In this life, we are experts at tripping ourselves up.
I believe we do this because we came to earth to experience contrast.
In order to figure out what you truly want, sometimes you have to experience what you don’t want.
For some it seems like we need to experience ALOT of what we don’t want before we land on what we do.
I firmly believe we all have our own path in this life, and that there is no right or wrong way to live. I also believe that we all deserve to be happy. I believe that YOU deserve to be happy.
When there are things in your life that you are trying to change – feelings, habits, emotions, circumstances ect. It is usually because you are experiencing some level of dissatisfaction with your current situation. Usually there is some part of you that is fed up with the experience you are having – and there is another part of you that resists change because change can be interpreted as scary.
Even if you are fed up with something in your life, remember that he reason you are holding onto it – rather than just changing everything right now – is because you know how to predict this current reality. It may be uncomfortable, but it is safe. Along with the belief that your status quo is safe, comes the belief that if you change, what you change into may actually be WORSE than what you are currently experiencing. With this you build up walls of resistance to change and thus you are living in contrast.
For example – say you want to lose weight and get healthy. Here is how that may go:
- You are fed up with feeling sick and your clothes feeling tight. Y
- You decide to go on a diet.
- You seek the help of a diet professional who gives you a meal plan and an exercise routine to follow.
- You participate in said plan for about a week or so, and at first it feels fun and exciting.
- You start to lose a little weight, and start feeling a little better. Things are going great!
- Then, a week or two later, you start to feel resentful.
- You start craving old foods, old activities and old behaviours that are now ‘off limits’ to you.
- You start to day dream about cookies.
- You think to yourself “why did I think this would be different? I always fail at these stupid diets. Diets never work for me. I am never going to be thin why do I even bother?”
- Then, by the end of the first month you are binging on all the cookies you could get your hands on and you are calling to tell your nutritionist that her silly plan did not work and you want your money back.
- You go back to your old habits for a few weeks, months or years.
- You decide you are fed up with how you look/feel.
- You decide you are going to go on a diet.
- Over and over again.
Sound about right?
There was a lot of contrast happening in that sinario – and there is most likely a lot of contrast happening in your life when you try to make positive changes and get stuck settling back into old habits.
So today, I am going to give you 5 re-frames that address the usual limiting thought patterns that send you right back to your square one so that you can start to move forward to the brighter, shinier, happier more joyful you that you have been envisioning.
Re-Frame #1. The Only One Who Suffers From Your Bad Habits Is You:
Your nutritionist does not suffer ill health when you rebel from her plan. Your financial planner still has money in the bank when you blow your budget. Your parents still go on living their lives even when you decide you are going to fully reject everything they ever taught you.
You may feel like you are sticking it to those who either have tried to aid you in changing your negative habits or those who are in some way associated with your moving forward when you backslide, but the truth is your back sliding does not affect them at all. It only hurts you.
You may also feel like by holding onto your bad habits you are in some way getting back at the people you perceive to have lead you to take on the bad habit in the first place. For instance perhaps you felt really neglected as a child and as a result you have taken up drinking. Perhaps you feel that as long as you keep up this habit you are in some way showing your parents that what they did was wrong.
At the end of the day, what is important for you to realize so that you can feel some freedom to move forward is that you do not deserve punishment, and your negative habit is only punishing you. No one else has to go to bed with your choices.
So instead of feeling like you are rebelling or are some how sticking it to others, think of your negative habit as a rebellion against yourself. You do not deserve that. Own the results of your habit, and know that you do not have to keep punishing yourself for what others did or what happened to you in the past.
Thought Re-Frame: My habits only affect me. I deserve good habits because I deserve happiness.
Re-frame #2. Make A Choice, Because Being On The Fence Is The Hardest Place To Be:
Everyone seems to think that if they decide they are going to eat healthier, or do better with their communication or commit to a meditation practice in order to improve their lives that they are cutting themselves off from something.
So many people sit on the fence when it comes to making positive lifestyle changes because they are afraid of what they would be giving up if they were to really truly commit to their new habit.
This is understandable, but it is also totally not helpful.
For instance – if you know exercise is something you need to add to your life in order to get healthier, but the thought of committing to exercising every week for the rest of your life seems totally scary and overwhelming, you may just decide you are going to take it one day at a time and do what you can. At first this may seem like you are making it easier on yourself, but in the long run this is actually making things MUCH harder.
The reason this is making things harder is because now you have to decide every.single.day if you are going to exercise or not.
You are going to have to go through all the mental hoops and internal debate – “I know I should exercise, but sitting and watching t.v seems so much better, but I don’t want to be fat, but I want to sleep in…”
If you had just committed to the exercise plan as your new way of life, that is one choice you have to make and one only.
Then you are someone who works out. Then you don’t have to play the mind game every day. It is clear, it is concise and it is your new habit.
