Focusing Tip #658 – Changing unhelpful habits

Focusing Tip #658 – Changing unhelpful habits
May 22, 2019 Ann Weiser Cornell
change bad habits

Focusing Tip #658 – Changing unhelpful habits

How can you change habits that may have helped you in the past but are no longer helpful? Read on…

Swapnil writes:

I am curious to know about ways in which Focusing can help me work with some of the habits that I do not want to be associated with anymore as they are not really helpful in my present life. Some of these habits have helped me in the past as strategies to deal with certain issues, but now things have changed and these habits do not help me much. But they seem to have more hold on me now…

Hi Swapnil:

It’s great the way you are already being compassionate to those habits, understanding that they helped you in the past.

I’m going to suggest one powerful shift in the way you are talking about them, though.

Rather than calling it “a habit,” say “something in me does that.”

As in: “Something in me stays up late at night and then I’m tired in the morning.”

Or: “Something in me wants to eat sugary snacks even though I know they’re not good for me.”

Do you feel the difference between calling it a habit and describing it as “something in me does that” or “something in me wants to do that”? There’s a big difference, isn’t there?

Now you can be curious and interested to get to know this “something in you” that does this behavior.

Caution: You might be tempted to explain to it that it is no longer needed. But that would be coming from another part of you! And it doesn’t bring change.

What will bring real change is being Self-in-Presence with this part of you, which means you don’t tell it things, you merely listen to what it is trying to help you with… and when it shows you or tells you, you merely say, “I hear you!”

I shifted my addiction to alcohol using basically this method. The part of me that wanted to drink alcohol wanted me to be able to feel relaxed, creative, spontaneous… and when I heard that from Self-in-Presence, the whole pattern began to shift.

P.S. If you’re interested in exploring ways to shift habits you’d like to let go of, my on-demand course called The Urge to Indulge, might be just what you need.

1 Comment

  1. Jennifer Edwards 3 years ago

    Over and over I am inspired by how you can take ANY issue and, in the first instance bring in compassion. I love that

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