I bet you've said it. Maybe you've been trying to quit a bad habit or start a new one. We all have.
Making changes isn't that easy. Sometimes we make resolutions to change something in our lives, like diet or exercise, quitting smoking or to be more outgoing. The thing is, we are creatures of habit and those habits have a way of being very difficult to break. They tend to show their ugly faces right when we think we're making progress or even before any sort of measurable progress is shown. Why?
Ever Consider Your Feelings?
In another post, I explain some of the reasons we "fail" at making changes. Our feelings are actually VERY important and I won't belabor the concept in this post as I've already made that point. But consider the idea that as we are making changes, there was a feeling involved that motivated us in the first place. Maybe a feeling of fear (for our health or the health of others), excitement, enthusiasm, maybe even disgust. Whether those feelings are positive or negative, they are there and they are a major part of the reason we feel motivated to make a change. So, it becomes important to tap into our feelings; to work with them instead of against them.
Here's a Novel Idea
Just give up. That's right. Just give up.
Just give up on the bad habit. Consider the emotional baggage, the negative feelings that are associated with them; anger, remorse, guilt, fear, depression, anxiety, et cetera. Release those things, those feelings, and allow something new, something different to be a part of your life.
Our habits are as much an emotional component as they are physical or mental. Negative emotions are "heavy" and demotivate; they subtract and take away from our empowerment. They act like anchors; negative ones. They suck our power away.
Just give them up.
Sounds easy, right?
Our power to choose has a direct correlation to our understanding and harmony with our feelings.
The more in tune with your feelings you get, the better understanding you may have of why you had a bad habit in the first place but you can also use your feelings to help you overcome them!
Change management is a big deal. We need to cultivate change just like we'd cultivate soil to engender seed growth. As we plant those seeds, we have to keep cultivating (exercising FAITH) and working to help those seeds sprout.
Does it make any sense to decide to start a diet and leave all the junk food you used to eat in your cupboards or fridge? I'll go ahead and answer that for you; no. Just give it up.
What about keeping a few packs of cigarettes hidden away, you know, "just in case" you need a quick fix? Hmmm, probably not! Just give it up.
Take the steps necessary to engender your change. Give up the false, destructive thinking that has kept you bound to your bad habits.
Listen to Yourself
What's that mean? I mean that we need to listen to our feelings, that inner child that needs to buy into this new idea. He or she needs to feel some motivation, too.
How is it done, you ask? Well, first, stop thinking so much. Just feel. Feel your way through "why" and "how". Listen to those thoughts that begin to flow, they come very quickly and are difficult to "hear" or understand, at first, but with practice, it get's much easier.
As you begin to get a grasp of the feelings you have about making change, you may find that things start to make sense. Maybe "why" it was so "hard" in the first place or why you started the habit or lifestyle. As you come to understand what those feelings are, that understanding can become quite liberating.
So Now What?
Picture yourself being successful. What do you look like? More importantly, how do you feel?
Once you understand those feelings, they can help you to give up! As your inner child begins to comprehend the emotional context of what you see as being successful, you may be surprised how quickly that motivation begins to increase and a sense of empowerment begins to manifest itself.
Take One Day at a Time
Take your time. While you're giving up, stop and smell the roses! Enjoy your life. Help yourself to find joy in the change. Now, go ahead and give up! 🙂