Releasing the bad habit, so I can thrive.

I have a horrible, disgusting habit. A habit I have not had the discipline to even attempt to break. A debilitating habit. A persistent habit that infects my judgment, my decisions, my actions, my words. Ever have one of those? A habit so toxic, you feel you are unable to change. A habit so ingrained in your mind and life that you believe there is no way to break free. You are a fly caught in a web. No matter how hard you tug or pull, trying to escape, you feel trapped…

I was reading the article, “12 Months of Wellness” focusing on November’s breaking a bad habit by Sandi Gauvin and it mentions that because habits are habitual and have a trigger, scientists believe habits—even the ones we know aren’t good for us—are so ingrained in our brains. This results in the same reaction to the same cue. However, continuing with this bad habit that is so ingrained in us can be detrimental to our health.

Friends, releasing a bad habit is essential to our overall well-being.

So, what is my habit? The one so debilitating. My web? Negative self-talk.

Whenever I experience rejection, pain, or confusion, this voice so deeply rooted in my mind from past experiences resurfaces, attempting to make me forget who I am and how far I have come. Maybe because the lies I told myself in those moments gave me an explanation to my situation—an explanation to the trigger that caused this voice to dominate my thoughts. For years, the negative self-talk was the only way I could understand a situation.

I could choose to remain in the bad habit, stay in the comfort of it because it is what I have known for years, or I could choose to make a change. I realized recently that sometimes there are little reminders to help pull us out of that comfortable-not-so-great-for-us habit, we just have to be willing to notice them and embrace them instead of choosing to focus on the habit that is holding us down, not lifting us up.

The other day I stopped by the store before heading into my part-time job. The entire drive to the store I allowed once again the lying voice of negativity and rejection filter in and consume my thoughts. Because you aren’t pretty enough. You aren’t fit enough. You aren’t cool enough. You weren’t chosen. I could start to feel the physical ache building in my body from my negative mindset, yet I couldn’t pull myself out of it. My head hung low in defeat.

Then it happened.

The doors weren’t even fully opened when I heard, “Your hair is absolutely adorable”. It took every little ounce of strength I had left in my bones not to breakdown in that moment. This woman, this stranger had no idea what her small compliment did for me. I grabbed my protein bar quick and successfully made it to my car before the tears started to flow. In my low moment when I was questioning my worth to someone, questioning if I will ever be good enough or noticed, a stranger was saying the exact opposite to me. I see you. You are noticed. I realized in that moment I had to stop doing this to myself. I realized I need to change the course of my thoughts, so I can fully thrive like I desire to in my life.

So, I am going to break my bad habit this month and replace it with a healthier habit. This habit may take less than the month to break; it may take more. However long this habit will take for me to break, I will be doing so relentlessly.

I am committed to replacing self-hate with self-love.

And when I am caught up in those moments, where the voice of pain and rejection begins to creep back in, telling me you’re not worthy, you are brushed aside like always, you’re a failure, and you don’t belong, I will challenge and eventually change that dialogue. I will repeat to myself over and over three sentences, until there is a new voice, the only voice that rules over my life.

You are enough. You were made for something greater. You are worth everything.

I’ve been listening to Lauren Daigle’s “You Say” on constant repeat this past week as a reminder of that. (Literally constant repeat. I’ve probably already listened to it about 12 times in the span of typing this post…) I will continue to find the ways—like music—to support my goal of breaking this habit. Those holes of past rejection that I have allowed to ooze out, infecting my life for years will be filled with grace instead. I can choose to let those holes never close, constantly battling that inner dialogue of self-hate, but instead I choose to fill them with value.

So, I want to challenge you, friends. Join me in working on breaking a bad habit and replacing it with something better. Sometimes it takes a village to accomplish the break. I’ve got your back. You tell me what you want to break, and I will hold you accountable. Maybe you also struggle with negative self-talk. Or maybe you’ve been wanting to quit smoking. Or maybe you want to break the habit of having a donut every morning for breakfast. What habit are you going to work on breaking this month? What good habit will you replace it with, so that you can be the fittest, healthiest, happiest version of you?

What is going to make you thrive?

Article citation: Gauvin, S. (2013). HEALTH. 12 MONTHS OF WELLNESS. Alive: Canada’s Natural Health & Wellness Magazine, (373), 38-46.

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