What beliefs are taking you off your path and how do you change them?
You want to make a change and it’s not working. You made the decision, bought the things you need to insure your success, picked a start date and began in grand fashion. Then in a couple of weeks, or a few days more likely, you were back into the old habit once again and the new habit is in the rear-view with plenty of reasons why you can’t do whatever it is you promised yourself you would do. Your motivation is lost and worse, you feel crummy about yourself because you just can’t stick with it.
After you get done beating yourself up, you may want to genuinely look into why, despite your best intentions, changing habitual behavior seems to be so darn hard some times. Have you ever considered why it is that one person can simply decide to change, perhaps to begin to meditate every day, and they easily, almost effortlessly fit in the time while the next person can’t find ten minutes to devote to it? What gives? Is it really just as simple as will power? One person has it and one doesn’t?
No. The answer is much deeper, more elusive and far more powerful. That something is belief. The belief or beliefs attached to a behavior are the critical elements to your success in changing your behavior. Regardless of what you think, what you feel determines your behavior. The strongest emotion always wins. ALWAYS.
To discover why you can’t change your behavior, you can dig up your subconscious beliefs and subconscious programming related to the subject. Find out what you truly believe, not just what you think you believe. The easiest way to do this is to play a little game with yourself to find out what you are getting out of not changing your behavior. Find the secondary gain; what it is you’re getting by maintaining the habit you think you want to change. But you have to allow the answers to surface from your deep inner mind, to bubble up from the depths of your subconscious, not skimmed off the top of your conscious mind.
If you want to meditate for fifteen minutes every morning, yet have not been able to find the time, to find out how you really feel about it, take a moment to think about the situation. Pretend you are experiencing it in that moment and get in touch with your feelings about it. Then ask yourself a question such as, “Thinking about giving myself this time every day makes me feel _________________ .” Let the emotion come up. Don’t force it. Do this repeatedly to really dig it out, maybe even fifteen or twenty times if you have to. The first several answers might be coming out of the conscious instead of subconscious mind. You may discover that wanting to take time for yourself makes you feel sad. Don’t worry if your answer doesn’t seem to make sense. It doesn’t have to.
Next, take each emotional response and find the belief that resonates with it. For example, “Thinking about giving myself this time every day makes me feel sad, and that makes me feel like I am _________________ .” The response may come up that you feel like you’re being selfish. Now you are beginning to get a glimpse of what is keeping you from meditating. If part of you feels you are being selfish, and you believe that selfish people are bad, then you’ll never let yourself meditate because you want to be a good person.
Now look into your past, your early childhood most likely, where those beliefs were formed. Did your mom have a habit of taking a few minutes for herself and your dad always scolded her and told her she was being selfish? Or visa versa?
It’s possible you can clear the belief yourself by choosing to simply “let it go” every time it comes up or you may need help from a hypnotherapist or other practitioner to help you release or transform it. Remember, too, you don’t always have to know exactly where a belief came from to clear it. Once it is uncovered and brought to the conscious mind you can begin to alter it. And setting the intention to do so is a great first step.