The Forming of Habits
There’s an old saying that practice makes perfect. Constant practice and repetition of a movement is what a dancer does to improve their skill. The same as any other skilled individual in our world – a martial artist, a footballer, a metalsmith, a carpenter, a singer, a writer, a speaker, an actor or actress. They get better at their skill by doing it again and again, a daily practice, always striving to be better than they were yesterday. It becomes a lifelong habit.
In the same way we form habits by consistently thinking the same things and by repeating the same actions. Repetition of thought and action is not only the reason we do what we do, but it’s also the way to change it all.
Why we succeed or fail, do or not do, move or stay still – these are all a result of beliefs we hold in our subconscious mind and which are there because we put them there or we accept it them. Some of those beliefs we took on whilst we were infants and children, almost on the spot, during our “sponge” years. Others we took on ourselves as a result of experience and as a result of continual repetition of thoughts and actions.
On a daily basis we re-enforce these beliefs by repeating the same thought and actions. The thing is that we do this without knowing.
The majority of us are unaware of the potential of our minds and what we can truly achieve. We live a life based on the fears, ideals and beliefs we hold and have taken on.
Every action is a result of a lack of knowledge, understanding and awareness.
The reason is down to the educational system which academic learning is based on, which doesn’t include how we, as conscious human beings, think and act – how our mind works, our conscious and our subconscious.
So we spend 95% of our time in an automatic mode, not really aware that we are not controlling the outcome of our thoughts or actions.
That’s before we became aware. Once we realise what is actually going on, our mind and the energy surrounding us, the old rules of our actions and thoughts no longer apply. Because we know what’s going on we no longer have an excuse.
We have a reason, for a specified time, because of our beliefs.
Reason though is not an excuse – it’s from where we can start to make a change. We begin to recognise the patterns of our lives and we start to see what it is that we repeatedly do, day-in and day-out.
Repetition of certain actions and thoughts become more obvious. We see those patterns for what they are and we decide whether they are beneficial or not.
We are what we repeatedly do and, therefore, success depends on our repeated actions and repetitive thoughts.
So, if our thoughts are always negative the outcome will be negative. If, on the other hand, our thoughts are positive then the outcome will be beneficial.
If we don’t know any better, we cannot become better. We continue repeating every action and thought without thinking, and our life continues to be as it was.
Every part of our life can be changed. The rules are the same. What makes a change possible is the want to change. There are no if’s, but’s or maybe’s – if the want is not there then nothing will happen.
It’s a desire to change that moves us ahead.
Even then, there are barriers we need to overcome. Some of these barriers are not as obvious as others.
For example, fear at first appears to be an obvious emotion and feeling. but it can also be a subtle fear, such as the fear of success.
Procrastination is a result of a barrier – a fear, a belief that directs you towards the easier option, the easier action, than what you have to do, that needs to be done. And we make procrastination an automatic action because it is something that we usually do – a repetitive act.
The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.
Every repetition of an action or thought either supports and reinforces a belief we already hold, or contradicts and undermines it.
We don’t simply change one belief with another, we must replace it. You replace “I can’t” with “I can”, “I’m unable” with “I’m able”. You remove a fear by courage, by acting towards the fear.
And you don’t do it just once; you do it again and again and again, until you find yourself wondering why you had that belief in the first place.
This includes what you verbalise. The words you speak, whether they are about another person or about you, also have an effect on your life. Our mind doesn’t separate and cannot differentiate between something we say about ourselves or about others.
Making the Change
Dr Bruce Lipton, during an interview on Epi-Genetics, said that there are only two ways we can replace those beliefs:
- by Hypnosis and
- by Repetition.
Affirmations are your first tool in repetition. By writing down what you want to affirm you are letting yourself know what it is that you want. You then read this affirmation, or affirmations, to yourself daily and you embody the words, you “become” the words.
You fake the sensation, you pretend that what you want is already yours, in the same way that you pretended when you were a child and playacted. You act as if it’s already in your life, in your possession.
Having pinned something on the fridge or stuck on the wall is not enough. This type of suggestive messaging is not effective. You need to be actively involved in your affirmations. So a more active approach is to write down your affirmations on a daily basis, preferably at the same time each day.
And feel it – feeling the sensation is the key to embedding an idea in your subconscious.
Repetition, repetition, repetition.
You do it every day until the day comes when it feels so natural that in fact you no longer think about it. It’s part of you.
It is in your subconscious and you have build a new belief.
By repeatedly doing something we create a habit. In the same way, acting on something that we fear and consistently doing so, we eventually reach a point when we recognise the the fear has gone. By then a new habit and belief has been formed.
Repetition embeds ideas and beliefs into our subconscious. Constant repetition fixes them so they become our automatic habits.
Success in anything is a result of beliefs and habits of success.
Repeatedly visualising, affirming and acting towards our ideal life, we alter our mental make-up and eventually create a mindset of success.
Repetition is not just what we do to learn to drive a car or ride a bike. It’s what determines, by what we repeat mentally, verbally and physically, the outcome of our lives.
The next time you see someone who has reached somewhere you want to be remember that they got there by repeated practice. It wasn’t by chance. It was through effort and daily practice.
By repetition of a set of habits of thought and action.
Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.
Norman Vincent Peale
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.