Being on the fence is way harder than simply committing. Remember too that you can always change your mind. Commit to your new habit for 30 days then say you will re-asses if you need too. Either way do or do not do – don’t stand in the middle
Thought Re-Frame: Committing to my new positive habit makes my life happier and makes me freer.
Re-Frame #3. Stop Identifying With Your Struggle:
“I am always broke.” “I have a fat gene.” “I don’t have any will power.” “I always get sick.” “I always attract the worst kind of men.”
These are phrases I want you to premaritally wipe from your life. Really. Seriously.
In my coaching practice, I am always amazed by how easily people latch onto and identify so strongly with their struggle. I hear women call refer to themselves as ‘heavy woman’ or men who call themselves ‘binge eaters’ without a single stutter.
I am here to tell you that as long as you continue to build your identity around your struggle or bad habit, the longer you will struggle with your bad habit.
This is because you will ALWAYS live up to your expectation of who you are. Always. You are the one who sets your standard, and you will always.always.always.always live up to your own standard.
I want you to catch yourself today every time you identify with your struggle, either internally or externally and just notice it. Notice how many times a day you set your standard much lower than what you wish it were. Then move onto point four!
Thought Re-Frame: I no longer choose set my standard so low. I no longer identify with my struggles.
Re-Frame #4. Start Identifying With Your Future Success:
This is the carry over from point three. Once you start noticing how much you are identifying with your struggle/negative habit, you can start to re-frame your thoughts and words so that you begin to identify with your success.
This is the easiest and most effective way to raise your own standard and your own expectation of who you are.
You must create a new standard for yourself if you ever want to change your behaviour.
From now on, look at your negative behaviour/habit and what you have decided it means about you. Then, choose to start identifying with the opposite of that thing.
For instance, if you are continually saying “I always fail at diets, I am always going to be fat.” Set your new standard at “I am naturally healthy, I trust my body and I love eating foods that nourish me.”
Then every time you want to identify with your negative habit, flip it around so that you start identifying with the new positive habit you are wishing to create for yourself.
It will most likely feel weird, untrue, inauthentic and strange at first – and that is OK. Change will feel strange! But as you continue to purposefully identify with who you wish to be, you will slowly start to turn into that person.
Set a higher standard, call yourself to meet that standard, and you always will You always live up to your own expectation of yourself – and you are the one who gets to set that expectation.
Thought Re-Frame: I now choose to set my own standard higher. I choose to start identifying with my success today!
Re-Frame #5. Bless Those Who Are Succeeding, Rather Than Wishing They Would Fail:
When you see someone who is getting the results you want but are not currently getting yourself it can be very tempting to secretly, or not so secretly, wish they would fail.
For instance, do you ever look at thin fit people and hope that they get fat, or start to make up stories in your head about how they must not be healthy?
Do you ever look at people who have financial success and automatically look for the places where they squashed others or were deceitful and generally not a good person in order to get that money?
It may feel better to do this in the moment. When you are feeling badly it does not usually feel really good to look at someone who is feeling good. But cursing them right now actually works against YOU in the long run.
When you have ill wishes for those who are getting the success you wish to get, you are doing two things:
a) You are creating a scenario where YOU cannot have success in reaching your goal, because you are making up stories in your head about how the solutions presented to you DO NOT EXIST. If it were really true that those who are getting the results you desire will eventually fail, does that not mean that here is technically no way out of YOUR suffering too? If you really wish to see those around you fail, you are only setting YOURSELF up to fail by believing that there is no real solution.
b) You are creating an energetic discord between you and your desired result. For instance if you look at thin people and secretly wish they would get fat, or decide that they must have an eating disorder or are using up all their time and energy to get thin, you are subconsciously creating negative associations with your desired outcome. With those negative associations comes resistance within you. Now, what you have decided about this other person may not really be true for them, but because you have decided it, it is now true for YOU. This means you are much less likely to ever get to that successful place, because you have made all these negative associations with that successful place.
So bless those you see who are succeeding. It will not only instantly make you feel better about YOURSELF in the moment, it will also set you up to be able to match their success.
Thought Re-Frame: I bless those getting the results I desire because I want to make it possible for myself to get those results!
You Want To Feel Better, You Deserve To Feel Better
The bottom line is, you wish to change your habits because you know on some level that when you do you will feel better. This means that you also know on some level that you DESERVE to feel better.
Your negative habits are not something you should feel ashamed of. They are also not something you should want to hold onto. They are simply causing you to experience less joy than you could be. Letting go of the things you know you need to let go of to be happy is only scary if you believe that there is a possibility that there will not be something positive to replace that negative pattern.
There is no such thing as a vacuum in the Universe. When you let one thing go, you simply make room for a new, better thing to enter. Your old habit will be replaced with a new habit. One that serves you better and makes you feel better. It is safe to let go, because what is on the other side is so much better. You will not transition into nothing or into worse. Your intention is to feel better, and the universe MUST deliver that to you.