Last time I talked about old stuff showing up to be released, and the power of experiencing yourself facing up to it and not being controlled by it. One thing I see people struggling with, though, is facing something difficult (confrontation, cynicism, the need to be assertive/ accepting/ open minded, etc.) and then becoming discouraged when the challenge continues to occur. It feels like what they are doing must not be working.

“I identified that I needed to stand up for my boundaries with my coworkers. I did it and it worked but I keep having to do it.”

“I tried really hard not to sound critical of my daughter, but it seems like no matter what I say she still takes it that way.”

“I realize my wife and I have different communication styles and that her intention is to express affection. But I just wish she didn’t talk to me that way.”

They took action and the results seemed inconclusive or temporary. They practiced that new mindset but it didn’t make the old one go away completely. Creating change is hard work and if the payoff isn’t clear it doesn’t seem like there’s any point.

But here’s the thing –

The things we really struggle with are difficult because they’ve become habits. One of the reasons a negative belief or habit is so powerful is that we’ve been repeating it and reinforcing it for a long time. A habit, by definition, has to be practiced over and over until it becomes second nature (A belief can be seen as a habitual thought). The most effective habits (negative or positive) operate at the speed of light, without our even having to think about them. That’s why the negative ones are so insidious – they are streamlined, market tested, and operating on auto pilot.

Therefore –

What I suggest is to replace your undesirable habit with one that would serve you. And creating new habits, like getting to Carnegie Hall, requires practice, practice, practice. So when that situation you hate insists on resurfacing, instead of investing your energy in feeling ineffective, unsupported, or resistant, see it instead as opportunity. You’ve gotten this far – you identified that habit that’s holding you back, you clarified the change you wish to create. The critical third step is to get really good at execution.

In order for that new positive relationship to the situation to work on auto pilot, or the substitution of the new constructive thought to occur at light speed, you are going to need a lot of chances to practice. You said you wanted it to be different … How kind and generous of the Universe to have supplied you with ample opportunity to create the new habit of your choosing.

Noticing tree photo by ZeMoufette

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