For all the popular books on habits and stacking them and so on, there are many failures along this line as well.
Habits are mental practices. They have a great deal to do with beliefs.
We tend to live very full lives. And our beliefs are that way as well. We tend to have a complete set of beliefs running at all times. This is our belief-system or world-view.
Because we think this pattern is complete, we resist accepting any new belief or idea that doesn’t somehow align with what we already have there.
Exactly how many beliefs we can hold onto at any given time has never been explored that I can find. While it could be infinite, in practical terms, we limit ourselves to just a few.
But don’t figure that’s a handful. There are supporting beliefs below those, and many incidents which “prove” those beliefs to be valid. Many of these are tied into emotions and other programming so that we have reflexive and instinctual actions that kick in.
You’ve probably seen yourself doing this on occasion. You can become instantly angry at some things, and can also find yourself tearing up over a sentimental movie. Some of these are quite survival-oriented, going back to the “fight-or-flight” instincts we’ve kept around and inherited. Others are more rational, but are still invoked on an instantaneous basis.
The density of these supportive beliefs and sorting them out is what supports certain psychotherapists and other practitioners.
That density is the reason you can’t accept new habits.
Because you simply don’t consider that you have any room for more.
Even when they tell you to start consciously doing a new action anytime you have the urge to do something else. (Like the advice to drink a glass of water any time you have the urge to smoke a cigarette.)
You may have had some success with some of these habit-replacement practices. What we want to address here is how to handle the ones that didn’t work, or didn’t take root for you.
In Catherine Ponder’s “Dynamic Laws of Prosperity”, she mentions in Chapter 4 about the idea of creating a vacuum. You have to let go of old beliefs mentally and “make room” for new beliefs to come in.
If you’re already familiar with releasing, then this is nothing new to you. Just set up some time daily or incorporate this into your current schedule.
Otherwise, she recommends taking a half-hour daily to simply release old beliefs. She also notes that forgiveness might be needed. “Forgive” is really another term for releasing, as it literally means to “give for.” You have to release the non-optimal feelings you have toward others and toward yourself. These feelings are the glue which hold these beliefs in your mind. When you dissolve that glue, then it’s simple to move in other beliefs and the habitual actions you now need.
Habits and emotions are programmed things. Below them are beliefs. And below these are feelings.
Interestingly, you can go back to the old Polynesian shaman practices to resolve these quickly. They called one practice Ho’oponopono, which was used for healing. While there are many versions of this, Joe Vitale found a Dr. Hew Len who had made a very simple version of this for our Western minds. (Link to this in the show notes.)
And when you boil this down, comparing it to other New Thought principles such as Wattle’s Science of Getting Rich, you’ll see that there are simple ideas you need to recognize as a pattern:
We could go into a long description of each one of these, but they can be a simple set of phrases.
- Gratitude: Thank you.
Appreciate what is and the goodness there.
- Responsibility: I’m sorry.
Accept ownership for the incident or condition. As belief creates fact, this has entered your world for some reason.
- Releasing: Forgive me.
You let go of what you find in others and in yourself.
- Re-creation: I Love You.
Love is the primal creative force in this universe. You now create the ideal you want to see.
Ponder suggested you spend a half-hour daily in the action simply forgiving. The steps above, done for each incident which comes to you, can make this simpler. The order isn’t so important as getting each point fully accomplished for any incident in your past which is holding that belief in place.
Thought this might help you.
It’s out of research for a new book coming out shortly, “Make Yourself Great Again.”
Let me know how it works for you.
Until next time…