Habit is a bitch, I’m going to be honest. How much of a bummer is it that symptoms of anxiety, symptoms of OCD, symptoms of depression, boil down to a bunch of shitty, out of control and thoughtless… habits? (plus other stuff – but that’s not the point of this blog 😉).
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m the only one with destructive habits, but either way, I’m horrible at helping myself. Some of my habits and parts of my daily routine are destructive and not helpful. These parts of me are not healing. These habits and idiosyncrasies do not encourage me, or challenge me, or bring out the best in me. Some of my habits don’t actually improve me or my quality of life. In fact, many of my habits make me cranky and/or push my buttons, and feel insurmountable and defeating.
As part of my recovery from September 2020, and my quest to find true, genuine happiness for myself, I’ve realized.. some of these habits have got to go.
Habits are a bitch. They don’t want to go anywhere and they’re impossible to break up with.
I’m not talking about the dumb, little habits, the tiny intricacies that make you, you. Don’t give those up. I mean honestly, if you want to bite your nails.. that’s on you. It’s a habit. It’s hard to break. Trust me, it’s a constant battle for me. Currently, my fingers are bloody nubs. 🤷🏻♀️ This habit I am less concerned about.
Cussing, too. It’s a habit. Supposedly a dirty one even.. but I don’t know, I stand by the fact that some situations really do just deserve the fbomb. You know when the moment is right. I’m not worried about habitual cussing.
Don’t get rid of the cute habits you have either- like the one that sounds like telling your loved ones to “get home safe and watch for deer” instead of goodbye. (Is this a Midwest only thing?🤣).
Don’t get rid of the good habits. For example, always wear your seatbelt. It should be a habit. If it’s not, make it one! If you work out, habitually, don’t stop.. especially on my accord. Just send some of that juju my way. 😝
The habits that I’m talking about are the negative habits, the ones that are deep seated in your brain, that are your gut reaction response. The habits that come out without thinking and wreck your day. For me, it’s the habit of talking badly to myself.
“Talking badly to myself” sounds so much kinder than what it really is.. a type of all out, knock-down war, internally, where the person losing is always me and there are no true winners. If anything, these moments fuel the brain, giving it more to pick apart and to judge later.
Yes, I’m talking about fighting with my own brain. My brain.. that I have SHAMELESSLY loved and supported, and grown and nourished, has turned against me. Okay fine, I’ll admit.. there were some serious knocks to the head (thanks Star! 🐎) but still.. an overall positive experience. My brain shouldn’t hate me, but for some reason it does.
It likes to point out all my mistakes. It likes to take away my victories by reminding me of my losses. It likes to think about worst-case-scenarios when I’m teetering on the edge of blissful, carefree happiness. My brain likes to distort my body before my eyes and it makes the mirror lie to me. It likes to wait until I’m quiet, and still, and relaxed, and then remind me of something I said but shouldn’t have, or a big project looming. It never notices what I’ve accomplished, only what I have missed. It never focuses on what I have learned, only on what I still don’t know. And it loves, and I do mean LOVES, to go over my mistakes, over and over and over again.
My brain is a bully, but it’s only a bully because I let it be. It’s habit. 🤷🏻♀️
An inexcusable habit in my opinion. A habit in desperate need of reformation.
I know so many people out there struggle with negative self-talk , and honestly, my heart is with you. I wish I had a secret recipe for success. I wish I could just glue fake fingernails to my brain and break the habit (it works for biting fingernails!). But this one, it’s a bitch.. a lingering, clingy bitch. I don’t know how to make it go away. Do you? If so, tell me ASAP.
Until someone shares the secret to permanently breaking this habit to me in a few simple steps (which I am completely holding out for), I have some bad news. I don’t know how to get rid of the habit. BUT I am learning to curb it, to challenge it, to reshape it. I’m learning to make negative self talk less of a gut reaction and more of a conscious decision.
It’s a three step process.. but it’s not effortless and it doesn’t stop the negative self talk permanently. It’s something you have to work at for every second of every day, until you find your habits shifting. It’s not the solution for the lazy, or the people that want a simple process to an always successful result. It takes work, a lot of it:
- Pay attention to your thoughts. All of them. Even when you feel like being lazy or are not in the mood to work on yourself. You gotta catch yourself in the act.. a lot.
- Pause those thoughts. By pause, I mean, tell your brain to shape up or ship out. Refuse to let your brain tell you pointless, horrible, non-instructive bullshit, just because it wants too.
- Take a moment to genuinely think about those wins. Account for them. Pat yourself on the back. Think about what you learned or how you communicated better.
Like I said.. it’s not a cure, and more annoyingly, it take a lot of work. It takes a lot of time, sitting with yourself, breaking destructive thought-patterns, and learning (or relearning) how to be kind to yourself, how to respect yourself, and how to value yourself.
Build yourself up! Honor those victories! Remind yourself of all you’ve accomplished when the day felt impossible. Tell your brain to shut up. Break. The. Habit.
Habits are a bitch, but you don’t have to be. You, especially, don’t have to be a bitch to yourself. Be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that you are pretty and worthy and funny. Think about how far you’ve come in the last year. Don’t settle for what your brain tells you are your shortcomings or your failures. You know better.
This post isn’t as upbeat as I generally try to keep this blog, but I think it drops some hard truths.. and talks about something important. Negative self-talk is harmful! I’m so tired of it, it’s the nastiest habit. Want to join me on reshaping some of those thoughts and doubts? It’s time for some new habits.
Sunny daze ahead, friends. I just know it. 🌞