Breaking Bad Habits – Part I
If we were to look at our lives closely, we would probably agree that there are some bad habits that we wish we didn’t have. Some bad habits may include: drinking/drugs, overeating, or perhaps avoiding doing household chores. Excessive TV watching, gaming, excessively surfing the web, chain-smoking, or maybe swearing are things on your list. Other bad habits may include overspending, being obsessive, lying or cheating. And still other habits may include issues related to chronically being late, over-extending of one’s self by taking on too many projects others, or failing to complete projects or tasks in a timely manner. Some folks may have issues related to relationships (such as too many, not enough, yelling, avoiding, or passive/aggressive behaviors), feeling insecure, or perhaps working late are excuses that we use to avoid dealing with other parts of their lives. Whatever the habit is, see it is an escape.
The reasons why we have nurtured our bad habits has more to do with things unrelated to the actual habit. For example people that may use things such as overeating, smoking, excessive sleeping or insomnia, gaming, alcohol or other habit may depend on seeing these things as means of covering up how they are feeling. People may choose to overeat, smoke, etc. because of fear, self-punishment, boredom, etc. Most of us don’t really know how to let go of perceived bad habit(s)… simply because we’ve never been shown why we are hanging onto these habits. We hold onto bad habits because we are afraid to take responsibility for the reasons related to our being weight…, our health or financial concerns…, and the actual cause related to the formation of the bad habit(s). It sounds ridiculous and yet if you ask most people why they smoke, overeat, or hang onto a particular bad habit, they really don’t offer a viable reason. Some folks may believe that, “Cigarettes help them to relax.” Other folks may believe that nothing helped them to quit smoking in the past so therefore they are stuck with the smoking habit. Notice both responses are beliefs and an excuse. These limitations are covering up some insecurity. Same is true for folks that have dieted and discovered they couldn’t keep the weight off. After trying and failing, folks became frustrated, discouraged and resentful. If we look closely at our bad-habit patterns, we’ll see that when we don’t feel good about ourselves is we are looking externally for something to help up feel better. These external habits are only a temporary fix. These habits continue because they failed to fix the matter we were A) resisting, or B) we are trying to figure out what to do or what not to do. Please consider things like food, tobacco or alcohol (etc.) can’t fix us. Truthfully these vices remain simply because we keep repeating the same limiting behaviors; which is the only reason why these tendencies are still in place. When we resort to things such as food, cigarettes or other things, it is so that we can avoid feeling or facing something. Perhaps we smoke or overeat to avoid feeling rejected, or maybe it’s to avoid facing some issue directly. We foolishly and mistakenly think that by overeating or smoking will help us to feel better in some way, even if only temporarily.
By looking closely at our current belief system, helps us to see that we are trying to protect ourselves by holding onto fear. We are looking at things through the eyes of limitation. Honestly, if we aren’t making a conscious effort to take responsibility for our circumstances by releasing and letting go of what we are holding in mind, the bad habits and associated frustration will remain. Believing that being overweight is a family trait–is an excuse. Believing that smoking helps you relax is probably not the right reason to smoke. Often a reason why people continue to smoke is because they believe they are actually moving towards a solution. By this I mean, perhaps by stepping outside and the actual inhalation of the smoking action requires breathing more slowly. Most people don’t associate their physical actions in relation to smoking.
The walking away from your desk and breathing slowly is what is relaxing. Often times, children grow up and begin smoking or overeating because of a decision they made to get approval from their parents or peers. Perhaps if family members smoked, children may have decided to smoke in order to be accepted and fit in. Another consideration maybe if family members were overweight, children may have decided that being overweight is what was expected of them. Whatever we decided was based in part on AGFLAP and wanting. We may have been trying to control someone or something; perhaps we decided to punish someone (including our self) or were unrealistically attempting to protect ourselves with fear.
Ask yourself if you are you protecting yourself with fear? Is there a fear of losing weight, quitting smoking or letting go of some other bad habit? Please take a moment and consider whose fear are you holding onto? Notice you may be holding onto a habit (fear) by attempting to defend the perceived bad habit(s) in some way. If you feel offended, blamed or cornered, notice what you are feeling as you may feel warranted in some way to try defend the habit. The fear, or victim’s reaction, has triggered something within your subconscious based on the fact that you want to change something from the past. This fear is rooted in whatever you decided at some previous time. This revelation indicates if we put the fear in that we can take the fear out.