You have probably heard the phrase “old habits are hard to break” a thousand times throughout your lifetime. The extent to which habits control our lives are reflected in our actions, our thoughts, and the way in which we perceive the world around us. There is no denying that habits can become commonplace and routine-like; which is why it is extremely important to make sure that we are participating in healthy habits.
Our routines can set us up for success if developed properly, but they can also be a deadly weapon if left on autopilot. When speaking of routine, it is important to acknowledge that routine does not only define physical acts; it also encompasses the manners in which we think. These mental habits include limiting thoughts, self-defeating notions, and depressing outlooks. As an adult, it is harder to train the brain to think positively because for years the brain has been used to engaging in negative thought-patterns and behaviors which have become the “easy way out”. But as you have probably noticed, the easy way out does not allow for inner growth.
The process of breaking these mental habits begins with a single choice: to become aware of the negative thought pattern. Take note of the occasions in which it presents itself and analyze the reasons for its manifestation. For example, maybe you tell yourself that you are not going to apply for the promotion because you aren’t good enough or haven’t been doing as well as you would like to. Now, analyze why you are limiting yourself. Are you scared of rejection or possibly embarrassment if you do not get the job? Think of reasons as to why these thoughts are impeding your success and improvement and how they narrow your mind. Objectively evaluate the pros and cons of applying for the job, and you will quickly see that the pros heavily outweigh the cons.
It is now time to make the conscious decision to change that habit and improve your mental well-being. I find that changing behavior works best when intentions are set with a plan. Try repeating a simple affirmation in your head when you find yourself thinking negatively. “I am powerful. I am courageous. I am strong.” Repetition is key because it provides reinforcement for the brain. We are and we become the thoughts we think. Choose to think positively and you will see positive results not only in your mental health, but also in your relationships with others and the world. The first steps to achieving success always begin in the mind.
Imagine if your child were taught the importance of their thoughts from the beginning of life so that they don’t develop these habits that prevent them from achieving success?
Imagine if all schools taught emotional literacy and parents would reinforce it at home?
If you believe that emotional literacy should be in every school please email [email protected] and we can guide you in having your voice be heard to make an impact at the Florida Constitution Revision Commission. With enough letters, we could see in the 2018 ballot: Would you like emotional literacy to be taught in all schools?