We all have some habits that we wish we didn’t do.
If we’re doing a behavior repeatedly, it means that we like it on some level.
It meets a need for us.
There’s a benefit of some sort.
Otherwise, it would be easy to get rid of the behavior.
An approach that I find doesn’t work is when we tell ourselves what we don’t want.
We think that by telling ourselves that we don’t want it, we will stop.
This was me last week while on vacation at my sister’s house.
I was telling myself that I didn’t want the cake and cookies (it was her birthday).
While I follow a no sugar eating lifestyle at home, I was eating some cookies and cake during my visit to her house.
And I remember the same happened to me when I was cutting back on alcohol.
The more I told myself that I didn’t want it, the more my desire for it grew.
In my coaching program, I caution my clients in using negative speak when it comes to trying to break the habit of overdrinking. Because it doesn’t work.
By saying you don’t want something, you are actually telling your brain to focus on what you don’t want.
I love the pink elephant example. When you say to someone not to think about a pink elephant, they immediately think of a pink elephant.
Your mind will envision a pink elephant even though you were told not to do it.
And you begin to add context to the pink elephant that popped in your mind.
Is he standing? Sitting? Juggling balls in the air?
It is better to direct your brain to what you do want without using negative terms.
Saying “I wish I didn’t desire this cake” is still using the negative (didn’t desire).
Focus on what you want in the positive.
I found strawberries in my sister’s refrigerator.
“I find joy in eating strawberries.” And I did (really, I did).
And it was more satisfying to me than the cake.
Your words hold power.
Your words are your thoughts spoken.
And we know our thoughts direct everything.