Is there a bad habit you just can’t stop?
What I am about to say will sound both easy and obvious, and only when you are truly ready and accepting of your habit will you even consider it.
All habits are learned behaviours and to break it you need to break the link, the chain, the stem that is keeping that behaviour a reoccurring habit for you.
Here’s the simple yet obvious solution to your problem…
Let’s take a bad food habit for example. For me, my fave food is pizza. Let’s imagine this is yours too.
For nine days you can eat only pizza. NOTHING else. You can drink 4-6 glasses of water a day. But that is it. Your consumption for the next 9 days is to be purely pizza. Sounds easy right? Sounds like your ideal 9 days right? Ok but in reality you know that with anything, too much of it becomes boring. But this isn’t the real reason why this challenge works.
Try it. Take it seriously. Anyone who makes it to the end of the 9 days (with proof) and still enjoys or wants to eat the pizza (or your fave food). Can have FREE access for life to my Stronger Than Your Mind Academy.
Why and how does this work …
Well, you see it’s all about learned behaviour and pain v pleasure. When we first ate that slice of pizza (for example). It tasted good. Oh so good. Then when we next saw it. We was happy, knowing the pleasure we was about to receive. And the positive feelings of pleasure kept on coming. And within our brain this created a stem, so to speak. Imagine the first piece of pizza was a seed. And it became implanted in your brain. Each time you ate pizza you helped the seed grow. And now all these years later you have this gigantic and mighty strong tree. Your are now sitting under that tree and eating your pizza and its become your happy place.
How to cut down the tree…
You love your happy place under your tree with your pizza. But now you’ve started to hate how you look. Your skin is full of spots. You feel uncomfortable and unattractive. You know that it’s pizza causing it. But you just can’t say no to it. It’s akin to an addiction. It’s your only happy place. Even though your getting pain from this activity. Your also getting this immense pleasure you have had for many years. Like a comfort blanket and you just can’t let it go. No matter how much it hurts. You cut the leaves off the tree and try to stop. But there’s just too many branches. You manage to cut some. Some days you may even go weeks with leaves and branches chopped. But the thick gigantic tree trunk remains. So eventually the branches and the leaves grow back. You’re just stuck.
Time to get the chainsaw out …
The only way to remove that tree (your addiction, your unhealthy habit, your change in behaviour) is to cut the tree down and remove the roots ! The reason the tree grew and grew so big was because of your sense of pleasure from the tree.
In life we work from two principles; pain or pleasure. All our decisions and behaviours our based on our perceived perceptions of the two. In every single situation there is either one present. And sometimes there can be two. But the one that is strongest wins.
So right now the pleasure the tree gives you. The happy place of you sitting under your tree eating your pizza is greater than the pain of being over weight and unhealthy.
Chainsaw time! Eat the pizza and only the pizza every day all day for 9 days. And see if you still derive pleasure from it. If pleasure is still tipping the scales against pain?
Become stronger than your mind…
I dare you to employ this. You will have doubts. Your subconscious will try and stop you and your competitive side will want to take part. Again what will win? The pleasure of beating your self. Or the pain you fear you may feel if you fail? Fear after all is False Evidence Appearing Real.
And although I have used pizza and a food item in this example. This task can be used for ANY situation or behaviour trait in your life. You just have to employ it in the right way.
You can also do affirmations every day such as ‘I always make the right choices for myself.’ Another trick is to stop the behaviour in its tracks. Have you ever been in an in depth conversation with someone, you get distracted, you go back to your conversation and you totally forgot what you was speaking out. This is a prime example of an interruption in your patter, in your brain. And you can use the same method to undue bad behaviours! So the next time you realise that you are thinking of the bad habit literally shout NO in your head as loud as you can. Even better stand up clap your hands and say it and say it out loud! This will help break the pattern and break the cycle too.
Can you see how we make connections with our brain? and how that then forms our habits and in the same sense keeps us trapped?
Can you see now how and why you can create long lasting change by employing the principles above. These are based on a practise which I am currently studying to qualify in, Neuro linguistic programming or NLP as it is often referred to. When I learned this method years ago, when I first myself stumbled on NLP via the great Tony Robbins. I went on to create huge changes. Changes I had been unable to make for years. One example is what I drink, and this example also helps to see how this same principle works in reverse. When I was a child, my mum give me juice. We always had juice and even soda/fizzy drinks for a treat. But in the main we had juice. I liked juice. Juice is what we drank. Then, we went to a childminders. She was great, I really liked her and me and her daughter quickly became like best friends, I loved being at the childminders. BUT, she had rules, like all good childminders. One of her rules was no juice, unless, you had already had a glass of water (as an adult I see the meaning and appreciate this rule), but as a child, it was yack! Yack that I had to drink this clear horrible stuff just so I could get juice! Why? It’s not fair! (as all great tantrum kids say). But, my childminder was strict, she wasn’t going to budge over a tantrum. I used to hold my nose and try and focus really hard on the radio to take my mind of it. But of course, it was never songs I liked on the radio. Awful music, awful drink, I just want my juice. So, as you can imagine, I didn’t make a great connection with water, in fact the opposite. I associate water with pain, with a negative experience (and the exact opposite for juice and fizzy drinks). As an adult I have always suffered with awful headaches and associated that to a chronic auto immune illness I have. I have also said the same too for my awful skin. But as I was studying to be a personal trainer and learning all about nutrition. I realised just how much my body needed water. I realised that my headaches could actually be due to dehydration, as too could be my acne and bad skin. But, using the principle above, I now drink water 99% of the time. I have one cup of tea in the morning, and I drink pink gin of a weekend. Apart from that I am now a water drinker!
What habit can you change?
Start with something small? like maybe what you drink, maybe you have a bad habit of biting your nails? Force yourself to bite your nails every 15 mins every day for 9 days (with the exception of sleeping time of course). Set a continuing alarm on your phone so you don’t forget. One the alarm will be annoying, but two you won’t want to bite your nails again after the 9 days thats for sure!
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