#18: Changing habits and overcoming addictions

The Awareness and Consciousness Podcasts with Gary van Warmerdam
Awareness and Consciousness Podcast
#18: Changing habits and overcoming addictions

People attempt to change a habit or addiction by going cold turkey. This often raises the expectation too high and can set a person up for failure if they don’t yet have a lot of personal power or discipline. The result is failing and self judgment. That can lead to more emotional suffering. The alternative is to perceive your addiction or habit as comprising many small habits and then to systematically change those small habits.

Each action we take that is negative or self destructive is based in a false belief. That belief is only powerful because you put your faith in that idea. The conceptual idea could be the idea that we are not worthy, lovable, or that we are smarter than someone else. We then act, on that belief in a way of action, or inaction. These actions or inactions often become habits because we maintain the same beliefs. When those habits are self destructive, and we have difficulty changing them we call them addictions.

When you change the core beliefs behind an action, it becomes easy to change the habit. The steps to changing a habit or addiction are:

Awareness and perception: You can not change what you are not aware of.
Desire: If you have no desire to make change, then you will take no action.
Intent and commitment: Your intent is the channeling of that desire towards a new expression or action that involves change.
New action: A new action will replace your old habit. Sometimes that action might just be refrain.
Manage expectations: If you set the bar too high, or have not prepared your self for your actions, you can fail. That will usually lead to self judgment.
Acceptance: What will derail your persistence is self judgment. When you judge your self as a failure, you can put your self into a downward emotional spiral. That emotional spiral starts with self judgment, and is broken when you practice self acceptance.
Persistence: Some habits are bigger than others and will take longer to break and replace. You may fall down many times, but it only matters how many times you stand up. Your ability to persist in breaking your habit or addiction, even after you have fallen, will be depend on your awareness, and desire.

The Self Mastery course offers practical exercises in building self awareness, changing beliefs, and self sabotaging habits and addictions.