“Just a little longer”, I told myself as I pulled the covers over my head after my 6 am alarm went off.
“Here I go again!” I grumbled to myself as I realized that the day was not off to the best start. I also knew that the likelihood of my lying in bed and an extra hour was very high.
I could feel the heavy disappointment sink in my stomach.
As I did my morning journaling, I was reminded of the fact that staying in bed longer gave me a sense of safety. Safety that no longer served me. A false sense of safety.
As I continued to write that morning I realized that it was a subconscious habit of mine from childhood. I was a child of abuse and the violence in the morning was always intense. Here I was decades later, repeating this subconscious habit on autopilot not serving me in any way, shape, or form.
I needed to change it.
Our subconscious mind controls 95% of our behavior. When something happens to us when we are little, or when we interpret something that makes us feel bad about ourselves, it becomes imprinted in our subconscious mind and we behave from that place, even though cognitively we know better. We can’t help it.
We do, however, have the power to change these habits by reprogramming them.
How do we do that?
Here’s a 5 Step Process:
Step One: Start cultivating awareness of your subconscious habits that are on default and write them down, keep a list if you have to.
These kinds of habits usually make you feel ‘bad’. Do you constantly ‘put things off’ until tomorrow? Do you make a to-do list and then find yourself cleaning a closet or doing the dishes instead? Do you react when you get triggered? Do you start a project and not finish it? Do you end up with the same bank balance at the end of every month? These habits can be very sneaky and the best way to track them down is by gaging how they make you feel.
Step Two: Make a choice to change them.
Self-empowerment comes with making intentional conscious choices. Habits have a ‘habit voice’, it’s the voice that tells you, “Just a bit longer” “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Your habit voice is something that has total control over you without your awareness. Your goal is to overcome that habit voice by becoming aware of it. It’s also very sneaky. When your habit voice shows up, make a choice to challenge it.
Step Three: Create empowering self-talk.
After you identify your subconscious habits, and you consciously chose to behave differently, create self-talk that will help you to shift the habit in the moment. When I find myself wanting to stay in bed longer, I tell myself, “This is my old operating system, it no longer serves me, and I am going to choose to stop doing this”.
Step Four: Create a ‘feeling anchor’.
What is a feeling anchor you ask? Subconscious habits make you feel bad, so ask yourself, what would you rather feel instead? Calm? Happy? At peace? Joyful? When you decide how you want to feel, feel that feeling while pressing your index finger and thumb together to help anchor that feeling in your body. Practice this when you are waiting in line, taking a shower, whenever works best for you. Adding an anchor to your self-talk will help to reprogram the old habit exponentially.
Step Five: Repeat these steps as often as needed.
The way to reprogram your subconscious mind is through repetition, consistency, and feeling.
Know that you are not going to get it perfect when you first start practicing this. Remember to be gentle with yourself. This is a daily practice, the more you practice it, the less you will have to think about it because you will have reprogrammed your subconscious habits to ones that serve you.
It’s so important to reprogram these old subconscious habits because they are limiting you and preventing you from having the life that you really want.
Imagine where you will be a year from now once you have reprogrammed your old limiting habits?