Fear is an emotion that was very familiar to me during my formative years. My parents, who did the best they could, were living in fear. From a really young age, I became aware from their fear-based attitude what we were lacking, what we were missing, and what we should have.
Living in fear has become a habit for me. As an adult, I can manipulate my thinking and do the inner work to shift from fear to love, but my default behavior, my instinctual habit is to let fear control me. When I’m in fear, I allow my negative self-talk to take control. I need to stop and ask: ?Why am I allowing fear to control me again??
We all tend to be controlled by our past, but we don’t need to be.? However, in order to do what we want to do and be who we want to be, we have some work to do.? Creating solid change means supporting our desires with a new set of behaviors.? We have to change our habits.
In her book Fierce Medicine,?Ana Forrest teaches 4 steps for breaking a bad habit (Chapter 2, page 46):
- Catch that you’re doing the behavior
- Take ten deep breaths and reset
- Reward yourself lavishly for catching the behavior
- Take one step toward healing
I had an interesting conversation with Ana when I interviewed her for the 2013 Wow year Telesummit.?Together we realized that step 3 is the most important one:?
When you catch yourself doing the automatic behavior, the bad habit, you have a choice to make.? You can choose to beat yourself up for doing the behavior (again!) or you can reward yourself for recognizing that you did it (again!)
How effective is it to focus on the bad habit? It is only effective if it serves you in any way to keep repeating the behavior. If you want to change, it is more effective to actually pat yourself on the back for catching the behavior. ?Focusing on what we don’t want attracts more of the same behavior. Whatever we focus on grows!
The Bottom Line: Affirming the positive change leads to another positive change.
Ask: What’s a healthy and loving way I can reward myself for catching the behavior?
Affirm: I choose to acknowledge, be proud, and reward myself, and I invite more awareness and change.