A Big Lie About Breaking Habits

I hear a lot of talk very often in the world of self-help and personal development about breaking habits. I recently saw a quote. It was shared by someone on social media, and I’m sure, based on who the originator of the content was, that it’s been shared hundreds of times. And it broke my heart a little when I saw it because I know what is being shared is just not true.

The quote⏤I’m going to read a modified version of it because I’m not here to call out anybody. I know the intention in this post is very good, and it may be to a degree helpful. But I know it will only be temporarily helpful. So, it basically says that the key to, forever breaking a bad habit that has plagued you repeatedly is to love something even more than you love the habit.

This is not true.

Let me tell you, I know so many precious people who fight with issues over and over, things that they would call habits, perhaps even call addictions. And they are not stuck in that cycle because they don’t love something more. I get emotional thinking about it, it’s so wrong. Absolutely.

I know people who have dealt with weight issues, weight issues that lead to them to not being as healthy as they want or need to be for their family. They love their family more than they love the Oreos. This is not that simple. I know people who have fought addictions related to substances, not just sugar and flour. They’ve dealt with true substances, and I guarantee you, they love their family more, they love their friends more, they love their life more than they love that thing that keeps scooping them in. This is not about the degree of love for anything.

This is about how your brain was fundamentally wired to work. And truly, not only was our brain wired to work in a different way. So if we get rewarded with something, we want more of that. So it’s actually a reflection that your brain is functioning essentially quite properly. If you get stuck in a pattern or you have a habit that is bringing you down, there’s something in your brain that is bringing you back there regardless of your deep desire for it to not do so.

But we’re also missing a key component here, guys. We’re missing that. We have an amazing human brain that will not only lead us astray, even though we really don’t want it to, but we actually have the capacity once we know about it to override that tendency. So your brain, you, there’s basically two of you.

I call it the COE, “Chief of Everything.” And that’s essentially your prefrontal cortex. That is the highest part of your brain. That manages your executive functions, helps you plan ahead, helps you understand that there are consequences to current actions.Bbut guess what? That’s like, um, compared to the function of your brain that is on autopilot, that helps you brush your teeth without thinking about it, that helps you stay hungry because you, like to get reward for food so you go back for more. That’s like, like 97% of your brain compared to 3% executive. 97% support staff.

So again, I refer to it as Chief of Everything. That’s you in the lead versus the 97% that might work against you. But once you know that this part of you can be in the lead, that you have a mental executive who can take charge, you can actually make that 97%, your most amazing ally.

But most of us are never really told that this is even a thing. So when it comes to trying to break habits, you’re just told you don’t love something else enough or you’re given these tips and tricks to break habits. You’re told you need 90 days to establish a new habit. You’re told you need more willpower. You need more discipline. You actually get people who assign moral character to the fact that you’re struggling from these issues. But has anything you’ve ever been told about any of this stuff worked for you in a lasting way? I know for me until I got to this place that I’m sharing with you, nothing, nothing stuck.

I’ll use weight loss as an example. I always had the ups and downs. You know what I mean? My whole life, I battled, I told myself I was failing every time I gained back the 10 or 15 or 20 or 25 pounds. And then I would celebrate me when I lost it, as if my character was riding on the size of pants I was wearing or the number on the scale. What? No, no, no, no, no. And y’all, I’m somebody who exhibited great discipline. I did low carb for like six years…and then I wanted a sandwich with regular bread. So I’m not here to tell you that you can’t show some discipline and then eventually it’s just gonna come crashing back to reality.

But now I’m on the other side, and I understand how my brain works. And I understand that my character is not aligned to the fact that sometimes I wanted to eat some cheese balls. I mean, oh my gosh, there’s so much more to this story! So please know when you see some of the stuff that you’re going to be inundated with on the social media and in the regular media about how to make your new habits, how to make your resolutions stick, there’s so much more to be told.

Hang with me. I want to help you get to these places with very realistic measured, practical, tactical works forever, and always get you to an amazingly better place in life. And it has nothing to do with the fact that like somebody says, you don’t love other things more than your habit. Total ‘bah humbug’ on that.

The one thing I want you to love more than anything is you. This starts with a true acknowledgement of how awesome you are⏤and that you really love yourself.

But the important thing here is that you love you right now in whatever state you’re in, whatever habit you’re dealing with.

I know it sounds cheesy. For a lot of my life, I somewhat appreciated the idea that I needed to “love me and go me,” but it’s only in recent years that I’ve really grown to understand how much loving me means I love others so much more. It starts with me.

If you’re struggling with a repeat pattern and you’ve been beating yourself up because there’s that one thing or five things that you can’t seem to get past, I’m your gal. I’ve got some great, real-life, ultimately quite simple ways to get through it. We’re not going to go around it. We’re not stop where you are. We’re going to get through it, y’all. And then there’ll be another thing, and we’ll get through that, too. Hang with me.

Know you have that love in your heart. You have that capability in your amazing human brain.

I’m just going to help you get there.

Irene says it's time to get to the truth about habits

So much of what we're told about breaking bad habits is flat-out wrong or outright lies. It's not about loving something more than the habit or being more disciplined. It's time to get real. TWEET THIS

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