The simplest way to get rid of a habit you don’t like is to replace it with one you do. If you try to quit something cold turkey, it leaves a gap or void which nature hates. When you replace the old habit with the new one instead, you crowd out the undesirable and escape the dreaded void which lets the past creep back in on the sly. Voila…
The trick is getting the current behavior in place and being engaged with it, delighted by it. The more you look forward to this beginning, the easier it is to edge out the old. When you combine thinking, feeling and acting in a new way around the fresh choice it retrains your brain. Bit by bit, day by day and choice by choice. After you do it 21 times you’ve officially rewired your brain. They have the brains scans my friend, it can be that simple… notice I didn’t say EASY.
I’m using this knowledge specific to a trip I’m taking. Each time my inner critics jump in to point out all the things that could go wrong, I’m working on that conversation with them. Acknowledging the fear, pointing out how it assumes I’m at the mercy of events and then walking my fear through to the place where instead of picturing the worst, I’m picturing how I’m going to create something good with it.
Flipping the fear picture is one of my favorite things to do. I’ve got a nice self-soothing that acknowledges the fear is present, keeping it shame and blame free. I’m going to New York next week to work. If you’re on the East Coast check out details here if you want to see me. How is it that you always find people warning you of the worst travel experience based on their nightmares? Well, perfect opportunity to practice my fear flipping.
When all my own travel snafus come up I acknowledge them. They did happen – like the missed flight and seven hours in the airport on standby thanks to a car accident I was right behind that shut down the exit to the airport. I watched my plane take off while police had us cordoned off.. sigh. But I’ve added in all my travel magic, like the time before 9/11 when I got to sit in the jump seat of a small jet between islands on a vacation because a flight attendant and I got to talking and she discovered it was my birthday!
For every worst case I have at least two best case scenarios I lived to see. Whew… Nice odds. So I keep flipping the fear and putting the best case scenario in as the last picture. Boy do I love recalling how many things go incredibly well when I travel! Practicing, practicing, practicing… I’ll let you know how it goes.
I’m having fun with it! It feels so much better than hardcore mental discipline which stands closer to the shame and blame category. And I’m hearing less and less of the chatter of ‘worst case’ from those around me. A sure sign I’m on track to replace the old fear habit.
Just forcing yourself to do something will condition you but it takes longer and is far less enjoyable. That way will eventually create muscle memory like practicing piano or throwing a ball. Still, when you add in excitement and enjoyment it creates a stronger bond, a richer connection because of the pleasure attached. It’s part of our evolution.
Balance is required, because so often we get hooked on what feels good even when it isn’t good for us. Hence the ‘bad habit’ label. I’m not talking about addiction here, but rather about those repetitive loops we get caught in that make us feel bad about ourselves. Those are what you impact with the three-step (thinking, feeling, acting) repetitions at least twenty one times. But hey, if you are enjoying what you do, why stop at twenty one! Let what you enjoy become part of your new routine! Edge out the old and in comes the ones you want in your life!
This is part of being different without remembering you have to be different. Instead you let a string of small choices add up to tip you into a sweeter place then you occupied before. It’s what I’m after creating for you… one where you can see the difference show up in the lines on your hands. It’s like a living report card of the best kind, where you are expanding your life and influence! Part of the 28 day challenge I’m creating for you… after all, I want to see you well and truly anchored in a happy new direction.
So if you want to help me make it as fun and informative as possible, come be yourself tonight on the gift call. You can vent, ask questions, share, listen, whatever feels organic to you. I’ve got four questions that help me put your words to each of the directions we take with the challenge. Each one is about how you and you can’t get that wrong.
Let me know here if you want the details. Thursday 6/9 at 6pm PDT. Unlikely I’ll record it since I want people to talk freely. But all who register will get the 28 challenge as my gift to you. You join us when you click here and email me so I can send you the call details.
Looking forward to it. And if you are on the East Coast and want to meet me live… check out how to make that happen here.
Talk with you tonight and hope to see you soon!
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