it would take around 12 months to correct. Or longer, if he continued using the dummy. She encouraged me to get him off the habit as soon as possible. And, reinforced the message by saying that, if it wasn’t done before his next lot of teeth came through, that jaw surgery would be the only way to correct it. Yikes! OK so that was a big incentive, and became the catalyst for speeding up the process!
The first step was to withdraw it during the day, and only for sleeping. Of course he didn’t take to kindly to the change. It took a full on 3 days of howling for him to settle down. He oscillated between being cross and pulling back from me and being really clingy. It was wearing but giving in would have made the problem worse.
The next week I withdrew it for his day sleep. He asked for it but only made a small amount of fuss.
One night, about a week later before heading away for a week, I encouraged him to try going to sleep without it in the evening. He obliged without much fuss at all. I repeated it for the next few nights including while away. Yay!
He still asks for it most days somewhere along the way. More often when he’s tired or feeling unsettled – naturally, it had been a form of comfort to him.
If a two year old, with a relatively short habit takes that amount of time to adjust, you can understand why it takes us adults so long to adapt to change and ween off our addictions. We’ve usually had our habit, addiction or pattern for a lengthy period of time …
Attachments Become Habit Forming
Reflecting on this story of weaning my son off his dummy habit, got me thinking about how we attach comfort to people, things and situations. And the more we repeat our use and reliance on them, the more the attachment and habit forming they become.
Habits Shape Your World
Whether you’re aware of it or not, your habits are shaping your world. They are creating everything that’s in your life and the results you are experiencing.
To change the shape of your world and to achieve more of your goals, you need to work on your habits. You need to identify the habits which are limiting your capacity to achieve results, and replace them with habits that will will assist you in being successful.
Habits Hold Back Your Development
Over time the costs and benefits of continuing a habit may change. A habit that starts out as a reasonable solution, may turn out to be detrimental down the track.
We may be oblivious to the changes. Or we might be aware because symptoms are starting to appear or get worse. For example in you may start seeing changes in your health, relationships, business or finances. It may be simply that you’ve hit a ceiling and are struggling to make in inroads or progress with your goals. Or it could be that someone has pointed it out to you – like the dentist pointed out Charlie’s crooked bite problem.
Take a few moments now to reflect on your important goals and your habits.
What habits do you have that are :
- Interfering with your growth and development – whether that be physical, mental spiritual or emotional?
- Diminishing your confidence and courage?
- Reducing your progress and goal success?
Reshaping Your Habits for Success
Having reflected on the habits which are holding you back (see above), take some time now to create a plan for how you will reshape your habits. Then empower yourself by starting to implement your plan.
Reshaping your habits is an essential part of achieving your goals. So take at least one action step today to start reshaping your habits for success
PS Want some help to reshape your habits so you can achieve more of your goals and dreams? If so, please contact me and we’ll chat about the next step – I’d love to support you.
Conscious living is about moving out of automatic pilot and on to greater awareness of “one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts and surroundings”. It’s about taking control of your life, thinking about your decisions, making conscious choices about how to live your life; it’s about having a life that you want rather than settling for the one that just happens to you.
Today’s video contains an 8 minute portion of an hour talk on the topic of “Pathways To Conscious Living”. Watch it to hear the perspectives of Joe Dispenza (author: “Evolving Your Brain”), Marilyn Schiltz (author: Living Deeply), Dr JJ Hirtak (author: The End of Suffering) and Desiree Hurtak (Founder: the Academy of Future Science).
Below are just a few of the key points discussed in the video: [Read more…]
Change is an inevitable part of life and achieving goals – yet people often resist it. Why?
Watch this fun video to gain some insights into why people resist change.
Resistance to change is an unwillingness to let go of current ways of thinking and acting. [Read more…]