This week I have been talking about habits. On Monday I discussed looking at your habits as a way to better yourself. Yesterday, I wrote about how to zero in on the routines that you would like to change. And today I will talk about how to replace those with more positive patterns.
You took the time to identify your negative customs. Now you need to identify what about them is harmful, and what a better alternative would be. The only way I can think to describe this is with an example.
Let’s say that you have identified a poisonous pattern in that every time you set out to do something you begin to focus on all of the ways you might fail. In this instance, you would identify the negative habit (worrying about failure) and make sure that you are purposefully trying to notice any time that this starts to creep in. Every time that it does, you notice it. You tell yourself that this is not what you want to focus on. You give yourself arguments about why this is bad. The arguments could be: this has never helped me in the past; this has always hindered me in the past; doing this makes me feel bad; I cannot come up with a positive outcome from this line of thought; I deserve to give this goal a try; or countless other arguments that you can come up with yourself.
Once you get to the point where you can talk yourself out of having these negative thoughts you can replace them with some very simple positive intentions. What if I succeed? What would my life be like if I do what I set out to do? I can’t fail unless I quit, I can only not succeed yet. I want this because of A, B, C and D. Or whatever your motivation is, focus on it and use it to power you forward.
This is hard. This process takes extreme dedication and the willingness to see it through, possibly over a long period of time. Don’t forget that you have had a lifetime of building and reinforcing the bad habits that you are trying to get rid of. But there is nothing better than living the life that you want, and how you want to live it.