What Is A Habit?

September 27, 2010 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Play by Play 

In my last blog I talked about changing habits.  As I read Self-Coaching by Joseph J. Luciani it became crystal clear that I have become quite the expert at some habits.  Some habits that people have are obvious; like over eating or smoking; but there are other habits that we all have that are impacting our lives.  In general, many of these are things that if we never changed, we could live a fairly reasonable life for the rest of our lives.  If we continue to talk meanly to ourselves about how we should be doing this or should be doing that, we will still live reasonable, secure lives.  However, if we want to achieve our dreams, if we want to take a step further towards improved lives; better financially, increased level of happiness and joy – then we could do this by taking a look at ourselves and some of these habits that are keeping us in our comfort zones.

How does a habit become a habit? 

It might help to explain the brain a bit.  There are two parts of your brain the conscious and nonconscious.  I first heard the term nonconscious reading a book by John Assaraf and Murray Smith called The Answer.  The term nonconscious is being used only to differentiate itself from the Freudian term unconscious.  Basically Freud believed that the unconscious brain had some external force causing it to do something and so to make sure that there was no confusion the cognitive theorists used nonconscious to ensure that it was not confused with Freud’s.  Today, the word unconscious is used for both.  Our nonconscious or unconscious brain is much more powerful and busy than our conscious.  The nonconscious brain controls 96-98% of perception and behavior.  96-98%!  No wonder I have had such a difficult time working to improve myself and some things around me.

Our physical and mental habits reside in our nonconscious brains; this is where accomplishments and achievements take root.  Habits are things that we have created by repeatedly doing something over and over. Thinking something over and over again becomes a habit of thought.  Constantly looking in a mirror and talking to your self about how “bad” you or something is becomes a habit.  This habit becomes an attitude or belief over time.  And then beliefs become self-fulfilling.  A belief is very powerful and we do a lot of protecting our beliefs. As we look in a mirror and the self talk chatter starts, as time moves forward and this happens every time we look into a mirror, eventually the talk that takes place is not actually heard any longer.  Suddenly you are believing you are less than perfect or unattractive,  Once this is a belief, our self care isn’t as good, our body language changes – our shoulders come forward, we don’t smile as much and generally create some truth out of what started out as very false self talk.

Wow!  So this is how things that we are working to break through and overcome have become so entrenched in ourselves that they are things that occur without our thinking about and seem so very difficult to get to.  Very difficult to see and to solve.  That – and we are working to solve the problem witho our conscious brain.  Our conscious brain is not good at modifying our habits – only at stating a goal or desire to do so.  Since habits live in our nonconscous that is where they need to be changed.

In order to become successful in our lives and in our attempts to reach dreams and goals we need to work on ourselves.  Personal development and personal growth are important to maximizing happiness.  The better people we become, the better the world can become.  Learning that we need to work at changing the habits and self limiting beliefs in order to move forward has been great information.  I do believe my work is cut out for me!

Thinking

September 21, 2010 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Play by Play 

“Change requires action, not reflection; motivation, not passivity; desire, not apathy; and a willingnes to see the truth rather than fiction. But most important, change requires that you recognize that no one and nothing is going to change you- except you.” –Joseph J. Luciani

Care of David Reece-Flickr

I am writing this on a plane… on the way to Atlanta on a business trip.  I actually love airplane flights, they give me time to read or often, time to just think.  Thinking is something that happens all the time, but on a plane, it can be directed thinking.  I just finished reading Self-Coaching by Joseph J. Luciani.  As I have been working through my part in the problems in my life I continue to work on how I can move beyond some of the self sabatoging things I do.

As I am working through how to personally grow and work towards a life where I am working in the personal development industry I know that working and growing myself will always be something I concentrate on. I have been doing this type of work for almost 20 years.  I liked Self Coaching – I liked the book because I know that for me what so many things boil down to, is my thinking and my self talk.  Much of my thinking is unconscious; however as I have focused in on my self, I seem to be getting to a place where I am starting to become much more conscious of my thinking.  I know that as I grow and think about helping others do the same I believe one key is to start hearing and knowing the throughts that are going through my head.  I am often really hard on myself and haven’t recognized it.  Now that I am recognizing it, it hurts. I have felt sadness over this and some anger – anger at circumstances that helped form this; but then there is realization that I have control.  I have full control to change myself and my thinking so that I can get to the place I am trying to reach.  Circumstances and things in my life are just that; I can choose to accept them and learn to realize that I don’t have to continue reacting the same way to them.  I choose to step out and make the necessary changes to myself that will allow me take my life where I want to go.

One thing that this book said that I resonated with is that negative self talk, thinking and self sabatage is a habit.  It is something I started doing very young and have really learned to do very well.  I am an expert at it; so expert, that it has become natural.  This book has taught me that I need to break these habits.  There are habits of guilt that arise from thinking that I should do this and that I should do that.  There are habits of not supporting myself; feeling deep down that I can not succeed at something that I really love; or that I may not be worthy of the success. 

It isn’t that I haven’t had success – I have been very successful at many things in my life; however – as I strive to achieve the goal of working my passion I seem to stop before I  try; I keep changing directions and having too many things to do and not taking enough action. 

To me, Self Coaching suggests to first recognize that the struggling of life is due to the habits that we have formed as we have tried to control life.  It suggests working on identifying the faulty thoughts that we think about things and to separate fact from fiction.   The next step is to realize that you can choose to flip a switch and change the faulty thinking and turn the self talk to truths and see and believe the positive side of things. Then, it suggests to let go. Just let the thoughts that are sabatoging our life float away, like a balloon caught in the air drifing away.  Then you need to ensure that you are working to believe the positive aspects of your life, having positive thoughts alone will not work, there needs to be a point where you BELIEVE the positive aspects of life.  As this happens and successful challenges can be met, you will gain some energy that will allow you to keep up with the new way of doing things so that over time, the old habits of faulty thinking will be changed to a new habit of thinking and seeing the reality of life.  That there is always a way to work your way out of any hole. You can do it.

Luciani pointed out that there are three truths:

  • Let Life Unfold, there are no dead ends; only obstacles.
  • Trust that your instincts and intuition will serve you
  • Know that every problem has a solution although it may not immediately appear.

“Motivation isn’t mysterious. It’s the energy you feel when you are willing to risk believing that you can change your life.” – Joseph J. Luciani

I am willing to risk this belief, anyone with me?