In order for us to provoke any sort of action (creation of habit) or inability to act (ending the habit), we need to first peel back a few layers and think deeply about how you identify with yourself. A simplified way of knowing how you identify as a person is by paying attention to the words you tell yourself everyday. Start really paying attention to these words.
“A simplified way of knowing how you identify as a person is by paying attention to the words you tell yourself everyday.”
Have a habit you are battling to quit? How many times have you said to yourself today “I NEED that smoke, drink, treat, coffee”? Coffee is a great example. Does coffee really align with who you are? I think we are more aligned with the experience of drinking coffee than we are with the taste or ‘buzz’ from caffeine. In that sense, we have made it a part of our identity because that is what we keep telling ourselves every day. As humans, our minds have an incredible ability to convince ourselves us that ‘this is a fact, the truth’.
What if you were able to attain the realization that you have manifested a distorted idea or self-limiting belief? Once you identify that belief then you have a foundation to which you can build a thought pattern that changes your identity.
After each session, I have my clients complete this form called Steps to Progress. This takes us from realization to action.
When we cause this push/pull, yin/yang, unconscious vs conscious thought battle, we create resistance, and the energy, information and communication stops. It is impossible to thrive and show up to be your best self when this happens. That is ultimately what has occurred in my world of my new reborn identity as a runner. Even though I wasn’t running long distances, and instead merely doing the drill work, my body rejected it and my muscles responded with inflammation. My physical body was telling me ‘you are not ready for this’ and instead slowed down. I listened and started a stretch and strengthening routine (traded in the sneakers for a yoga mat). If I would have kept telling myself, ‘I am a runner’, I would have pushed myself to a point of serious injury. What I needed to do at that moment was to realign myself, take a deep breath, create space in my mind, and allow myself to look deeper into why I chose this ‘new habit’. What was the purpose of this activity? How or what do I identify a runner to be? What was I trying to create with this activity? When I took the time to figure this out, it was easy to shift the behaviour.
The good news is that it doesn’t always have to be solely mind over matter. There is a gut-brain connection here that we inherently have to guide us to the right path. If we are nervous and tense, we can feel it in our soul, our muscles, and especially in our gut.
If we don’t attend to the inflammation in our body, we will not become our optimal self. When it comes to habits, poor decision-making is not the only way the dysfunction shows up.
It can show up in our hair (texture, dryness, loss), skin outbreaks, and perhaps most importantly, dysregulated sleep, as seen in our eyes. Don’t ignore these messages! Our body has this innate, beautiful feedback system – telling us important information transmitted through neurochemistry. Please do not ignore it.
We can modify our lifestyle to regain the mental space to make better decisions, clear our busy minds, and gain more peace in our lives.
The more you quiet your mind and listen to the signals your body is telling you, the more insight you will have to create that new habit or end a bad one. When your mind is at peace, it is very easy to hear the voice (instinct) telling you to make the right choice. When your mind is busy – it is impossible to make the right choice.
“You don’t need to become healthy, whole and intact. You already are. You are perfect just the way you are right at this moment – and when you quiet your mind, you will receive the guidance telling you what to do and the reason you need to do it.”
You don’t need to become healthy, whole and intact. You already are. You are perfect just the way you are right at this moment – and when you quiet your mind, you will receive the guidance telling you what to do and the reason you need to do it. The reason will become more obvious and decision easier when you realize that you are inherently healthy right now. You are not broken; you are just making bad choices. And you can change that starting today. So the next time you want to drink, smoke (etc.) to take away the pain… remember that your mind is simply too busy and you are alright.