Make a list, check it twice
Did you do it? Did you make your list?
Last week we introduced the topic of changing beliefs. We have been discussing replacing old habits that don’t serve us well, with new ones that do. This week we look at the wish list of habits we’d like to change.
Changing habits, as you know, is not always an easy task. There is, however, a formula that if followed will, almost certainly, result in a new habit becoming a piece of who we are, and remaining with us in the long term.
Change Those Beliefs
As you may recall, our beliefs are the first step in the habit formation formula and beliefs, particularly those we hold to be true of ourselves, have come to us by way of personal choice.
As adults, we choose, and have chosen everything we believe to be true and while this may not have always occurred at a conscious level, we have still chosen every belief we hold dear.
We are all master story tellers, in fact we are the product of the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. To begin our work, last week, we agreed to make a list of what we would like, or wish to be different about ourselves.
Examine Your List
And today, we begin transforming that wish list into our new story.
The stories we repeatedly tell ourselves become the very substance of what we believe to be true of ourselves.
Our stories are our beliefs.
So, let’s examine our list.
By way of example, let’s say that one of the items on your list addresses your own sense of confidence in yourself. Perhaps your list includes “I wish I felt more confidence in myself and in my abilities.”
For years you have known of your lack of confidence and have reinforced this belief repeatedly with your story, thoughts and feelings.
You experience this frequently whenever you would like to speak up and be heard, but choose to remain silent, when you talk yourself out of applying for a job because you know you just aren’t good enough or when you impersonate a wallflower at social events rather than run the risk of introducing yourself to a stranger.
Let’s change the story. Let’s create a statement that says, “I feel supreme confidence in myself and my abilities at all times.”
Is That How You Really Feel?
Now, as you look at that statement you might do so with a great deal of disdain. You don’t believe a word of it.
But, what if it were true?
What if every word in that sentence resonated with your belief system and you experienced strong feelings of confidence – the absolute absence of self-doubt – on an ever increasing and more intense basis?
Well, if that sentence truly becomes the new story you tell yourself, and if you tell yourself that story as many times as you can throughout each day, and if you even take a few moments when doing so to allow yourself to deeply experience those strong, powerful and uplifting feelings of confidence, then it won’t take long before those words no longer seem fictional but represent irrefutable, indisputable truth of who you have become.
Imagine water pouring down a drain pipe and spreading over freshly laid dirt. Once it is dry you will not be able to see any evidence of the water having been there. After several more instances you notice small ruts beginning to form in the dirt and over time those very ruts become deeper and thicker until one day the water stops spreading out and only goes through those deepening crevices.
It Takes Some Time
That is precisely what you are doing each time you tell yourself your new story. It may take some time for those ruts to form and grow over the ruts you have developed from your previous story, but the truth is, if you don’t begin, and stick with your new story, you will continue to deepen and strengthen your old ruts.
I suggest that you select two or three items from your list and wordsmith powerful and uplifting statements that may today seem like wishful thinking.
With time, patience dedication and commitment, will become your new story and your new life.
By doing this you have just taken the first steps to bringing two or three life-enhancing habits to your life.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.