Today I wanted to revisit a past blog called “Do Bad Habits Drink Tea?” to let you know how I’ve put this into action. You may like to read it before you continue so you know where I’m going here. When I wrote that blog I’d just joined a gym a month before – those that know me would be picking their jaw up off the floor at this moment because I’m just not a ‘gym person’ and exercise is something I have to work at every day. I preferred doing yoga at home or a walk around the neighbourhood to actually ‘going to the gym’. I always envied those people who ‘just have to run’ every day, who need exercise to ‘clear their mind’ and wistfully wished I hadn’t missed out on that gene… I believed it must have skipped a generation as I have very active nieces and nephews, two of them are Ironmen many times over and one does the Spartan Race regularly, the others are also active and always moving… sigh… So, you see I had a belief that wasn’t serving me at all, I believed I was ‘lazy’ and that I wasn’t the ‘gym type’ (air quotes), also I’ve always believed I was uncoordinated and not athletically inclined.
Back to the blog I wrote… It’s one thing to know how to change beliefs/habits/patterns and quite another to actually make the shift. I realised after writing the blog that I’d just done the very thing I was talking about and thought I’d now consciously observe myself over the course of the next month or so to see if I could actually change my self-limiting beliefs using the steps I’d talked about in the other blog, see below:
- Identify your limiting beliefs and the habits that support them.
- Begin by looking at the areas of your life that aren’t meeting your expectations.
- Identify the beliefs that surround that part of your life.
- Observe yourself in action – watch for the ‘Self-affirming habits’ that support the belief.
- Do this without harsh judgements or shame, just acceptance and peace.
- Begin to change those habits.
- It’s like unwinding a rope, the last twist must be undone first.
- Replace the unwanted habit with one that will move you toward the experience you want.
- Experience the new you now.
- This takes practice and time (usually – but maybe that’s my belief?!).
- I do this through meditation and mindfulness practice, there may be other ways I’m not aware of.
- This is a present moment practice, BE HERE NOW.
- There will probably be a resistance to this as it will mean your original belief about yourself must be replaced with a new more empowering one – that house guest must leave – even if we miss them, feel grief over their leaving, and question who we are without them.
In my case, my limiting beliefs about myself were keeping me from enjoying my life to it’s fullest and also kept me from experiencing what it was like to live in a body that felt alive and energised. To be honest, I had no idea how much the experience of my life would change when I started this. Initially, it was just sheer determination that got me to the gym, I had goals and thought they might be enough, but it was hard to get myself there 3-4 times a week. The hardest thing was battling my bad habits… Until I used the system above…consciously used it.
Firstly, I identified my limiting belief around exercise and then the self-affirming habits that had built up around that belief over the years. Believing that I was lazy and genetically predisposed to being the antithesis of ‘athletic’ meant that I had no choice but to be inactive and to see exercise as an interruption to my day. These inactive habits had to change first, then the beliefs would follow. So, I started to get up earlier on my ‘gym days’ to magically give myself more time in my day to allow for a visit, I began to use self-talk that supported my new habits, I changed my perspective in an active way so that I now enjoy going to the gym rather than seeing it as a chore, and I’ve changed the way I ‘feel’ about exercise – I’ve chosen to enjoy the whole process – and that’s a big one, CHOICE. This happened over a month or so, I acted out the role of the new habits first and while I had to be pretty determined to keep them going, now they’ve become part of the new experience of ME. Act out the part you want to play and it will eventually become who you are.
The last step is to ‘experience the new you now’ this is easier once you’ve actually begun to introduce the new habits into your daily routine, but I did it by ignoring all the negative self-talk and introducing the new fit and healthy me into my daily meditations and moments of stillness through the day. I also use a mantra that reflects who I want to be, it’s handy to have your own words of magic to repeat to yourself through the day, during meditation, and as you dose off to sleep. Make is short and sweet and positive and keep it as your own piece of powerful magic to use as needed.
I’m still a long way off becoming the ‘fit and healthy’ me but I’m 2 months closer than I was and I’m pleasantly surprised by the positive side-effects as well, my mind is clearer, I’m happier and more in tune with my body and I’m eating better as well. I’m also surprised by the gym itself; I love it… being around so many people who are in that vibration of actively contributing to their own self-betterment is intoxicating.
So whatever beliefs you are wanting to change, you can do it. We’re not static beings, we’re dynamic and ever-changing. We are beings of unlimited power – living in a cage of our own making, a cage made of our beliefs about ourselves and the world we perceive with our senses. Make the change, it doesn’t mean you have to don a flying suit and jump off a mountain, it just means you can become the person you know is hiding inside. Accept the beautiful person you are now and step beyond this into the more empowered you, you’re not rejecting who you are, you’re expanding and learning, healing and growing…you are limitless.
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ~John C. Maxwell