All of us are unique just like the DNA, or as I like to say licorice allsorts, we all need to find out what makes us tick and then work to understand our own version of ourselves in order to make lasting changes. The next few blogs will help you understand yourself better and in turn help you break bad habits and change your how you feel and function on a day to day basis.
Are you a serial worrier or even a serial drinker or eater what does that look like, what does that mean? How will that knowledge make it easier for us to change the bad habits that impact us? Understanding ourselves is one of the first and most powerful steps in change and of course helps us to find a solution that is right for us. If we imagine ourselves like a stack of papers or books, some are very slim and others can take up larger sections of the pile. This is how you need to start looking at yourself and how your own individual mind works, you can then use the information to target your weakest links. We are all only as strong as our weakest leak so targeting our weaknesses is the key, but if we don’t know why we are weak or why we behave in the ways that we do it can be more difficult to achieve.
Think of your main ‘weakness’ and the biggest thing you want to change. Is it a pleasure or an addiction? Do we feel compelled because we feel we love doing something? But does it mean that we like doing it? It can seem very complicated to understand why we over eat, drink, smoke or in fact any bad habit, as none of us want to kill ourselves with liver failure or the issues that come with obesity. So why are we still doing this? And why don’t we just stop? This is where the next few blogs will help you to understand what negatively drives you and how you can target these flaws and change how you function.
The first steps in any change is to come clean with yourself and stop living with the excuses and denial. I hear so many of these on a daily basis; “I will start tomorrow, I can’t do it, just the one, I lapsed so I just gave in, I am ok I won’t do it again”. The list is endless but I am sure we have all at one time or another said some of these things and convinced ourselves into thinking it’s ok to carry on.
This blog is looking at the obsessive sides some of us can have. If we have these traits we can get addicted to things quite easily and find we do things to excess. Most of us at times can say we have felt this way, but some of us can be much more obsessive then other. If we are this type of person of course it can be focused on positive things, but if we allow it to take hold in bad habits and addictions then we can find it can have a big impact on our lives. For some people, it can actually start to take over their lives completely such as alcoholics, serial worriers and binge eating. These are some of the common ones but of course you get the picture and you can transpose this analogy onto any type of obsessive negative addition. Thankfully this is just a small section of how bad these addictive sides of our personally can take hold but many of us can be obsessive about just certain things and not take it to the extreme but it can still negatively impact your life.
Taking a bad habit, we say to ourselves “one won’t hurt …” now you and I both know that this is a lie and we are more than likely in denial to our issues. If this is your personality profile, one is one too many, with just one you are already heading down the slippery slope into being out of control. That’s why organisational principles, like the AA, are clear with a zero tolerance policy. Not even a liquor chocolate is allowed, that same principal can be used if you’re a serial worrier or serial eater. For some of us this zero tolerance rule is the only way to make lasting changes. We can’t keep living in DENIAL we have to ADMIT this to ourselves and once we do, change can come so much more easily as all the excuses won’t work anymore.
So why do we live in denial, well firstly it’s been programmed into us, hopefully you have read the blog Down the Rabbit Hole which explains how we have been conditioned to be afraid of our minds for centuries. Of course, none of us wanted to go down the root of being seen as different or insane the outcome of this was never an attractive proposition, so we got used to lying to each other over who we truly are inside. It was a way of keeping us safe and it’s easy to see why we chose to do this. As having to suffer the consequences of being burnt at the stake, driven out of the village to die, beheading to name just a few was of course a frightening prospect. Throughout history we have lied about who we truly are and even to this day in certain parts of the world poor people are still having to do this as their lives depend on it.
Being the true and unique version of ourselves is only something we are really starting to be able to do now but it still can be hard. Being unique was seen as being different and like being the black sheep doesn’t seem something we want to aspire to be, leading down the path of denial. Even 50 years ago if you were asked if you were ok the automatic response in England was ‘very well thank you’ even if you were feeling terrible! I am sure we have all heard our parents and grandparents say these things and if we can admit this too ourselves we have all said this many times over to people. When really, we have wanted to shout “NO we’re not ok life is driving us crazy were going to explode like a bomb soon!!” But we don’t. So, we swallow down the feelings with a big dose of chocolate, a long drag on a cigarette or a glass of wine. I am sure your starting to see how denial is in your life much more than what we may have thought.
Take some time when you have a spare moment and think back through your life and the things you have swallowed down and the habits of denial you have set in place in just your life time alone. Then consider your parents and grandparents and all the habits of denial they taught you and all the genetic emotional habits you learnt from them, yes, its one big heap of denial. Life is evolving so quickly, I feel we are at present in an emotional evolutionary period in our development as a species and because of this it is creating lots of challenges in our lives.
So back to these bad habits and addictions, if you are saying to yourself its ok to have one, whether it be a cigarette, drink, chocolate or worry- it is just a lie? Are we in denial that maybe we are just a serial worrier, drinker, smoker or eater. If we have been saying this for months years or even decades then maybe it’s time to wake up and face the music as they say. Admitting this to yourself could be your first step to change, if its food and drink for most of us it’s not every type of drink or food, it’s just some we feel we can’t say no to. It’s admitting to yourself that you can’t keep saying the same and expecting a different answer-it’s the first sign of madness.
For most of us it’s not every type of food or drink we can’t control, I must say in all my years I have not treated anyone for carrot or apple addictions! Most of us are ok with some food but not so good with other, so stop the continuous diets just give up the addictive food, if you indulge on sugary style foods, become sugar free or if its bread, stop bread or junk food whatever you don’t feel in control of. This is not just for a day, a week, a month but for life. Choose to be in control. There are lots of alternatives to unhealthy habits and after a while you will have learnt to live without them. If you can’t stop once you open a bottle of wine and have to drink it all the way down, don’t buy wine give it up. Try something else to drink that you have more control over or only buy the mini ones or give up wine become teetotal completely. Some of these solutions are more extreme than others, but only you know when you’re not living with denial which one will work for you. Make the changes in your life that can be lasting changes for you.
Ok so maybe it’s not food or drink for you, but worries, again use these same principles to reconsider how to eradicate worries from your life. Just like the food scenario you don’t worry about everything or worry all day and night. Find the danger areas, topics and times and start the same process, have zero tolerance to the worries, you can’t even have a bite of one, it’s one worry is one to many. Find things to distract yourself with and read the blog about The Cat, to put this into better perspective.
For example, if your worry time is in the car, then learn Spanish, download a talking book, get some songs you could sing along to or anything else which could be a positive distraction for you. Don’t even start the worry, because as you know, if you’re a serial worrier once you start you can’t stop. The key is to stop lying to yourself and get real, start from a place of truth and move forward with your life and become the best version of yourself. You can then become the person you truly want to be and accept who you are.
We are all different so this blog may not apply to you so keep reading the series of blogs this month to find more about what personality type you are, but if you know someone like this please share this and enlighten them. You could change someone’s life forever by helping them out of denial and into reality.
Thanks for joining me down the rabbit hole x