A negative habit is often identified by its overt and seemingly dysfunctional nature. And beyond those obvious negative habits such as watching too much television, overeating or leaving the toilet seat up (not me, those other guys), we also have many habitual behaviors that have been there with us for quite some time. Ways of behaving that while clearly not dysfunctional may still be reflections of opportunities for growth and expansion. In reality these are all just strategies for meeting a need (except the toilet thing, that's just inconsiderate). Of course, if your strategy is working for you and not hurting you or anyone else then that's great. However if your habit is something that you feel is working against what you really want then there is an effective path to changing that habit or behavior and feeling more aligned within yourself.
Context Is The Key
Whatever behavior you are trying to change, the key that opens the door to that change is the context. This is more than simply realizing that when you are nervous you bite your nails. The specificity of the context is a means of triangulating exactly from where and when it is arising. Its origin story, whether it ends up seeming to be related or not, will come about once you are clear about the context of the habit. So you must ask yourself questions about when it does and does not happen. Think of it like that game "20 Questions" and just keep narrowing down what it is and isn't. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
As you narrow the context you begin to have a clear situation in which it occurs. This is the doorway to making lasting change around this habit.
A Part From It
I have mentioned in many of my blog posts the idea of our inner parts. These parts of us that sometimes conflict with what we want and create thoughts, emotions, behaviors and bodily sensations. It is in fact one of these parts that is stepping up to steer you towards that habit. As I said, there is an origin or back-story to this behavior and with a clear context identified you can now help to identify the back-story of this part. To get clear on this part you can now ask yourself the following questions with the context in mind:
There are more questions that I typically ask when working with a client but this is a good start to getting in touch with that part that is causing this behavior.
Our inner parts are aspects of ourselves that have emerged out of past events in order to help us survive in a sense. These parts' goal is often one of keeping you safe or helping you find love or a sense of belonging, or distracting you from feeling bad. This part that is causing this behavior for you, this bad habit, always has a good intention but oftentimes has lost track of who you have grown into or what your goals are in your life.
This part came about at some point, typically before the age of 7, with a role of "manager" or "firefighter" in your life. It originally may not have caused this same behavior or behaviors but might have stepped up in certain circumstances in your life and said, "hey, I know how to take care of this! I have the skills for this". Then the behavior starts and has the potential to turn into a negative habit over time or under certain circumstances.
New Job & Integration
In practice, once I assist clients in identifying and uncovering the back-story of these inner parts, we work with the part in a dialogue to get it on board with supporting you. At times this can be a sort of negotiation but more than anything it is about stepping into understanding. You learn about this part and where it is coming from and it learns about you. These parts are of course all you, however these hidden aspects of self don't often get to have a voice and this gives them that opportunity. And anytime in life when two people can come to a greater understanding of one another, there is growth and change that flows from it.
Once the parts realizes that the thoughts, emotions, actions and bodily sensations that it is creating are actually no longer helping, they are ready for a new job for those skills they possess. With a new job this part can now be integrated, with the power of your mind, into your current day adult self, working with you for your highest good. If you begin to recognize all of the different inner parts that you have, you will realize that as you do this type of work with those parts and then integrate them you will feel more whole and complete. This is after all the truth of who you are, whole and complete.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
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Disclaimer: Hypnosis is a partnership between the client and the facilitator to create change in both the conscious and subconscious mind. I am a certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, not a Licensed Medical Doctor or Mental Health Professional. As such, hypnotherapy services performed are non-therapeutic and not intended to take the place of professional counseling, medical, or psychological care and should not be used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. I do not work on pain or diagnosed mental or physical conditions without the referral from a licensed practitioner of the healing arts per North Carolina State Statutes. If you are under the care of a medical professional for any condition for which you are seeking hypnosis support, please obtain a signed, written referral from your provider prior to engaging me and moving forward with related sessions.
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