Our self-image and our habits tend to go together. What’s cool about this is that if you change one, you will automatically change the other. Originally, the word “habit” meant a garment, yep that means that habits are like clothes.
You know what i’ve found out over the past few months of my personal journey in life?
Our habits are literally like garments that are worn by our personalities.
Our habits are not accidental. You may realize this fact, but some people don’t. I personally didn’t realize it until I was reading Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz(Amazon link). The reasons that we have habits is the same reason that we have the clothes that are currently in our drawers, they fit us. They are in congruence with who we are and have become a part of our unique personality.
When we consciously and deliberately take the time to develop new and better habits, our self-image tends to outgrow the old habits we had and tends to grow into a new pattern of habits.
Many people confuse habits with addictions, which is completely understandable. However, an addiction is something that you feel compelled to, and it’s also something that causes severe withdrawal symptoms. I’m not here to speak about addiction though, as that’s not my cup of tea. The only thing I feel “addicted” to is life and personal development, but I feel that those addictions are beneficial 😉
Habits are something that I have been constantly working on developing over the past few months/years and I feel that I can help shed some light on the subject of developing good habits. What makes me qualified to help you with this? Well, personally I’ve done a few 90 day challenges to change my health and grow my business. I’m someone who’s done it and has had some great results from doing it.
So what are habits?
Habits are merely reactions and responses that we have learned to perform automatically without having to “think” or “decide” to do. An example of this is with juggling.
When I juggle, my hands don’t “decide” where to go to catch the ball. The reaction is something that is automatic now, because I have been juggling for over 14 years.
PS- you can learn how to juggle in a video course I put together. My hands merely know where to go because I have developed the habit of juggling.
I have programmed the muscle memory in my brain to know where my hands should be in order to catch the ball. The same is true when dancers are dancing, it’s become a habit and your feet merely go to where they’ve been programmed to go during dances.
Our attitudes, emotions and beliefs are something that also tend to become habitual. This can be a good thing if you actively choose to create good habits for each of these, but they can also become negatives for your life.
Over the course of our lives, we have “learned” that certain attitudes, ways of feeling and ways of thinking were “appropriate” for certain situations.
An example of this is to think about the last few parties that you were at. Think about this, do you tend to sit on a couch and strike up a conversation with someone, or are you someone who runs around and hangs out with everyone?
I tend to be a person who wanders and notice that I do this at all social gatherings that I go to. I’m not someone to just sit there and that’s become a part of my habits.
We tend to think, feel and act the same way when we are put in familiar situations. Think about yourself with this example, do you tend to do the same things over and over again? My bet is that you do.
A cool thing about our habits..
We can modify, change or even reverse our habits by making a conscious decision and practicing or “acting out” the new habits we want to develop and program new responses into our lives.
Here are a few affirmations that you can start saying to yourself to acquire the “happiness habit”: Taken from Psycho-Cybernetics
- I will be as cheerful as possible.
- I will try to feel and act a little more friendly toward other people.
- I am going to be a little less critical and a little more tolerant of other people, their faults, failings and mistakes. I will place the best possible interpretation upon their actions.
- Insofar as possible, I am going to act as if success were inevitable, and I already am the sort of personality I want to be. I will practice “acting like” and “feeling like” this new personality.
- I will not let my own opinion color facts in a pessimistic or negative way.
- I will practice smiling at least three times during the day.
- Regardless of what happens, I will react as calmly and as intelligently as possible.
- I will ignore completely and close my mind to all those pessimistic and negative “facts” which I can do nothing to change.
Simple? Yes! The thing about habits is that they take 21 days to acquire and make a part of who you are. You can easily acquire the habit of happiness if you make a conscious effort to do so. You can get started today!
Also, if you are interested in learning more about the happiness habit, there is a course available called “The 11 Forgotten Laws” that will help you with acquiring more happiness.