Have you ever wanted to change a habit yet just seemed unable to break the pattern. Well just about everyone has so you’re not alone nor are you simply too weak willed.
There are innumerable reasons why changing a habit can seem so difficult. Stress response, anchored situations and stimulus are just three possible stumbling blocks to successful habit change.
I want to teach you a simple way to help you finally break the pattern of old redundant habits.
The first thing to do is make a decision. Do you really want to change the habit or are you holding onto it at an unconscious level. What could be the possible gain of keeping the habit? Is it like an old friend so familiar you’re kind of comfortable with it in some way? If it really doesn’t hurt you or any one else you may choose to keep it. You may choose to get comfortable with it and assign it to harmless idiosyncrasy. Or you may decide that you are really fed up with it and want to be free to make more choices about your behaviour. In many cases it is not the habit itself that is annoying but the feeling that we have no choice.
The first step to change is really deciding that you want change. When you are really certain you want change, then change is just a matter of time and a little NLP hypnotic brain re-wiring!
Ask yourself these questions:-
Do I really want to change this habit or modify it?
What need does this habit meet?
What other behaviour would meet that need?
What resources do I all ready have to make the change?
What internal or external resources will I need to discover?
What might changing this habit mean to me and everything else in my life both positively and negatively?
When you have answered those questions to your utter satisfaction you can begin to build new habits and behaviours using the tools of NLP and Hypnotherapy.
Having decided you really want change you have taken the essential step towards it.
What attitude and behaviour would you like instead of the old habit?
It is not enough just to not want the habit; you need to develop a new positive way of behaving that meets all the needs of the old habit.
Would the ability to simply relax and smile at the old behaviour be a good thing? Would the ability to notice its pull and be able to laugh and dismiss it be a good as well?
I will assume it as a good outcome to find yourself uninterested and bored by the old habit so that eventually you forget about it completely.
This is the part where change occurs. Find somewhere where you can safely relax. Close your eyes and focus on the flow of your breath letting thoughts come and go but remaining focused on you breath as you gently scan down your body relaxing all your muscles from your head to your toes. While you are very relaxed and comfortable you are going to use your memory and imagination to change your habit.
Make a living picture in your mind of all the negative things you feel about the habit, its unattractiveness, its unnecessary risks, its silliness and its waist of time and money and all the times of acute embarrassment you might have felt about it. Make the picture/feeling as strong and as uncomfortable as possible. Now say something to yourself like” no more” “enough” never again” some expression that lets you know with certainty that you are about to change that old redundant habit for a better way of behaving not because you feel guilty in some way but because you want the freedom to choose. You choose to be free.
Relax inside with your focus on your breath and begin to build a better picture in your mind. How you want to be, how you want to behave and all the associated feelings of freedom and achievement you feel by being free of that old limiting behaviour.
Begin to smile inside and out as you push the old picture and habit away while you step inside the new picture of you freedom with all its associated good feelings, really live it through your own eyes and ears experience the freedom fully and with pleasure allowing yourself the chance to step into freedom. Set a word, a picture or a physical feeling to the picture/idea and use its power whenever that old pattern shows up keep practising this simple skill and very soon you will be completely free of that old habit.
Matthew Ferguson is extremely passionate about Hypnotherapy and NLP and is the founder of Motivation Training a Hypnotherapy and NLP School in the UK. To learn more about his Accredited Diploma in Hypnotherapy, Practitioner and Master Practitioner of NLP courses please see www.motivationtraining.co.uk