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Ditching Bad Habits One Step At A Time In A Relationship

Habits create a mindset that interferes with our ability to grow, learn, and become better and more accomplished people in the world. Everyone develops habits over a period of time, and just about anyone can break them at will, even those habits that seem to really have a strong hold on you.

Habitual behavior is born from a belief. People who have the simple habit of picking at their zits believe way deep down that if they are constantly picking at their imperfections that they can alter them for the better. Beliefs are not always accurate but if we believe them, their accuracy doesn’t matter.

Start most importantly with the habit of your language. The words that convince you that you are lacking control should be the first to go. Words such as “can’t” and “shouldn’t” imply that you have no choice. You do have a choice. Your choice is simply to either do or to not do. Trying isn’t doing.

Place a bottle of water on the table. You can either reach out and pick it up or you can not. You can’t stand there and try to pick it up. Simplistic? Yup. But it is true for everything that we do. We are either breaking our habits or we are not. We can either quit smoking or drinking too much or we don’t. Trying just simply isn’t doing.

So by changing your language into verbiage that indicates that you have all the power and control that you really do, you can alter the course of your behavior. This is a really powerful concept when you consider it. Using words and language that help you to modify your behavior can help you to alter your thought process. Since thoughts rule our emotions and our behaviors, internalizing different thoughts by handing out new language in your everyday speech makes a really big difference in recreating our own behavior.

We have learned over the course of our life to significantly lie to ourselves. We tell ourselves what we have been trained to hear and to say in order to grab a piece of peace of mind. But the basic ability to be completely and totally honest with yourself is a true gift that can also help eliminate poor choices and bad habits.

By simply owning up to your mistakes, your behaviors, and you true desires your behavior can start to change for the better. There is nothing horrible or terrible in making mistakes and wanting what is best for you. When we deal in honesty, most especially with ourselves, then we no longer have to run around trying to convince ourselves that we are good people because we already know that we are.

Stop trying to please the rest of the world and focus in on what makes your life work better. Nobody likes to let other people down. But there are times when we try so hard to please everyone else that we are left with nothing specific that makes us happy. In retrospect we can usually see where we made our error in judgment. Most of the time we either declined to be really honest or we told ourselves that making someone else happy was what made us happy.

These noble thoughts are just smoke and mirrors that we present to ourselves in order to feel better about not distinguishing our own needs and realizing what would make it better. The word “self-centered” is considered to be a terrible word. But in reality, being centered within your self is a positive thing. When we have found our own sense of centering then we can give more freely to those around us. When we are fulfilled, we are more relaxed, easier to be around, and happier people. If we get there through self centering, that is a positive and happy place of reason.

There is nothing wrong with determining that you have to be self centered in order to make those around you feel happier and more loved. After all, we are trying to take care of those we love on a full tank of self love. This is so much more productive than taking care of those we love on an empty tank.

Sometimes you simply can’t please other people. If they are going to be dissatisfied with everything, then why on earth would they feel a need to be happy when you give? They aren’t. And in fact trying to make them happy is only going to lead to frustration and general dissatisfaction all the way around. Sometimes people just have to learn how to make themselves happy.

There is nothing wrong with letting someone know that you really can’t do something because it is too time consuming, too expensive, or in some other way eats into your life in a way that you can’t find reasonable. Pleasing others is a nice concept, but really people are only happy with us when they want to be.

Removing yourself from victimization is not a difficult thing to do once you have the information. We choose everything in our life from who we are with to what behaviors we find acceptable all the way down to how we feel about something. It might not seem that we choose how we feel, but we do. When there is a specific event that happens in our life we have a thought right before we have a feeling. In those situations we have to determine for ourselves what thoughts we are having in order to uncover the feeling.

If we think something like, “She is smiling at that other guy which means she doesn’t love me and wants to have an affair with him,” we are prone to feeling rather unsettled and even angry. Often the reality isn’t that cut and dry. Perhaps she is smiling because he said something funny or she is smiling just because she is happy and she isn’t even all that aware that her smile is directed toward someone else. Putting thoughts in your head that are likely to produce emotions that are negative is a habit we learned from infancy.

In some cases, we don’t even have a full thought. We simply have a one or two word thought that produces negative emotions. We look at our significant other smiling in the direction of another guy and we immediately think, “cheating” because this is the worst case scenario. Now we are angry and we are ready to accuse her of “making us angry.” How can she make us angry by smiling? The truth is she didn’t make us angry. We made ourselves angry by thinking that smiling at some other guy means that she is cheating.

Learning to recognize the thoughts that often precede negative feelings is not simple, but once you start to get a handle on it you become much less judgmental and you explore things with a more open mind and heart. Instead of getting angry, we can now ask the question, “What are you thinking and why are you smiling at him?” because we aren’t angry and we are not accusing anyone of anything, we can accept the information that is given to us without prejudices already in place. She can explain that he said something funny to his girlfriend and she was amused. She can also tell us that she was smiling at him because she thinks he is cute.

We still aren’t a victim if that is her reality. We are still in control of our feelings at that point. She has the right to think he is cute. If you are in a committed relationship, then she should know that she is expected to stay faithful. Since smiling at someone is a far cry from cheating, her smile meant nothing threatening as long as it didn’t lead to action on her behalf that would be considered sexual in nature.

Learning the difference between believing that she is going to cheat and reacting to the actual event is a major milestone in personal growth. Until she actually cheats, you can’t say for sure whether or not she absolutely will or won’t. You can only guess. And why would you want to get upset over a guess. Besides, do you really want to be with her if she doesn’t really want to be with you?

You can also victimize yourself by determining other people’s judgments about you for them. You might decide that “girls are not attracted to me and I am just here to make a good friend for every last woman on the planet.” You are deciding what other people think. There really isn’t much point in determining that you know what other people think unless you can read minds. And if you can do that then you wouldn’t need any dating advice at all. Getting upset or deciding your behavior based on what you believe that others think of you is not very useful. Useful thoughts are the ones that lift you up, give you the gumption to go out there and try again.

Dumping your bad habits takes more effort than simply taking out the trash. If you want to develop healthy habits that are more productive and useful then you have to start internally. There is no quick fix for our unhealthy ways of thinking, acting, and living. It takes one little baby step at a time to really uncover the reality behind a lot of our bad habits and thoughts.

Getting yourself back on the right track takes a little time but it is definitely worth the effort considering that the more bad habits you replace with healthy ones the more productively and successfully you will be able to meet your goals. Of course, this involves taking on a lot of responsibility for your own life and a lot of people, when it really comes down to it, just don’t want to that.

If you look at all of your bad habits and ways of thinking that really hold you back all at once, you are likely to become overwhelmed. However, if you can look at it like taking one little bite out of one behavior every day, it won’t take long before you have the wide range of your behaviors and thoughts glowing happily under a new light.

If you really want to make a difference in your life then drop your bad habit of procrastinating and get on board with a workable plan to start replacing your habits. There is nothing to feel overwhelmed by since you are in control of how fast you decide to make changes.

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Listed: November 21, 2008 8:08 pm