How do you adopt negative or positive patterns? The first environment you experience is the one you were born to. You hear what others are saying, how they act, you experience their personality.
The way you think and act as you grow is shaped by your surroundings, no question about it. What many of us tend to do is carry habits from our childhood, many times not good habits. Of course, it depends on how you grew up as well.
Other “source” of harmful habits can come from our way of living. We get too comfortable, and before we know it, our bathroom scale was showing 50 pounds more than six months ago. You and I slip from time to time. Everyone does, we are humans. Having bad habits is natural, but it isn’t for life. You can eliminate them and grow at the same time.
Here are four practical steps you need to take to free yourself from negative patterns and make necessary changes:
1. Identify them
The first step you need to take is to recognize your negative habits. Look at your life. What is it you don’t like about yourself? Maybe you have taken an action and afterwards felt sorry. Maybe you don’t like your body. Are you constantly yelling at your kids and after feel guilty about it?
You have to find out exactly what it is you want to change and be clear with yourself. Do you drink too much and the day after you feel depressed and sad? Sit down and write it on a piece of paper. It will make you committed to the change you are about to take.
Be honest with yourself. No one is standing next to you and judging you. As I mentioned above, we all have bad habits. The point is to find it, see it, admit it to yourself.
“Most people don’t have that willingness to break bad habits. They have a lot of excuses and they talk like victims.” – Carlos Santana
2. Look at every unfavorable impact it has on you
So, now you know what drags you down. Now you see why you feel the way that you do. You are doing something in your life that doesn’t benefit you; it does the opposite. Face it. What has changed in your life since you adopted this pattern? How does it make you feel? What are you missing on? How does it impact your days?
Put yourself in a state of total pain. Stop apologizing for your behavior and quit blaming others. This step is the one which will make you feel bad about yourself even more, but it is necessary to make it clear and see reality. You can only change if you are willing to stand face to face to the problem, identify it and make the firm decision to change it.
3. Imagine your life without it
You have passed the hard times. You took two of the most difficult steps, and you faced reality. I feel proud of you because I know it requires a lot of effort. Now use your entire imagination and visualize the positive outcome you’ll have once you make the necessary changes. How does it feel?
Do you feel the positive emotions going through your body? What you see now is the new
YOU. It is someone you will become if you are willing to take the challenge and change those negative patterns you have adopted. You are who you created.
Don’t ever put a label on yourself. You are not fat or moody or mean. It is only the way you act, not who you are.
4. Get to work
So you thought about everything, made yourself feel good and bad as well. Now it’s time to do something. The action is the step where many people fail. They desire to change and they talk about change but they never actually take a serious step towards it. Action means to implement your knowledge into practice.
Let me give you an example. In the past, I had temper issues. It affected my life and mostly, relationships with people around me. It became so painful for me that I knew I had to do something. The first step I took was to count to 10 every time I get angry. Sounds very simple but these baby steps taught me that everything is possible, and I can take control over my life and my attitude.
It is great that you realize what you do wrong but without appropriate action, you will see little results. Don’t procrastinate. Do you want to lose weight? Don’t wait until you buy a gym membership or you have day off from work. Put your sneakers on, go out and start running. Get the momentum.
“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” – Rumi
Breaking negative patterns and being able to change means you are taking control of your life. Until you do that, life will control you whether you like it or not. Remember that only once you eliminate bad habits you have, you can live happy and joyful life. Everything is available to you; you just have to take the first step.