HOW TO GET RID OF A BAD HABIT
Today is the day. The day you finally change that self-destructive habit you thought you were unable to control. Keep reading, or watch the video, to discover how.
Bad habits are tricky. We know they’re wrong but we keep doing them anyway. Do you ever wonder: “Why am I doing this? What invisible force makes me do things I know I shouldn't do?” Have you ever said: “This is the last time” then repeated your behaviour again, and again? People often ask me: “How do you change a bad habit?” They want to know what they need to do in order to change their behaviour. Well, I can help you change that habit once and for all.
The first key is to understand your real motivation. What’s the intention behind the habit. You need to figure out what the habit does for you? How does it benefit you? Ask yourself what does this do for me? What’s the payoff? The answer is not as obvious as you might think. Keep looking. Keep asking yourself: “what’s the positive benefit behind my behavior?”
For example, when a teenager starts smoking, they know it's a bad for them and not a good behavior to adopt. They may even get in trouble from their parents. Yet, they do it anyhow. Why? What drives them? Chances are it is something that has a positive benefit such as feeling they belong, or that others think they’re cool. Whatever the reason, the benefit is bigger than the disadvantage of doing the bad habit.
Speaking of smoking, I had a client who was a heavy smoker. This gentleman worked very hard to reduce his smoking from two packs a day down to just one cigarette. One cigarette a day. Unfortunately, no matter how hard he tried, the craving was too strong and he could not quit that last daily cigarette. By working together, we were able to uncover the intention behind his behavior, what that daily cigarette really meant to him. Apparently, my client had not fully accepted the passing of his father, who was also a smoker. On some level that last cigarette was a daily connection with his father. After determining the intention behind the behavior, I was able to help my client with the second key: to find a different way to fulfill his intention. Once he knew why he would get the craving every night for that one cigarette, he could stop and think: “Hey, I know why I want this. It's because I want to feel connected with my dad.” So instead of the cigarette, he would find another way to fulfill that intention. He would open a photo album and look at pictures of his father or talk to him.
Another example of a client who used my two keys to rid herself of a bad habit is a longtime client of mine who had moved to San Francisco. She used to live in Toronto where she worked as a sales rep for a chocolate company – and she didn’t like chocolate! I always thought it was funny – who works as a sales rep for chocolate but doesn't like chocolate?!? Anyhow, several months after quitting her job in Toronto and moving to San Francisco to marry a wonderful man, she called me saying: "You need to help me. I eat Kit-Kats every day. I can't stop. I can’t let go of this habit.” Every single day she ate at least one chocolate bar and she still didn’t really like chocolate. What was going on? You guessed it. She missed her life in Toronto. She missed the friends she had and her job at the chocolate company. Clearly the intention behind her Kit-Kat behavior was not the taste of chocolate or the added calories. The intention was to fulfill a need, the friendships and the life she had. Once she understood the intention behind the behavior, when the craving would come, that trigger, she knew what need she was trying to fulfill so she would go on Facebook to see what her friends were up to and comment on their posts or she would send them a text or call her friends to chat and sure enough, the chocolate craving would go away.
So what intention is your habit trying to fill? What are your bad habits and what do they do for you? Look deeply and remember, the intention behind the behavior and the actual behavior may not appear to be connected. Once you figure out the benefit your behaviour is giving you, you can replace the bad habit with healthy behaviour that fulfills your intention in a positive way. So go ahead, do some digging and discover what’s really driving your behaviour. You’ll be glad you did.
This is part of the 15 Keys to Find Confidence that I mention in my new online course: THINK Yourself® CONFIDENT. Check out the course here.