In a recent questionnaire, a participant named his biggest obstacle to weight loss as follows: ‘Overcoming Habits’. To paraphrase a saying, first you make your habits, and then your habits make you, so, where to start to make a change? Transforming a habit takes time, practice, and accessing inner motivators that support you on your journey.
‘Overcoming Habits' needs to be rephrased in order to change the focus of attention to what we really want. Overcome is described as ‘to surmount a physical or abstract obstacle, to prevail over, to get the better of, to win (a battle).’ With this outlook, the focus is on an impending doom of sorts, at least many of us feel that way when thinking of entering a battle. Will it hurt? Will I win? Am I ready? Is my opponent stronger than I? Do I have the right weapons, strategies and talents? What if I lose?
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No wonder we avoid it. Take a moment to think about how this phrase can be rewritten in your own words to address what is right and good and going well. How can I find and nourish the seeds of greatness and responsibility in myself, my appreciation, my gratitude, my self-esteem in taking action and doing well? (sound better?) What would your phrase look like if you re-wrote it to address the part of you that is calling for change, ready for change, excited for change, and write a detailed list of how you feel, as if you are already at your desired goal. (feel better?).
The result of the exercise might still seem like a battle of voices in your head. Upon closer observation, some of the voices are leading us in the direction of our goals, while other voices are leading us away from them. In order for the negative, limiting thoughts to lose thir power, it is helpful to simply observe them, challenge the limiting belief for what it is, and then make the choice from a deeper place within. Staying safe and playing small, fearing obstacles and fearing failure will not get the results that were, at least from the outset, very desirable.
It helps to picture an orchestra, but not one that is playing beautiful music. Instead, each instrument is playing a different song and playing as loud as possible. There is no music, only noise. This is the feeling when we have conflicting voices and conflicting agendas in our mind. You, however, are the conductor. You are the conductor of your thoughts, of your actions and of your desires. So, imagine you got up to conduct this orchestra and created beautiful music, each instrument doing what it is supposed to, fulfilling its perfect role, and not running amok.
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If a thought comes out of nowhere and is completely out of line, something like 'you can't do this!' or 'it will be too hard!,' simply view it with no emotion, and say to it 'thank you for sharing. You are of no value to me in this point and I am setting you on your way.' Then get on with the business of reaching your goals.
The unhealthful habits will ‘dissolve away’, like sand slipping away, as room is made for the new to come, the new habit that comes from your natural empowerment to be well.