December 17, 2020

The Cycles of Habitual, Addictive Behaviour—& How to Stop Them.

Let’s begin with a list to get the ball rolling.

Feel free to add your own where appropriate. Because let’s be real, this is a big subject:

Some of the Cycles of Habitual Behaviour:

  1. Addiction
  2. Escapism
  3. Excuses
  4. Feeling unworthy
  5. Negative self-talk
  6. Mental and physical abuse

So, in my politest of voices and with bated breath, I want to ask you, what is your greatest habit or addiction(s)? We may spend a great deal of time judging others for their addictive behaviours, but what about our own?

A Little Vulnerable Opener About Me

For years, I suffered from addiction. It all started with a severe eating disorder and went on from there, as it does. In the long run, I have been grateful for all these, dare I say it, vile experiences (well, they weren’t pretty). And why am I grateful? Because they have taught me the greatest lessons of all.

First and foremost, they taught me that it was up to me to save my own skin, it was up to me to take self-responsibility, and it was only me who could change my own life. Yes, I could do all the right things, say all the right words, and practice yoga, but if I wasn’t listening, truly listening, to my own internal voice, then what good was it?

So, yes it sounds simple, I started to listen, but I can’t lie, it wasn’t simple. It took guts, commitment, and an intense want and often a need to make the big shift by doing the deep work. It wasn’t until I realised that there was no guide or guru outside of me—that the teacher was within. It was then with a little more knowledge, age, and wisdom that I really started getting to grips with breaking the habits, both mentally and physically. Disrupting old, rigid thought patterns and finally becoming the me I wanted to be.

I’ve often been called a disruptor of rigidity, and frankly, I believe I am.

We Have to Do the Work

We have to do the work because if we don’t, we will only continue rolling around on the monotonous spinning hamster wheel of the same old story we so falsely call life. Falsely, because it doesn’t have to be that way.

The story cannot change until we make the decision to jump off the wheel. Eyes closed or open, it doesn’t matter, we just have to jump to make the shift. Here, take my hand…jump!

Recognise Your Superhero Powers

We are powerful human beings, and it takes time to get to know and love the internal superhero that resides inside of us. Have you found yours? And if you have, what are your powers? Come on, let’s hear the truth. I really want to hear what you’ve discovered.

Taking small steps and not pressurising ourselves to take big leaps so quickly can be the difference between winning or not winning. I refuse to use the word losing; after all, everything is a learning experience that creates a greater opportunity to grow.

So, back to those cycles of habitual behaviour.

When we continue the old way, it leads to more of the same. To move from one state to the next, it’s important that we make a shift from old to new.

Without this shift, we sit and procrastinate about it, and get nothing done, time ticks, and we still haven’t made the shift five years later. Does that resonate? Be honest now.

To stop any kind of habitual pattern, the pattern needs to be recognised. The first step in the 12-step program is recognising and admission.

This doesn’t have to be with drugs or alcohol—the lesson can be used with any situation we may have become dependent on and these can be stimulants, food, sex, shopping, anything that creates the high that brings something temporarily new. Whether that be internally (different state of mind) or externally (a new item of clothing, a new car, or purchase).

Excuses are a great way to stop ourselves from moving forward. We use them without even thinking, and we make excuses about everything. Using habitual excuses means we lie to ourselves as well as others.

Feeling unworthy is a state we can very easily drop into. That state of “I am not good enough”  gives us a list of excuses and made-up reasons not to move forward.

Negative self-talk, like feeling unworthy, is another way to put things off and create a delay. I may sound a little harsh here, please forgive me, but I want you to understand that we must take responsibility for our own thoughts, feelings, and actions. Whatever we create in our internal world projects in our external world. So it’s up to us as super-powered individuals to make things happen for the best.

Often negative self-talk is learned behaviour from our past, but it can be broken with awareness, time, and effort when we change our mindset—oh yes, it can, but it takes work.

Mental and physical abuse, and in particular, self-harm, can be physical and emotional. It requires us to have a sense of self-worth before we see the abuse as detrimental in moving our life forward.

The positive thing is that it’s like a line of dominoes. When the first one is knocked, then they all fall down. When we consciously break one behaviour, the others follow. We start to see the bigger picture, and we start to love the change we see. Why? Because it feels good and what could be more important than that?

“When you change your energy, you change your life.” ~ Dr. Joe Dispenza


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