Habits fascinate me. How we allow a habit to take over our lives fascinates me even more. This is a short article so you won’t find a detailed treatise on this subject – just some observations and thought starters.
About 40% of our daily actions are not decisions but habits. 40%!
What are your morning routine habits?
Left shoe or right shoe first?
What part of your body do you wash first in the shower?
Where are certain clothes placed in your closet?
Where do you place your deodorant?
When meeting an attractive member of the opposite sex, where do your eyes look first?
See what I mean? We evolve into habits for a large portion of our lives.
Now, what if you wanted to change a particularly bad habit? How would you go about it?
First comes the awareness of the habit to be changed, then the change in behavior or patterns. A huge part of that is being aware of the trigger points that lead to the habit to be changed.
If we follow this logic, that is a good path to be on, however, there is one ingredient above all others that must be invoked.
The Power of Belief
We have to believe we can change a habit first for it to become a viable change in our lives. I’m not talking about a belief in God. I’m simply talking of a belief in one’s own ability to alter a certain set of circumstances, exposures and thought patterns. You and I have to believe that we can make the changes we seek. “Once people learned how to believe in something, that “belief” skill starts spilling over to other parts of our lives and we start believing we can change. Belief was the ingredient that made a reworked habit loop into a permanent behaviors.”
~The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
I am a spiritually minded person, and spirituality, religion, a code of ethics, laws and legislation are all good, but when it comes to overcoming bad habits, it is a matter of belief in one’s ability to make the changes that come into play. It’s not a God-thing. It is a strong determination and belief within that says “I can do this. I believe in myself to bring this about.
This concept in no way diminishes my God-concept or my relationship with God. It does, however, have to do with the power of choice. We choose to believe, and in this case, we believe a change is needed and we accept the change we perceive as good and wholesome.
If this article causes you to consider the power of habits in your own life, well and good. If it causes you to read Mr. Duhigg’s book, even better.
P Michael Biggs
One Word at a Time