Facing The Inner
Deciding to give up our bad
habits is probably the biggest step we're going to take towards
However, facing them and actually telling them upfront that we
don't want them in our lives anymore is another challenge.
So, how do we stand up against our bad habits? It can be done
through persistence and discipline.
Bad habits are stubborn. The key is to equal or surpass them in
stubbornness. It sounds difficult at first, but it's actually
easier than it looks. After all, you are your own master. You
govern your behaviours. Habits, no matter how deeply ingrained they
are, do not govern you.
Others have tried different methods to battling the bad-habit
monster. Some have sought the support of their family and friends,
some sought professional help, some tried hypnosis and alternative
medication and meditation techniques, while others simply went cold
turkey on their destructive habits (which often ended in vain).
Rome Wasn't Built In A
We must realize that conquering bad habits requires time and
patience. It does not happen during your first, second, third try.
Bad habits need to be faced little by little, cunningly, until your
positive and let-go attitude has them surrounded.
If you suddenly stop, the chances of them coming back to haunt
you increase. However, if you take baby steps and learn to pace
yourself at a rate that is comfortable for you, the more likely
your offensive and defensive methods will work. Remember that a bad
habit has embedded itself into your life -- so extracting it will
predictably be quite a task.
Take Cathy's story.
Cathy needs to lose weight because diabetes runs in her family.
In order to prevent herself from being diagnosed with the same
illness, she decided that she has to let go of her constant
cravings for sweets. Going cold turkey was her strategy.
During the first week, she gave up everything that contained
sugar. She succeeded. However, in the second week, her cravings
started to kick in. Her mind began telling her to take just one
bite off that delicious chocolate fudge cake in the refrigerator.
It even had her convinced that the headache she was feeling during
her 'cold turkey' session was connected to the absence of
The struggle goes on for two more days and, eventually, she
throws up her hands and gives in. "One bite won't hurt," she told
herself. She was dead wrong. Before she realized what had happened,
she had finished up the entire slice and was reaching for another
one. Eventually, she resolved to give up wanting to give up sweets.
Her mission had failed.
We might be able to convince ourselves that taking the cold
turkey method would work. Well, it does -- but only at the
beginning. Our defenses eventually crumble. In the end, we become
content with saying, "Well, this is how I really am, then." We are
not. If we will it, we change.
|"I can change. I can improve. I can
grow toward anything I want to be, if I am willing to work. I can
follow the path and awaken." -- excerpt from "What Would Buddha Do
Answer the following questions (better if you write them down):
- What are my good and bad habits?
- Which of these would I like to change now?
- What is keeping me from changing the bad ones?
- What can I do to divert my attention from my bad
Your answers to the above will help you pinpoint what your bad
habits are and give you a better understanding on why they keep
recurring. Keep a log of your responses and carefully monitor your
progress. You can even give yourself little rewards for your
successes. If you face a blank wall, seek the support of others.
The more people are aware of your goals, the easier it will be to
achieve them and the stronger your motivations will be.