Posts Tagged ‘habit’

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by @anarchyroll
8/6/2014

Overcoming fear is part of life. They say fear is only in the mind, so is the idea that overcoming fear is a single act or moment that lasts forever.

Conquering fear is a process. If you want to master a skill, it will be a process of growth. Like exercising, if the muscle(s) aren’t continuously worked, they will regress.

Fear is bad enough, and gets written about quite a bit. A concept/aspect of fear that I am yet to encounter literature on is the habit of fear. The habit(s) of thinking, perceiving, and/or acting in fear based ways can remain long after the fear itself has been conquered.

These habits of thought, perception, and action can cause the illusion of regression, which can then cause a regression in the model of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I have noticed within myself that even when I don’t feel any physical fear or anxiety when attempting to do something that once terrified me, I will sometimes still not follow through with the right action that is in line with my goals. Why would I not take action if I’m not feeling afraid or thinking fearful thoughts?

Because there is a vacuum of space in my mind and spirit where fear used to be. The habits of fear based thoughts, perceptions, and actions are so cemented into my being after so many years, that it isn’t enough to blow up the concrete, I have to build something new as well.

It is both frustrating and humbling, because it exposes the progress I have made as well as the lack thereof. It lets me know I have much work still left to do after what feels like two lifetimes worth of an odyssey of the mind, heart, and spirit.

It is also something I was/am unprepared for. I thought once I stopped having such frequent, intense panic attacks when pressed up against the edge of my comfort zone that I would just naturally move forward by larger and larger increments. I falsely assumed once I reached a certain point of progress I would only take steps forward as opposed to continuing to take steps backwards.

I thought conquering fear was a destination, not an ongoing process.

But there is no aspect of personal development that is a final destination. Constant growth, evolution, improvement, change is required to achieve any and all goals. Whether the goal is material or immaterial, internal or external, physical or metaphysical.

I just wish I would have known that there would be a vacuum of space that existed where the fear used to be. The habit of fear in addition to the fear itself. That getting to the top of the mountain doesn’t mean much unless there is infrastructure below me to get back down and move on to the next challenge life has to offer.

I know what I have to do and should do which is choosing to do courage and taking right action. But I have fallen into holes in the ground of not doing what I know I should/need to do, then getting caught in the paralysis of analysis. Getting trapped in a cycle of going to sleep determined and waking up with progress amnesia. So many bad habits formed and cemented during all of my formative years. I go to sleep having made progress getting out of a ditch only to wake up in the morning to find I sleep-walked my way back to where I was yesterday, last week, last month, etc.

Habits, not the fear itself, but the residual effects of living a fear based existence for 3/4 of my life. I don’t feel afraid but I act afraid. I don’t take action when I want to because I am so used to being to afraid to act that stagnation is the status quo.

The habit of fear. Another obstacle to get to self-mastery. Though this concept feels more like black ice than a brick wall.

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by @anarchyroll
4/24/2014

I recommend journaling to every human being I know. Old or young, male or female, whether they like writing or hate it, journaling is vital to personal growth. All the historical leaders we look up to kept a personal journal. Getting our thoughts out of our head, onto paper, through handwriting (not typing) is important. Why?

There is what is known as a neuro-muscular connection that takes place when you physically write out your thoughts onto paper. In essence, when you hand write your intentions, goals, wants, etc you are making a promise or signing a contract of intent to achieve.

If goal achievement isn’t your thing, then a daily thought journal is for you. Just write out what’s in your head, what’s on your mind, what you’re thinking about at the moment, and/or simply write out what you did that day. What purpose does this serve? It is like taking out the garbage or opening the window in a smoke filled room.

When garbage piles up and smoke fills a room, it makes it harder to see and move around, if not impossible. Writing out one’s thoughts, no matter how boring or mundane will help create space in your mind. So even if you aren’t writing about epiphanies, goals, desires, hopes, and dreams right out of the gate; eventually the space you create by writing out the basic stuff will foster the deep stuff to come up the surface.

Journaling is a way to cultivate the space between stimulus and response.

Remember, you are journaling for yourself, no one else. If you want to share your journal or if you want to have both private and public journals, that’s cool, but not necessary. When journaling you don’t have to worry about the quality of your handwriting, spelling, punctuation, grammar, or any of that. A private thought journal is as casual as it gets, the poetic license you give yourself won’t ever be any greater than it is there. Write what you want, how you want, when you want (though once a day is best).

Reviewing past journals is an important piece of the puzzle that many forget, including myself. I have gone long stretches without reviewing past journal entries. When I do, each time I see that by not reviewing I have been repeating mistakes, lapses in judgement, failures of character, and just flat out not progressing as much as I want to be or feel I should be. We must see where we have been in order to get a better idea of where we are and where we are going.

Journaling is beneficial for the heart, mind, and soul. It can also be beneficial for the body. You can use a journal to track what you eat, drink, and how often you exercise to hold yourself accountable to yourself during a diet and exercise program or better yet, a new healthier lifestyle.

I like to journal at the end of the day. It is like putting a period on and bringing closure to that date on the calendar of life. It lets me know that this day is now over;

  • What have I accomplished?
  • What have I failed to do?
  • What do I want to do tomorrow?
  • What do I need to do this week?
  • What can I do this month to be closer to where I want to be this time next year?
  • What must I improve upon?
  • What progress have I made up to this point?
  • What did I do today?
  • What am I grateful for?

It can be a few sentences, a few paragraphs, a few pages, or a few notebooks worth. Let it flow. Force yourself to start, but then just let your brain tell the pen what to write and when to stop. We can all be better. We can all improve. A journal is how we sign a contract of change with the most important entity in our life, our reflection.

 

 

ssrlogo2by @anarchyroll
1/13/2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which came first habits or willpower? I suppose since everything we think, believe, and do is a habit…I’m going with habits for now.

I recently listened to the audiobooks for both titles pictured above and recommend them as passionately as I can possibly recommend a physical object to another human being. These are two books based not on rah rah, psych up, self help,  new age methods that some people (not me) would classify as BS or useless. Both of these books are based completely upon scientific, peer reviewed research spanning decades. The results are fascinating, almost as much as it is empowering.

The material covered answered a lot of questions I had about myself and about the human experience. Namely why we do what we do. Both books provided clarity and in the case of The Power of Habit specific answers. Have you heard the phrase, “everything we do is a muscle”? Substitute muscle for habit and you have the basis for the book. I will have much more to write about both of these books and their practical applications in my own life in the future because both have given me practical help right away and have sewn the seeds for long term change.

The two things I found most fascinating and immediately help are the “everything is a habit” paradigm and the scientific fact that willpower is limited and directly tied to glucose levels in the bloodstream.

Both these books provided great deals of hope for me that I can change, I can always change for the better AND for the worse. It really cemented why discipline and consistency is so important in life. It made me realize how unexceptional I am for the better. That I have unique talents, but without consistent dedication to cultivating the uniqueness on a habitual basis, then I am just another faceless, talentless, unexceptional grunt of a human being on an over populated planet. The books helped tie together a lot of the unscientific self help material I have been reading for the past few years. A cherry on top in a way. Both helped put my maturation into manhood and adulthood on fast forward, after years of being stuck in either reverse or slow motion, and for that I am happy and grateful to the authors, and recommend both titles to you.

Namaste.