I want to talk about getting unstuck. Since we are creatures of habit and if we practice something enough times we will get good at doing it. It doesn’t matter if that habit is good or bad. By being conscious of bad behavior we can interrupt it. To break bad habits and patterns, you have to practice and eventually you’ll get good at it. You probably know people who do the same thing day after day and get the same unfavorable results, and still wine about the same unfavorable things that are happening in their lives. It’s hard for them to see it because they’re stuck in their little world. It takes someone from the outside to see it. You maybe stuck in a certain behavioral pattern that got you where you are right now. When was the last time you looked at yourself and paid attention to the choices you’re making. Are you actually learning from your choices? Often times when we get accustom to a pattern of behavior, we’ll repeat that patter over and over again without even thinking about it. Even if we don’t have to like what we’re doing, our brain circuitry keeps reacting the same way because it seems easier to do something than not doing it. If the results we get from our behavior is not what we want, the logical thing would be to change that behavior to get a favorable result. But we don’t do it. A lot of people will get stuck in a situation and feel helpless to change it. Doing the same thing over and over again will get you the same result. But if we change what we do, we change the result. That means being mindful of you behavior and thoughts.
A lot of people might say they are comfortable doing things the same way over and over again and why should they change? But there’s a difference between being comfortable and being accustomed. You might not like what you’re doing or where you’re going in life, and because your neural circuitry becomes accustomed to doing the same way, it takes less energy to continue doing it the same way instead of change it.
So how do we get unstuck from unfavorable behaviors? The first step is to recognize that you are stuck in some ways. Look at yourself when doing daily activities and see yourself as others might see you. Do you see any set patterns that you go through? And are the results you’re getting from that behavior the results that you want? If not, then it’s time to change that behavior. Do you react the same emotional way when someone says or does something? By being mindful you can recognize set patterns of behaviors and break those patterns. You also need to have the willpower and the willingness to change.
Practice doing the opposite of your set behavior. Try it for one day and see what happens. For example if you normally drink coffee in the morning, try drinking water or juice. If you go to bed late and get up late, then go to bed early and get up early. If you normally get angry with people, try to be pleasant instead. If you brush your teeth with your right hand, brush them with your left hand. When you keep changing your routines you become more mindful of your actions. Remember you’re not helpless with your actions and patterns but you have to be mindful of them in order to change them.
Get in a pattern of recognizing set patterns of behavior that gets you unfavorable results and break that pattern.