Unlearning A Lifetime Of Habits
We all fall into habits and routines – it’s the nature of being human. But even when you realize your daily behaviors are inhibiting you from achieving your goals, that doesn’t mean you can just vow to change one day and all will be well. “Every single behavior that you demonstrate – good, bad or ugly – is actually run by your unconscious mind,” says Carol Talbot, a keynote speaker and author of YOU The Divine Genius (www.Youthedivinegenius.com). “So if you want to change a behavior, you can’t do it by willpower alone. You have to get into the unconscious mind and change it there.”
She likens it to running a new program on a computer. First, you need to install the program – or at least upgrade the existing software. Here’s why: Research indicates that the unconscious mind is running you on its auto pilot 95 percent of the time, Talbot says. “That means the conscious mind provides 5 percent or less of our cognitive activity during the day,” she says. “So even when you think you’re consciously making a decision, you’re not. You are operating from pre-existing programs running at the unconscious level.”
The good news, Talbot says, is you really can reprogram the “software” in your brain. But she cautions that unlearning a lifetime worth of habits is no simple feat.
“A lot of the thoughts and attitudes rumbling around in your brain were probably programmed during childhood, which means they’re out of date,” she says. “It’s also likely that many beliefs that guide your life aren’t even your own. They were adopted from your family, culture or heritage.” There’s a lot involved in unbinding those ties to the past, but Talbot offers a few tips to point you in the right direction.
• Understand that belief creates experience. People often think that experience is what leads to beliefs, but it’s actually the other way around. Your beliefs shape your destiny. For example, if deep down you believe you’re not good enough to accomplish something, then that belief will create the reality. “It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Talbot says. “So when was the last time you examined your beliefs? Are they outdated and only supporting a limited view of what’s really possible for you? Maybe it’s time to choose your own beliefs rather than operate from those passed down by your ancestors.”
• Be the cause for all the effects in your life. Life is a chain reaction of causes and effects. Everything that happens was caused by what happened before and is the effect for what will happen next. “Some people seem stuck on the ‘effect’ side of life, bemoaning their bad luck,” Talbot says. “Others habitually think of themselves on the ‘cause’ side of life, always doing and achieving things.”
• Your words say more than you realize. The way we share and express our thoughts and beliefs is through language. And the language we use makes a huge difference, Talbot says. “You can change the language you use every day to label people, events, situations and circumstances in your life,” she says. “As soon as the label you put on them changes, your experience and perception of the person, the event, the situation or the circumstance also change.”
“Once you realize you’re creating your life as you go along, it gives you the power to change,” Talbot says. “You can choose to pay attention to different things, interpret experiences differently, feel differently and act differently.”
Carol Talbot (www.caroltalbot.me), author of the soon-to-be-released book YOU The Divine Genius, is a keynote speaker who has delivered inspiring messages to corporations and conferences in more than 20 countries. She is a Certified Master Trainer of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), a Certified Trainer of hypnosis and a Certified Master Trainer of Time Line Therapy. In addition, she is a Master Firewalk Instructor, firing up teams and groups to walk across burning hot coals. Talbot also is the Amazon bestselling author of Hitting the Wall … and Breaking Through.