Ever wonder why it’s so hard to change a habit? Whether you’re talking about an eating habit or an exercise habit or the habit of how you talk to yourself, it can feel next to impossible to change something you’ve done for a long time. Maybe you’ve even done something for so long that it feels automatic.
First, let me tell you when we’re talking about habits, MOST of the things we put into that category are not automatic! Huge sigh of relief, right? These aren’t things that you have no control over; they’re things that we’ve done and repeated for years and years.
Let’s look at talking to yourself kindly. Very few of us ever learn how to do that; so we listen to that inner critic voice that we all have and assume that it’s an automatic part of us. Nope! It’s a learned habit. Now, there can often be a lot to untangle with that inner critic voice, but at a very high level it is a habit that you can change.
When you replace a very old, ingrained habit with something new, it’s going to feel clunky. I promise you this is NORMAL!
My favorite analogy to use is a hiking path. Typically there’s a main path in a wooded area that’s clear and well-maintained and everyone walks on it. There might also be some side paths that a few brave folks venture onto. They’re smaller, more overgrown and might even have some risky spots.
It works the same way when you’re trying to change something. The way you’ve always done it is that main path. It’s easy to find and it’s what you’re used to. When you try something new, you’re on the smaller path that’s a lot trickier to hike…but every time you take that smaller path it gets a little more comfortable. The weeds start to die off and the path gets more and more clear – as long as you keep taking it.
So, whether it’s speaking kindly to yourself or changing some other habit, remember these 3 things:
1) You have the power to change it.
2) It’s NORMAL that it feels uncomfortable.
3) Keep repeating the good.